10.2.3 Mount Revelstoke Parkway LMU
Mount Revelstoke Parkway landscape management unit
© Parks Canada
This unit contains important mountain caribou habitat. A busy
destination during the short snow-free season, the area is popular with
families looking for a day of rest and relaxation in a mountain environment. The 26 km Meadows-in-the-Sky Parkway takes visitors to the
summit of Mount Revelstoke with its alpine landscape and scenic views.
Area facilities include 22 km of hiking trails, five kilometres of Ski Chalet
mountain biking trails, a ski chalet and a toboggan hill. A shuttle bus transports
visitors to the summit meadows from a parking area at Balsam Lake. During the winter,
the first eight kilometres of the parkway are groomed for cross-country skiing.
The unit also includes a maintenance compound and staff residences.
Parks Canada has undertaken a number of initiatives over the years to accommodate vehicles, deal with conflict between users, reduce the impact of visitors on vegetation and soil, and provide opportunities to learn about the park and its environment. In 1992, the park began a long-term monitoring program to measure the success of various re-vegetation strategies. Recent studies indicate that fire suppression has changed the composition of the forest, increasing the risk of intense fires, which may threaten visitors on the parkway.
Ecological and Cultural
- To maintain the area as mountain caribou habitat.
- To implement practices that minimize or mitigate the impacts of visitor use.
- To work with the regional community to foster ecological awareness and sensitivity.
- To maintain the historic Mount Revelstoke fire tower as a federal heritage building.
- To fill gaps in information about cultural resources.
- To monitor parking at Balsam Lake; introduce actions to manage traffic if necessary.
- To offer premier interpretive and day use opportunities.
- To allow motorized access and provide semi-serviced facilities in the summer.
- To provide fire management information and develop forest fire public safety programs.
- Consider the addition or expansion of facilities if it improves ecological or commemorative integrity, public safety or visitor services.
- Close operational infrastructure that is no longer required.
- Assess the need to manage use based on social and ecological considerations.
- In partnership with others, develop exhibits for the Nels Nelsen historic area.
- Replace out-dated exhibits along the Meadows-in-the-Sky Parkway; incorporate national messages and the results of natural and cultural research.
- Maintain the Mount Revelstoke fire tower in keeping with the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Policy and the building’s heritage character statement.
- Undertake archaeological research at the site of the Revelstoke internment camp.
- Assess all winter park operations and public use of Caribou Cabin with a view to reducing impact on mountain caribou habitat.
- Assess the risks associated with a forest fire; prepare a strategy to protect the public.
- Continue to participate in community programs that foster ecological sensitivity and awareness (e.g., the Revelstoke Bear Aware program to reduce mortality and habituation).
10.2.4 Transportation Corridor and Frontcountry LMU
Glacier transportation corridor and frontcountry landscape management units
© Parks Canada
Mount Revelstoke transportation corridor and frontcountry landscape management unit
© Parks Canada
This unit includes a 53 km corridor through Glacier National Park and 12 km through Mount Revelstoke
National Park. A variety of major visitor facilities includes the Trans-Canada Highway, the Canadian
Pacific Railway, a hotel and service station, five view points, nine picnic areas,
seven self-guiding trails and backcountry trailheads, two campgrounds, one overflow
campground, and the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. Park facilities include a maintenance compound and staff residences. This LMU is the busiest area in the parks. Visitors to the frontcountry experience an authentic historic setting and a Columbia Mountains wilderness vista.
The Beaver River has an important influence on the transportation corridor. A debris flow in the valley interrupts traffic during the spring snowmelt. Natural processes, such as landslides, have shaped the Beaver Valley for thousands of years and may play a role in maintaining biodiversity. The Beaver Valley fen, a unique calcarious wetland precariously located between the highway and the railway, is an environmentally sensitive site.
In both parks, bare soil along the transportation corridor provides an opportunity for nonnative plants to become established. The provincially rare and endangered bull trout inhabit both the Illecillewaet and Beaver River drainages.
All but a small portion of the Rogers Pass National Historic Site is in this LMU. Chapter 6 describes specific objectives and actions for this site.
Ecological and Cultural
- To manage the transportation corridor in an environmentally sensitive manner, ensuring developments improve ecological and commemorative integrity and public safety.
- To maintain existing wetland ecosystems and manage the Beaver Valley fen as an environmentally sensitive national historic site.
- To control the spread of non-native plants.
- To manage cultural resources.
- To communicate park and site messages to through travellers and visitors.
- To offer premier interpretive, day use and overnight opportunities.
- To allow motorized access and provide semi-serviced facilities.
- Establish a Transportation Advisory Committee to recommend and implement improvements to ecological and commemorative integrity, highway capacity, operational practices and public safety (e.g., ongoing maintenance, mortality, wildlife movement).
- Increase the awareness of the national parks and historic site on the part of through travellers, truckers and CPR staff.
- Work with the transportation industry to address issues such as commercial truck parking at Rogers Pass.
- Implement the Integrated Pest Management Plan.
- Protect bull trout habitat and maintain the closure of stream fishing.
- Monitor and research resource issues (e.g., wildlife connectivity and mortality).
- Renew heritage presentation media at high visitor-use picnic areas, view points, campgrounds, self-guiding trails (e.g., Giant Cedars and Skunk Cabbage) and Rogers Pass National Historic Site.
- Take advantage of opportunities along the highway to present messages about the parks and historic site (e.g., information about the impact of the transportation corridor and existing and proposed mitigations).
- Monitor and control some natural processes (e.g., landslides and avalanches) in the interests of public safety.
- Record and stabilize cultural resources.
- Remove vegetation and control water around railway artifacts.
- Develop Glacier House exhibits.
- Develop off-site interpretation for Glacier Station.
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