Table of contents


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Note to readers

The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians are of the utmost importance. Parks Canada is following the advice and guidance of public health experts to limit the spread of COVID-19 while allowing Canadians to experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

Parks Canada acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic may have unforeseeable impacts on Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks of Canada and Rogers Pass National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan. Parks Canada will inform Indigenous partners, stakeholders and the public of any such impacts through its annual implementation update on the implementation of this plan.

For more information about the management plan or about Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks of Canada and Rogers Pass National Historic Site:

Mailing address:
   Location: Parks Canada
     PO Box 350
     Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0




1.0 Introduction

Parks Canada administers one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and historic places in the world. The Agency’s mandate is to protect and present these places for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Future-oriented, strategic management of each national park, national marine conservation area, heritage canal and those national historic sites administered by Parks Canada supports the Agency’s vision:

Canada’s treasured natural and historic places will be a living legacy, connecting hearts and minds to a stronger, deeper understanding of the very essence of Canada.

The Canada National Parks Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act require Parks Canada to prepare a management plan for each national park. The Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks of Canada, and Rogers Pass National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan, once approved by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and tabled in Parliament, ensures Parks Canada’s accountability to Canadians, outlining how park management will achieve measurable results in support of the Agency’s mandate.

Indigenous peoples, stakeholders, partners and the Canadian public were involved in the preparation of the management plan, helping to shape the future direction of the national park. The plan sets clear, strategic direction for the management and operation of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site by articulating a vision, key strategies and objectives. Parks Canada will report annually on progress toward achieving the plan objectives and will review the plan every ten years or sooner if required.

This plan is not an end in and of itself. Parks Canada will maintain an open dialogue on the implementation of the management plan, to ensure that it remains relevant and meaningful. The plan will serve as the focus for ongoing engagement, and where appropriate consultation, on the management of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site in years to come.


2.0 Three significant heritage places – One management plan

Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site lie at the heart of an ecological and cultural landscape that brings together wildlife, people and trade through the Columbia Mountains. Characterised by rugged wilderness, dense vegetation, steep mountains and extreme climatic conditions, the area has challenged and inspired generations. Indigenous peoples including the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Sinixt and syilx/Okanagan have lived in this area for millennia.

Glacier National Park and Mount Revelstoke National Park represent the Columbia Mountains Natural Region, distinguishing them from the other mountain national parks, all found in the Rocky Mountains. Located between the younger Rocky Mountains to the east and the Interior Dry Plateau to the west, the 180 million year-old Columbia Mountains extend from central British Columbia into Idaho and Washington states. Narrow v-shaped valleys support lush interior cedar-hemlock rainforests that transition up the steep slopes to spruce, fir and endangered whitebark pine forests, before giving way to subalpine meadows, rock and tundra. Between the two parks, visitors can experience each of these unique landscapes in their own way, from extreme mountaineering to a short walk from their car.

Climate is a defining factor in the natural character of this area, with warmer temperatures than the neighbouring Rockies and significantly more precipitation. Snowfall amounts averaging over 10 metres at treeline combined with the steep mountain slopes, leave the landscape carved by countless avalanche paths. While rain, snow, steep terrain and avalanches have long challenged travellers, the area supports a wide variety of native plants – tree species alone outnumber those of any other region in British Columbia. An integral part of the Columbia Basin Watershed, spring run-off, rain and glacial melt in the parks combine to feed the countless creeks and rivers that eventually flow into the mighty Columbia River.


Mount Revelstoke National Park

In 1908, locals blazed a trail to the summit of Mount Revelstoke. The community valued the area for its “glaciers, mountain peaks and waterfalls... and potential as a scenic park” and petitioned Members of Parliament for the creation of a national park. In 1914, the 260 square kilometre Mount Revelstoke National Park was established. The Meadows in the Sky Parkway was completed in 1927 and attracts visitors from around the world to see the short but vibrant annual displays of subalpine wildflowers. At the base of the mountain, a ski jump attracted local and international athletes, and world records were once set on this slope. Ski-jumping on Mount Revelstoke is now recognized as an event of National Historic Significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.


Glacier National Park

Spanning 1350 square kilometres, Glacier National Park was established in 1886 to include the “best scenery in the neighbourhood” (Order in Council, October 10, 1886). The abundant glaciers, deep snow and challenging avalanche terrain have fueled stories of ingenuity, achievement, and tragedy. The birthplace of both mountaineering and glacier research in North America, the park still attracts extreme adventurers and researchers in both winter and summer. Keeping the national transportation corridor open and safe has been an ongoing battle. In 1910, 58 railway workers were killed in what is still one of North America’s worst avalanche disasters. Shortly after this, a feat of engineering saw the railway move underground through much of Rogers Pass.

