Annual delayed winter access measures in effect in Jasper National Park
Winter is the perfect time to explore Jasper National Park. Before you head out, take a moment to learn about what’s new this year for both winter recreation and woodland caribou conservation.
As visitors explore the park, they have the chance to see wildlife, including Woodland caribou, in their natural habitat. In winter, Jasper’s vast mountain landscape – more than 11,000 square kilometres – supports both diverse recreational opportunities and significant protection of critical caribou habitat.
This year, Jasper offers enhanced opportunities to experience the park in winter. Highlights include a new winter hub at Marmot Meadows, expanded snowshoeing and fat-biking trail options and two new winter camping offers for the more adventurous winter explorers. For more information on what to do in winter visit: www.pc.gc.ca/Jasperwinter.
Parks Canada would like to remind visitors that the annual delayed winter access in the Tonquin, Maligne-Brazeau and North Boundary areas of caribou habitat in Jasper National Park is in effect as of November 1st, 2015.
This year, the Moose Lake Loop, as well as a section of trail to Trapper’s Creek along Maligne Lake, will remain open. As a trial offer, Parks Canada will monitor the area to determine if it is a successful addition to the choice of winter activities at Maligne Lake. It will be reviewed based on public feedback and use while ensuring that it does not compromise the caribou conservation objectives of delayed winter access in the surrounding area. Your cooperation in respecting the seasonal closure boundaries is essential for this winter offer to be successful.
The Tonquin delayed access changes from a perimeter buffer to a full area closure. This maintains the same delayed access boundaries while making it consistent with implementation in all other areas.
For 2016, the Tonquin area will reopen on February 16th for winter recreation, and all other areas on February 29th.
How does this affect you?
While these temporary closures are in effect, all access to these areas is prohibited. All delayed access areas are available for winter recreation later in the season when days are longer and temperatures generally warmer.
For alternative routes and trip planning advice visit the Jasper National Park Visitor Information Centre or www.pc.gc.ca/jasper.
Help us protect Jasper’s threatened caribou by choosing other areas of the park for winter recreation during this time.
Parks Canada is taking action to protect caribou and the habitat that is critical to their survival. Our priority is to reduce or eliminate all five threats identified as affecting caribou survival in the mountain national parks. Visit www.pc.gc.ca/caribou for more information.
Delayed access was implemented in 2009 to address the threat of facilitated predator access and protect declining caribou herds. In winter, wolves travel more efficiently on packed trails or roads thus increasing their ability to access and hunt in critical caribou habitat. Work over the past decade has led to the understanding, supported by data, that managing the timing of backcountry access for winter recreation will reduce the risk of predation on caribou. The snowpack typically begins to harden during the latter third of winter and packed trails no longer offer as big an advantage to wolves. This is just one of many actions that Parks Canada is taking to aid in caribou recovery.
The following actions have been implemented to protect caribou and their winter habitat in Jasper National Park. For area details please see attached maps.
All access is prohibited from November 1 through February 15 inclusive to important winter habitat of the Tonquin caribou herd. This includes Cavell Road, Astoria Trail, Portal Creek Trail and Whistlers Creek Valley.
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2. Maligne-Brazeau caribou range
All access is prohibited from November 1 through February 28 inclusive to important winter habitat of the Maligne and Brazeau caribou herds. This includes the subalpine and alpine areas of the Maligne Range from Signal Mountain south, east of highway 93 and west of the Maligne River; the slopes to the West of highway 93 between Bubbling Springs and Beauty Creek Hostel, Poboktan Creek Trail and the Brazeau Loop.
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3. À La Pêche caribou range
All access is prohibited from November 1 through February 28 inclusive to important winter habitat of the À La Pêche caribou herd. This includes Rock Creek Trail from the park boundary to Willow Creek and most of the North Boundary Trail.
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For further information
Mountain National Park Caribou Conservation Program