Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

"We will ensure that maintenance of ecological integrity is the primary consideration in Parks Canada's assessment of any capital redevelopment of facilities, accommodations and infrastructure belonging to both Parks Canada and to private or commercial operators. Accordingly, capital redevelopments should:

  • be consistent with Park Management Plans, Community Plans and park establishment agreements;
  • be based on a needs analysis for that facility, accommodation and/or supporting infrastructure and be acceptable in the context of current ecological understanding;
  • respect clearly-established limits on development and contain the facility footprint within these limits;
  • contribute to visitor appreciation and understanding of national parks;
  • protect cultural heritage;
  • demonstrate leadership in environmental management;
  • provide adequate staff accommodation; and
  • comply with environmental assessment obligations including consideration of cumulative effects and environmental management systems (EMS) to achieve no net negative environmental impact." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The Outlying Commercial Accommodation (OCA) Panel report is being reviewed in light of these principles.
  • Some parks (e.g. Kootenay, Yoho, Lake Louise component of Banff) are undertaking reviews of their facilities and infrastructure, also in light of these principles and the broad directions set out in the Panel's report. The Kootenay/Yoho/Lake Louise Field Unit has set up a review committee and uses the principles as a foundation for reviewing proposed projects.
  • Limits to growth have been established in the community plans and the mountain park management plans.
  • Completed plans to recapitalize Georgian Bay Island's administration building in Honey Harbour, on the mainland, are being re-visited. The objective is to significantly reduce the operational footprint by removing certain warden service, interpretation and general works operations from the main park island to this one structure. The potential exists to remove seven large buildings.

Next Steps

  • All proposed redevelopments are now reviewed in light of these principles.

Threat of Predators Called Fair Price for Life on the Edge

"Banff residents, still coping with grief and shock after the death of a local skier from a cougar attack, acknowledge that the threat from predators is the price to be paid for living on the edge of the wild. As national park officials captured a second cougar believed to be responsible for a rash of attacks on dogs around the town, visitors and townspeople defended the right of cougars to exist in the park... Park officials destroyed the cougar that attacked Ms. Frost... Mr. Syme said that park officials hope to capture and collar another two or three cougars. They will not be relocated. Environmentalists applauded the park's restraint in dealing with them. Gareth Thomson, the education director of the Calgary-Banff chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said people should not expect perfect safety when they choose to live next to the wilderness."

Source:
Toronto Globe and Mail
Friday, January 5, 2001



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