For the Trans-Canada Highway, Parks Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces operate the world’s largest mobile avalanche control program, using live ammunition. This operation is also the longest running Canadian Armed Forces operation, both domestic and expeditionary. Parks Canada’s avalanche forecasting and control program continues to lead the way with innovative technology and techniques, improving the safety and reliability of the national transportation corridor. With glacial monitoring data dating back to the late 1800s, and comprehensive weather and snowpack data, Glacier National Park plays a significant role in understanding regional climate change.


Rogers Pass National Historic Site

Significant for its role in completing a national transportation route, Rogers Pass was the last link connecting Canada from coast to coast as a nation - twice. First, in 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway was forged through the high mountain pass, and then 77 years later, in 1962, the Trans-Canada Highway was completed through Rogers Pass. The pass which is located in the heart of Glacier National Park, was designated a national historic site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1971.


3.0 Planning context

This plan sets out the vision and management direction for three significant and interconnected places, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. It fulfils obligations under the Canada National Parks Act, and replaces the 2010 Management Plan. Management direction has been integrated and advanced through newly developed objectives and targets, and builds on previous achievements and ongoing considerations.

The lands where Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site are located have traditionally been used by the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, Sinixt, and syilx/Okanagan, peoples. This plan was drafted with input from the Ktunaxa Nation Council, the syilx/Okanagan Nation, and five Secwépemc bands: Adams Lake, Little Shuswap Lake, Neskonlith, Shuswap, and Splatsin. It aims to continue to build relationships based on respect, cooperation and partnership, and to work with Indigenous peoples to advance priorities of common interest. Once established, agreements will provide a means to improve communication, understanding and the depth of working relationships. With the closest Indigenous communities 100 to 200 kilometres away, geographic distance presents challenges for broad community awareness of the national parks, reconciliation, capacity-building initiatives and participation in day to day operations of the parks.

Managed together, these iconic places offer visitors a chance to connect with the natural and cultural environments of the Columbia Mountains. Currently, over 780,000 visitors enjoy the two national parks and the national historic site each year, whether driving through or venturing into the backcountry. Visitation has grown 24% over the last five years, and Rogers Pass is one of Canada’s most visited national historic sites with more than 420,000 visitors a year. Demand management and trip planning tools are working well to address visitation increases. Currently, park facilities are full at a small number of locations at predictable times of day during summer and winter peak seasons.

Mount Revelstoke National Park borders the City of Revelstoke, and Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass National Historic Site lie between Revelstoke and the Town of Golden (Map 1). Maintaining good working relationships with these local communities, as well as with other local and regional stakeholders, will support successful implementation of this plan. Expanding our reach into urban areas such as Kamloops and Kelowna, building on initiatives like Learn-to-Camp and urban outreach, will help increase awareness, encourage visitation and foster support for the national parks and national historic site.

Working with partners and stakeholders is also essential to advance common goals. Since 2013, partnering agreements have doubled, including initiatives to support conservation, raise awareness and advance key priorities for Parks Canada such as youth engagement and species at risk recovery. Strong partnerships with local destination marketing organisations in Revelstoke and Golden, as well as provincially, have aligned and strengthened regional tourism promotions, and support the delivery of key safety messages to park visitors prior to their arrival.

Collaboration with partners and neighbouring land managers will contribute to maintaining ecological integrity within Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks. The parks alone do not contain enough continuous unaltered habitat to sustain wide-ranging species such as mountain caribou and grizzly bears over the long-term. Habitat fragmentation, natural or human-caused disturbance, and invasive species within the parks and in the surrounding area result in cumulative landscape changes that can impact wildlife populations. Climate change is expected to play a role in driving environmental changes in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks over the next ten years. Altered temperature and precipitation patterns impacting regional snow cover and rates of glacier melt, with impacts on downstream hydrology, vegetation community composition, and wildlife species distribution are anticipated to be visible in the national parks over the course of this planning period. Warmer temperatures are also anticipated to result in increased frequency and severity of forest fires and an increased susceptibility to insect outbreaks.

Since the 2010 management plan, Parks Canada’s Federal Infrastructure Initiative has invested 115 million dollars in improvements to highways, roads, day use areas, facilities and trails in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. Looking forward, this plan will focus on improving visitor and operational infrastructure for safety, accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability and to reduce environmental impacts.


