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Parks Canada shares final report from the Expert Advisory Panel on Moving People Sustainably in the Banff Bow Valley for Indigen

Parks Canada shares final report from the Expert Advisory Panel on Moving People Sustainably in the Banff Bow Valley for Indigenous and public review and comment

Canada NewsWire

Feedback will inform the development of a sustainable people‑movement plan for Banff National Park

BANFF, AB, Dec. 5, 2022 /CNW/ - Parks Canada manages national parks in trust for all Canadians to ensure these special places can be enjoyed by present and future generations. In collaboration with others, Parks Canada remains committed to protecting ecological integrity within national parks while providing high-quality and meaningful experiences to visitors.

Today, Parks Canada shared the final report from the Expert Advisory Panel on Moving People Sustainably in the Banff Bow Valley. Parks Canada thanks the members of the panel for their hard work, expertise and insight.

For the next 60 days, from December 5, 2022, to February 2, 2023, interested Indigenous communities and individuals, stakeholders, and other members of the public are invited to review the final report and provide their feedback directly to Parks Canada. Please visit LetsTalkMountainParks.ca to read the report and share your thoughts. Concurrently, Parks Canada will work with Indigenous partners to review the report to determine how to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into how we move forward.

While much work for Parks Canada remains to be done, the Panel's report identifies eight key strategies to move toward a more sustainable future. The advice and recommendations in the final report, along with the feedback from this engagement process, will be key considerations for Parks Canada as it implements the 2022 Banff National Park of Canada Management Plan. Planning for the sustainable movement of people to, from, and within Banff National Park must be integrated with planning for other strategies in the park management plan related to reducing impacts of climate change on park resources, and true-to-place visitor experiences, with ecological integrity as a cornerstone.

Millions of visitors from across Canada and around the world choose Banff National Park as their destination every year. This is a source of pride for Parks Canada and for Canadians. Parks Canada is committed to working with other jurisdictions, Indigenous partners and stakeholders to explore and advance safe, effective, and sustainable approaches to visitation, while helping people to enjoy the park now and in the future.

Quotes

"On behalf of the advisory panel, I would like to thank those groups and individuals who shared their thoughts and passion for the future of Banff National Park. Our report is a result of these discussions and the collective expertise and experience of the panel. Many of the suggested solutions are bold and may take some time to implement, others are fundamental to better understanding visitor behaviour and expectations. We hope our report can serve as a guide for how to move people sustainably in the busiest national park in Canada and perhaps become a model for other protected areas to consider."

Bill Fisher,

Chair, Expert Advisory Panel on Moving People Sustainably in the Banff Bow Valley

"I would like to thank the members of the expert advisory panel for their time, expertise and thoughtful input. Parks Canada accepts this report with great appreciation. The report builds on Parks Canada's efforts towards identifying potential future and practical measures to address the long-standing need and desire to improve the movement of people in Banff National Park. I am confident that their work – together with planned further engagement with and involvement from Indigenous partners, the public and stakeholders – will inform future decision making aimed at making positive changes to the way that people access and move through the Bow Valley in Banff National Park."

Ron Hallman

President and Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada

Quick Facts
  • Established in 1885, Banff National Park has grown to be an internationally recognized symbol of Canada, an integral part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a focal point for western Canada's tourism industry.



  • Over the last 10 years, vehicle traffic in the park has increased 30 percent overall, with some specific locations such as the road leading to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, showing increases of up to 70 percent. Approximately 8.3 million vehicles travel into the park each year, with roughly half of these carrying park visitors and the other half travelling through to other destinations.



  • In 2021, a panel was established to advise Parks Canada on the development of a long-term framework for the sustainable movement of visitors in the Bow Valley in Banff National Park. The expert advisory panel was asked to look at emerging solutions and examples of best practices from around the world to consider how people arrive at, move about, and experience the national park.



  • Expert advisory panel members brought a wide range of expertise in a variety of areas such as protected area management, transportation innovation, technology, and tourism and included the following individuals:
    •  Leslie Bruce (President and CEO, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism),
    • Dr. Kerri Cahill (Branch Manager, US National Park Service, Denver Service Centre),
    • Bill Fisher, Panel Chair (Retired, Parks Canada),
    • Kelly Gibson (Town Manager, Town of Banff),
    • Dr. Emily Grisé (Assistant Professor, University of Alberta),
    • Jen Malzer (Transportation Engineer, Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers)
    • Jamie McCulloch (Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Adaptive),
    • Selby Thannikary (Team Lead, Transportation Planning, WSP), and
    • Dr. Dan Wicklum (CEO, Transition Accelerator).
  • Moving People Sustainably is one of nine key strategies highlighted in the approved Banff National Park Management Plan tabled recently in Parliament (August 2022). The management plan identifies a goal of developing a comprehensive people-movement plan for the park by 2024.
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SOURCE Parks Canada



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