Government of Canada invests in conservation and transit for the mountain national parks
August 29, 2019 Banff, Alberta Parks Canada Agency
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the ecological integrity of Canada’s national parks, while ensuring that Canadians can continue to connect with and enjoy the natural and cultural treasures of these iconic places.
Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced federal investments totalling nearly $14 million for conservation projects in the mountain national parks in Alberta and British Columbia, and public transit solutions in Banff National Park to help people get around in a faster, cheaper and cleaner way.
The projects include helping to lower the risks associated with wildfires; the recovery of Whitebark and Limber Pines, which are integral to the health of their ecosystem as a soil stabilizer and important source of food for wildlife; and, the restoration of the Westlope Cutthroat Trout population.
The Government of Canada invests in Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration program to support projects that make a difference on the ground in maintaining or restoring ecological integrity and helping in the recovery of species-at-risk. Parks Canada partners with Indigenous communities and organizations across the country and collaborates extensively with academic and scientific institutions on ecological projects.
In addition, the Government of Canada is partnering with the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission to implement transit solutions in Banff National Park. The investment will continue to fund service connections between the Banff and Calgary area, as well as local Banff area transit services including connections to Lake Minnewanka, the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Tunnel Mountain campgrounds, Johnston Canyon and the Upper Hot Springs. This will help visitors access and enjoy popular attractions while protecting wildlife and the nature they call home.
“Canada’s mountain national parks are national treasures and renowned internationally. By protecting more of our nature and working in collaboration with partners, the Government of Canada is preserving our treasured places and connecting more Canadians to the outdoors."
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“Roam transit is very appreciative of this contribution from Parks Canada. These funds will enable visitors and residents to continue accessing areas of Banff National Park without the use of a private vehicle. Service right to where you want to be will help us all connect to these incredible natural places.”
Chair, Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission
Canada's mountain national parks are some of the oldest national parks in Canada. Banff was Canada’s first national park established in 1885. Yoho and Glacier national parks followed closely in 1886 and Waterton Lakes National Park was added in 1895. Jasper National Park was established in 1907 and Mount Revelstoke National Park joined in 1914. Kootenay is the youngest of the mountain national parks having been established in 1920.
The Government of Canada is investing $12.4 million to support biodiversity in the mountain national parks, restore species-at-risk and help lower the risk associated with wildfires. Specifically:
o $5.9 million will be invested in a fire restoration project in mountain national parks. This multi-site project aims to restore open forests and improve habitat for wildlife, including species at risk, through prescribed fires, while engaging Canadians and contributing to lowering the risk of a significant wildfire occurring. Prescribed fires are controlled, intentionally lit fires that are only conducted under exacting conditions. They reduce fuel to lessen the severity of wildfires, release nutrients, and allow for a mosaic of ecosystems that support diverse plants and wildlife;
o $4.1 million will support recovery actions for Whitebark and Limber Pines, both keystone species integral to the health of the ecosystems in which they are found, as they are responsible for stabilizing the soil at high elevations and provide an important food source for wildlife; and,
o $2.4 million is being invested in the restoration of the Westslope Cutthroat Trout (WSCT) population. Following a successful pilot-project in 2018, this project aims to restore the at-risk species by removing non-native fish and re-introducing Westslope Cutthroat Trout.
Today's federal investment of approximately $1.5 million for transit builds on the $3 million in funding for the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission announced in 2018 to expand regional transit service in the Bow Valley between the communities of Banff and Lake Louise. These investments allow for longer term transit planning to provide Canadians with convenient and environmentally friendly transportation options in Canada’s most iconic national park. Transit is good for the environment and this is one more step that the Government of Canada is taking to protect and restore this special place, now and for future generations.
The Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover nature and connect with history, we can help to inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places. In celebration of diversity, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Canoo mobile application.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
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