AREA CLOSURE: West Slope of Tunnel Mountain - Elk Calving
Issued: May 01, 2022
Ends: June 30, 2022
WHAT: Pursuant to Section 36(1) of the National Parks General Regulations, of the Canada National Parks Act, the following area is closed to all traffic and travel by order of the Superintendent:
WHERE: The west slope of Tunnel Mountain south of the Tunnel Mountain Trail. All official trails in the surrounding area (Tunnel Mountain Trail, Surprise Corner and the Bow River Trail) remain open. Climbing access to the Black Band and Gonda Roof climbing is permitted as climbers can comply with the closure by using the descent outlined on the map from Gonda Roof routes. See attached map for details.
WHY: The intent of this closure is to reduce human/wildlife conflicts by providing secure habitat for female elk during calving season which typically occurs from May 15th to June 30th. Areas on the west slopes of Tunnel Mountain are important calving grounds for elk and this area is a preferred calving area due to relatively low levels of human use. Protective mothers will aggressively protect their newborns by charging and kicking at people. Serious injuries can occur.
How do I avoid an elk encounter?
· Stay 30 meters away from all elk;
· Avoid lone female elk, they separate from the herd for calving and may have a calf hidden nearby;
· Walk on open roads rather than forest trails to avoid stumbling upon female elk or calves;
· Keep children within arm’s reach and always keep dogs on a leash;
· Travel in groups and carry a walking stick, pepper spray or umbrella.
What should I do if I can’t avoid an elk encounter?
· Act dominant if an elk gets too close;
· Seek protection behind a tree or vehicle;
· Deploy bear spray if feasible;
· Raise your arms or flap a jacket to make yourself appear larger;
· Maintain eye contact and move away;
· Contact encounters are rare – if knocked down get up and move away. Do not play dead!
PENALTY: Violators may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act: maximum penalty $25 000.
Start date: 1-May-22
End date: 30-Jun-22
Kendra Van Dyk, Superintendent, Banff Field Unit
For more information call Banff Park Emergency Dispatch at 403.762.1470.