There’s plenty to do and see in the mountain national parks over the May long weekend: visitors are encouraged to drive vigilantly

Wildlife are out and about in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks

Parks Canada gives out advice to people travelling throughout local parks on the long weekend.

  • May. 17, 2013 3:00 p.m.

Omar McDadi

Parks Canada | Parcs Canada

Submitted

With the May long weekend on the horizon and plenty of things to see and do in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks, Parks Canada is reminding drivers to please exercise caution and drive with vigilance on mountain park roads at a time of year when wildlife face considerable risks searching for food and mates in close proximity to roads.

Last year 12 bears were killed by vehicles on highways in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks, with most collisions occurring at unfenced sections of road.

“It’s a great time of year to experience the mountain parks with campgrounds open and lots of hiking possibilities, though at the same time we ask that visitors please drive with caution and brush up on the their bear awareness skills and knowledge,” said Brianna Burley, a Parks Canada Human-Wildlife Conflict Specialist based in Lake Louise.  “Our dedicated staff work hard to minimize collisions with wildlife, but we cannot act alone – we really need the public’s help.”

Parks Canada hopes that increased driver vigilance will make roads safer for wildlife and people. “We ask that visitors please slow down, observe speed limits and be extra vigilant on the roads at dawn and dusk when animals are most active,” added Burley. “Not only can following the speed

limit prolong an animal’s life by many years, it can also contribute to human safety and has the potential to save lives.”

Parks Canada is also reminding visitors that feeding or harassing wildlife is against the law. Feeding wildlife can lead to habituation, causing animals to lose their wariness of humans and increasing the risk of accidents. In 2012, Parks Canada responded to several reports of visitors feeding wildlife in the mountain parks, including an incident in Kootenay National Park where a wolf was approached and fed rice cakes.

Parks Canada employs a number of on-the-ground management actions to help reduce roadside wildlife collisions and habituation, including the use of Bear Guardians and signage to alert visitors to the presence of wildlife on roads. Bear Guardians interact with visitors on park roads to prevent,

monitor and manage bear jams. Bear Guardians work closely with resource conservation personnel, who are trained to work directly with bears to minimize the probability of bear/human conflicts and keep bears away from roads, garbage and other risks.

Parks Canada strongly encourages the public to report wildlife sightings and suspicious behaviour, such as wildlife feeding or hazardous driving by calling 1-888-WARDENS.

 

Just Posted

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Your weekly Mountain Minute

Golden’s weekly 60-secon news recap for February 14

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

King and Spring return to Golden this weekend

The Snow King and Lady Spring return to the Valley this weekend,… Continue reading

Find out what the Golden community is up to

I hope that this column finds you someplace cozy and warm and… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read