Grizzly bear and off-leash dog encounters have caused some trails to be closed to dogs in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Grizzly bear and off-leash dog encounters have caused some trails to be closed to dogs in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Though dogs aren’t prohibited on all of the trails they must always be on leash

Due to repeated incidents of dogs off leash in Mount Revelstoke National Park, Parks Canada has closed parts of the park to dogs.

In 2018, a grizzly identified as No. 49, was collared to better understand its travel patterns and reduce encounters with people said Shelley Bird, communications officer for Mount Revelstoke National Park.

The bear frequently uses the summit area of Mount Revelstoke.

Bird wrote in an email to Black Press there have been multiple incidents between the bear and off-leash dogs, which are required to be on leash in national parks.

In 2018, a grizzly named No.49, was collared to better understand its travel patterns and reduce negative encounters with people. (Ray Schmidt/Parks Canada)

“Dogs off leash can pose a danger to people, wildlife and the dogs themselves.”

Recently an off-leash dog chased Grizzly No. 49. However, the bear eventually turned and chased the dog back to its owners instead said Bird.

“While this incident ended well for the dog and the people, repeated harassment of bears by dogs off leash inevitably leads to increased risk to all parties.”

READ MORE: Balu Pass closed in Glacier National Park

Parks Canada said dogs off leash can provoke defensive or predatory behaviour in bears and disrupt bears survival needs, such as foraging.

According to Parks Canada the minimum fine for a dog off leash in a national park is $58. That amount can be increased depending on the number of instances and severity of the situation. In court a judge can administer a fine of up to $25,000.

Because of visitors non-compliance with dog on leash regulations, dogs are not allowed in the summit area above Snow Forest viewpoint including Lindmark trail, Summit Trail above Snow Forest (crossing No. 5) and all other trails at the summit of Mount Revelstoke, including Eva and Jade Lakes.

If dogs off leash continue to be a problem is other parts of the park, the restriction could be extended to other trails said Bird.

There is no end date given for the current closure. Penalties include a maximum fine of $25,000.

Map of closed area to dogs in Mount Revelstoke National Park. (Parks Canada)

The trail was also closed for similar reasons last year.

Observing wildlife in their natural habitat is a privilege that comes with a responsibility to treat wildlife with the respect they deserve and need said Bird.

“It is easy to surprise a bear that is focused on eating. In late summer and fall, bears need to eat continuously, a state called Hyperphagia, and may even feed up to 24 hours a day. This is extremely important for them to survive through the winter.”

READ MORE: Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Bears can be encountered anywhere in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park.

Parks Canada advises visitors to travel smart and be prepared: carry bear spray and know how to use it; make noise to let wildlife know you’re there; and travel in groups of four or more.

Keep your dog on leash or leave your dog at home.


 

@RevelstokeRevue
editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

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