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Management Plan

10.2 Human Use

Concern about ecological integrity has implications for human use in each of the LMUs. The type, timing, and frequency of visitor activities must be consistent with ecological and cultural objectives. Monitoring and cumulative effects assessment will be used to determine appropriate techniques to manage the effects of human use. Some LMUs may require limits. In these units visitors can expect a wildland experience with few or no facilities or services. The parks will maintain the current system of trails and continue to offer appropriate visitor opportunities. Some visitor activities are more consistent with the intent of protecting wary wildlife species.

10.2.1 Mount Revelstoke Backcountry LMU

Mount Revelstoke backcountry landscape management unit
Mount Revelstoke backcountry landscape management unit
© Parks Canada
Key Considerations

The Clachnacudainn Icefield occupies the centre of this rugged mountainous area. Both mountain caribou and wolverine use the area; in fact, this unit contains the most important habitat for these species in the parks, particularly in the winter. Facilities are minimal – the Woolsey mountaineering hut and some helicopter landing sites used to maintain remote weather stations. The park will not provide bridges kilometres and backcountry campsites or maintain trails in this unit. The few visitors can expect to feel a sense of solitude and to rely on themselves. Snowmobiling and heli-skiing occur on provincial land along the boundary, particularly where logging roads and the highway approach the park.

Objectives
Ecological and Cultural
  • To maintain  mountain caribou habitat and suitable denning areas for wolverine.
  • To allow natural processes such as fire to continue in areas where risks to the public, environmentally sensitive sites and adjacent lands are minimal.
Visitor Opportunities
  • To offer a remote, backcountry opportunity where visitors can experience solitude while minimizing impact on mountain caribou and wolverine.
Actions
  • Work with partners and neighbours to minimize impacts on ecological integrity generally and on mountain caribou, wolverine and grizzly bears specifically.
  • Consider reducing the amount of fuel that could feed a forest fire in certain areas by removing trees; base decision on a risk analysis, human use and park management practices.
  • Monitor mountain caribou, wolverine and human use over the next five years and determine the impact of human use and park management on mountain caribou and wolverine.
  • Inventory and monitor mountain goat and western toad populations.
  • Keep helicopter over-flights and landings to a minimum; avoid sensitive species and habitat and respect the expectations of visitors.

10.2.2 High Use Backcountry LMU

Glacier high use backcountry landscape management unit
Glacier high use backcountry landscape management unit
© Parks Canada
Mount Revelstoke high use backcountry landscape management unit
Mount Revelstoke high use backcountry landscape management unit
© Parks Canada
Key Considerations

This unit consists of two separate areas, one in Glacier National Park near the Illecillewaet Glacier and the other at the top of Mount Revelstoke in the Eva Lake area. Here summer day visitors enjoy world-class hiking in an alpine environment that was the Sir Donald birthplace of Canadian mountaineering. Ski touring has increased over the past five to ten Perley Lake years, especially in Glacier National Park. Glacier’s Asulkan cabin, open year-round to the public, has become increasingly popular with backcountry skiers. The Eva Lake shelter, built in 1928, is a federal heritage building and is open to the public in the summer.

The parks will maintain the current system of trails; no new trails will be added. There are 38 km of trails in the Illecillewaet area (Glacier) and 15 km in the Eva Lake area (Mount Revelstoke). These well-used, signed and maintained trails offer access to a limited number of opportunities that involve risk and self-reliance. All trails, bridges, campsites and shelters will remain primitive. Trails in the Mount Revelstoke unit offer access to backcountry lake fishing.

Objectives
Ecological and Cultural
  • To minimize the impact of human use on identified wildlife species (e.g., mountain caribou, wolverine and grizzly bear).
  • To minimize the impact of trail use on flora and soils.
  • To minimize the impact of airborne pollution on alpine ecology.
  • To determine the impact of backcountry cabin use on caribou.
  • To maintain the Eva Lake backcountry shelter as a federal heritage building.
Visitor Opportunities
  • To offer premier hiking and overnight backpacking opportunities, with primitive facilities.
Actions
  • Improve trails and facilities where necessary to enhance ecological integrity, visitor services or public safety.
  • Using international protocols, monitor airborne pollution of alpine lakes and its impact on fish; share data and design appropriate management actions, including communications.
  • Maintain the Eva Lake backcountry shelter in keeping with the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Policy and the building’s heritage character statement.
  • Work with helicopter companies to reduce the number of low elevation flights in sensitive areas.

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