Questions and answers on the opening of National Wildlife and Migratory Birds Sanctuaries Areas due to COVID-19 restrictions

Are all of the day use visitor facilities open at all Environment and Climate Change Canada places?

Environment and Climate Change Canada has responsibilities for 55 National Wildlife Areas and 92 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries across Canada. Ten of our National Wildlife Areas are part of the Connecting Canadians to Nature initiative and are generally accessible to the public. A number of other sites are publically accessible, largely for autonomous day-use activities.

Locations may have slightly different measures in place for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in different jurisdictions.

Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to adapt to the COVID-19 situation and visitor access and services will be limited.

Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel.

What facilities are open at Environment and Climate Change Canada places?

Being in nature provides important physical and mental health benefits. Many of the trails, parking lots and washroom facilities will be open.

Some trails will remain closed for public safety, for the protection of ecological or cultural resources, because of human-wildlife interaction concerns, or limited search and rescue capacity.

Our website provides information on what locations are open, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for your visit and what services may be available.

Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel.

The services offered at our publically accessible National Wildlife Areas may vary based on regional preparedness and the advice of provincial health authorities.

Are trails at Environment and Climate Change Canada locations open?

Visitors are permitted to access some trails, day use areas, and green spaces. Those who choose to access open trails must obey all signage. They must follow the advice of public health measures like hand hygiene and physical distancing. They must also be careful in their choices to avoid injury and minimize any need for emergency response. They must leave no trace and remove their garbage.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is adapting to the COVID-19 situation and visitor access and services will be limited.

Some trails at Environment and Climate Change Canada locations will remain closed for public safety, for the protection of ecological or cultural resources, because of human-wildlife interaction concerns, or limited search and rescue capacity.

Information on the status of the national wildlife area near you.

Are there limits on the number of people/vehicles that can visit National Wildlife Areas?

The health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and Environment and Climate Change Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the Department. 

Depending on the visitor volume, limits may be placed on the number of people and vehicles that can visit the sites.

Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to monitor the situation and put in place appropriate measures to help Canadians follow the advice of public health experts and to practice physical distancing and hygiene measures, limit public gatherings, as well as respect travel restrictions and closures. 

Environment and Climate Change Canada is adapting to the COVID-19 situation and visitor access and services will be limited or could be without further advice. 

Are National Wildlife Areas fully operational?

Environment and Climate Change Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and employees.

Full resumption of operations and services will follow a phased approach and will be dependent on advice from local and regional health authorities.

Is Environment and Climate Change Canada taking any precautions such as additional cleaning?

The health and safety of visitors, employees, and all Canadians is of the utmost importance and Environment and Climate Change Canada will be following the advice of public health authorities and has implemented measures for cleaning and physical distancing at all places open for visitation.

Only those places where measures can be implemented to minimize healthy and safety risks are be open to the public.

How is Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcing measures such as local closures, capacity limits and physical distancing?

The health and safety of Canadians, visitors, and Environment and Climate Change Canada team members is of the utmost importance to the Department. Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to monitor the situation and put in place the most appropriate measures to help Canadians follow the advice of public health experts and to practice physical distancing and hygiene measures, limit public gatherings, as well as respect travel restrictions and closures. 

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