AREA CLOSURE - Tunnel Mountain

Issued: January 25, 2021

Ends: March 31, 2021

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: This closure is in effect just east of the Town of Banff, and includes the area around Tunnel Mountain and east of Tunnel Mountain to the Hoodoo Trailhead.  However, several official trails within the closure will REMAIN OPEN to public use; these include: Tunnel Mountain Summit Trail, Tunnel Mountain Road, Surprise Corner to Hoodoos and the trail parallel to Tunnel Mountain Road and are indicated in green on the attached map.  All trails not listed above are closed (e.g. Star Wars, Return of the Jedi).  See attached map for details.

WHY: The intent of this closure is to provide secure habitat for cougars hunting in the area during the winter months, in an effort to maintain the naturally wary behaviour of these secretive predators.  Tunnel Mountain and areas east are important hunting habitat for cougar.  Giving cougars the space they need to successfully hunt and consume their kills contributes to healthy cougar populations and reduces human-wildlife conflict potential.

When hiking on trails in Banff National Park be prepared to avoid an encounter with a cougar, or other wildlife by taking these steps:

· Travel in groups and keep everyone together.
· Be especially cautious when travelling during dawn and dusk, when wildlife is most active.
· Travel slowly if you are cycling or jogging, remain alert and do not wear ear buds.
· Make noise to alert a cougar or other potentially dangerous wildlife to your presence.
· Carry wildlife (bear) spray in an easily accessible location and know how to use it.
· Keep your dog on a leash at all times (it’s the law) and walk your dog during daylight hours if possible.
· Leave the area if you see or smell a dead animal.
· Never approach, entice or feed wildlife.

If You See a Cougar:

· Do not approach the animal. 
· Face the cougar, and retreat slowly – do NOT run or play dead. 
· Try to appear bigger by holding your arms or an object above your head. 
· Immediately pick up small children. 
· Be aggressive. Shout, wave a stick or throw rocks to deter an attack.
· Report any sightings immediately to Banff National Park Dispatch at 403-762-1470.

PENALTY:  Violators may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act:

maximum penalty $25 000.

Start date: 23-Jan-21                                                    End date: 31-Mar-21

IEM 2021-HWC-0000-BANFU-0044