Parks Canada has released a report on public feedback that was gathered for their parks management planning process. All of the mountain parks are currently redoing their management plan, including Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke. Mt. Revelstoke National Park features a sculpture of Nels Nelson’s knickers, pictured here. (File photo)

Parks Canada should contribute to climate change research says the public

A What We Heard report has been released on feedback gathered for an upcoming management plan

The public wants Parks Canada to contribute to the understanding of the impacts of climate change.

According to a recently released report detailing the results of the community consultation process on the proposed parks management plans, respondents have several ideas of what the vision for Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier national parks should be, including climate change research.

Other top responses were:

  • The natural wonders of the Columbia Mountains are valued and understood
  • Ecological integrity within the parks is the priority and decision-making is guided by conservation science
  • Shared protection and conservation goals for the Columbia Mountains’ ecosystems, landscapes and biodiversity are achieved in collaboration with governments and partners
  • Visitors are inspired to be environmental stewards
Jacqueline Palmer was one of five local artists who spent four days at A.O. Wheeler Hut in the Roger Pass area of Glacier National Park for the Art in the Park initiative last summer. (Peter Hoang)

READ MORE:PHOTOS: Highway 1 improvements restoring fish habitat in Glacier National Park

Parks also received two very different outlooks on promotion. Some respondents do not want to promote the parks in order to maintain “quiet and wild experiences” and other said promotional material should focus on “escape to nature”, experience, conservation and the connection between nature and heath.

The consultation process launched in January as Parks Canada looks to develop management plans for the Rocky Mountain Region parks: Mt. Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho, Banff, Waterton, Jasper and Kootenay.

Based on the input received, Parks Canada will develop individual draft management plans.

In Revelstoke, engagement activities included discussions with Indigenous groups, as well as a public open house, a stakeholder workshop and outreach at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the Revelstoke Secondary School.

READ MORE: Small burnings planned on Mount Revelstoke

Visitors and stakeholders gave feedback in several areas including: visitation, accessibility, assets and infrastructure, ecological integrity, communications and education, Indigenous relations, partners and stakeholders and operations.

One are of concern was the increasing visitor numbers. Respondents said that Parks Canada should:

  • Ensure that the needs of visitors are met, including adapting to new and changing markets and diversifying experiences
  • Manage visitor impacts on Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and maintain the quality of experience by limiting access, managing visitor expectations, and diverting use spatially or seasonally
  • Connect visitors to these special places and inspire them to be park stewards
  • Manage use and activities to ensure the safety of visitors and wildlife

READ MORE: Opening delayed for new campground at Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Improving accessibility was also a priority for the feedback participants, who suggested taking into consideration different abilities, age groups and cultures. Respondents called on Parks Canada to maintain an improve existing infrastructure and for new facilities want to see environmentally sustainable operations and infrastructure. People requested:

  • Trail maintenance and design that takes into account increasing visitation
  • Basic amenities and more overnight opportunities in the Rogers Pass area
  • More backcountry campsites or cabins for multi-day backcountry trips
  • Trans-Canada Highway safety improvements including bringing it up to four lanes through both Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and wildlife crossings
In order to manage human-wildlife interactions Parks Canada sometimes closes certain areas of the park to dogs. (Parks Canada photo)

Protecting the environment should also be a priority in the management plans, the public said.

According to the report respondents would like to see the impacts of the transportation corridor reduced, protecting ecosystems through seasonal closures and education and leading in climate change research including monitoring glaciers among other things.

Some priorities that came forward in the communications and education section of the feedback include citizen science or volunteering opportunities as well as story telling related to Indigenous history and culture.

Other areas of concern that were identified by the public and stakeholders include the need for additional amenities in Rogers Pass as well as addressing overcrowding at the summit of Mt. Revelstoke.

READ MORE: Monitoring amphibians in Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Park

Based on this feedback, Parks Canada will be creating draft management plans for Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. Once it is available the public will once again have an opportunity to provide feedback.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

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