4.0 Development of the management plan

To facilitate meaningful opportunities for local, regional and national participation in the management plan review, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks partnered with the other mountain parks (Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper and Waterton Lakes) to host the Let’s Talk Mountain Parks webpages. This online platform provided background information on the 2018 State of the Park Assessment, the proposed vision elements and the issues and opportunities identified for the management plan review.

Map 1: Local and regional setting

Map 1: Local and regional setting
Map 1: Local and regional setting — Text version

A map encompassing Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site which shows their location in relation to surrounding communities and the provincial boundaries of British Columbia and Alberta. The Trans-Canada Highway, Meadows in the Sky Parkway, and Canadian Pacific Railway are identified on the map.

 

Additional engagement activities specific to Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site included discussions with Indigenous groups, an open house and a stakeholder workshop in Revelstoke, and outreach at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the Revelstoke Secondary School. In collaboration with Yoho and Kootenay national parks, a stakeholder workshop was held in Golden, British Columbia. Other outreach activities included attendance at regional farmers’ markets, the Kelowna Mountain Equipment Coop as well as a webinar with Campus Club members at Vancouver Island University. In total, Parks Canada team members spoke directly with more than 520 people.

During the three-month engagement period, Let’s Talk Mountain Parks received over 4,000 visits with more than 400 people registering on the site, and a total of 226 online submissions were received. Both in person and online, Canadians shared a wide variety of ideas, issues and opportunities, ranging from broad landscape-level conservation to specific operational input. All feedback was considered in the development of the draft management plan.


5.0 Vision

The vision provides a picture of the desired future state of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site looking ahead 15 to 20 years.

The untamed wilderness and soaring peaks of the Columbia Mountains have long challenged and inspired travellers. In Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site, the protected landscapes continue to fuel adventure, creativity and innovation. Indigenous communities, who are intimately connected to these lands, actively support and contribute to decision-making and park operations.

The parks sustain a thriving natural environment, protect cultural resources, feature exceptional visitor facilities and services, and exemplify environmental stewardship in the management of these special places. In the parks, across Canada, and around the world, the rich stories and local cultures, human perseverance and ingenuity, and the natural wonders of the Columbia Mountains, are accessible to all and inspire enduring support.

The birthplace of glaciology in North America, Glacier National Park is a hub for climate, avalanche, and natural science research, attracting academia, youth and others to explore and learn about issues of local and global significance.

The commemoration of travel and transportation in Rogers Pass National Historic Site, merges past, present and future to showcase the evolution and diversity of human connections to these mountains.

True to its roots, Mount Revelstoke National Park is closely connected to the community of Revelstoke. Using innovative technology, sustainable travel options and environmental design, visitors experience the park in ways that respect the wildlife and ecosystems.

Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks work together with partners and stakeholders across the region, to protect and restore the diverse Columbia Mountain ecosystems, guided by evidence-based decision making. The distinctive valley bottom wetlands, inland temperate rainforest and vibrant subalpine meadows support natural biodiversity. Our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to know wilderness and become stewards.


6.0 Key strategies

Key strategies focus on achieving the vision with detailed objectives and targets to guide park and site management and decision-making over the next ten years. Targets have been prioritized with specific dates where feasible. Where no dates have been referenced, the target will be achievable over the period of the plan based on opportunities, agency priorities and capacity of the national parks. Annual management plan updates will engage Indigenous partners, partners, local communities, stakeholders and the general public in discussion on the status and implementation of the plan.

Four key strategies frame the management direction for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site with specific focus on management priorities. The four key strategies include elements of landscape-scale conservation and climate change, both important factors influencing the future of the mountain parks.

The mountain national parks will strive to contribute to landscape-scale conservation in Canada by being ecologically and socially connected across boundaries. Many aspects of park management such as ecological restoration, emergency preparedness, climate change adaptation, wildlife corridors, and tourism function over a broad region within and beyond park borders. Parks Canada will aim to maintain and expand regional collaboration to better monitor, understand and address these and other landscape-level issues.

The mountain national parks were established to protect and represent specific features of Canada’s natural heritage. They include some of Canada’s most significant landscapes and natural and cultural resources, which are being and will continue to be affected by climate change. As such, these parks offer excellent opportunities to contribute to an understanding of climate change and its impacts over time. Parks Canada is committed to protecting park ecosystems for future generations by demonstrating leadership in sustainable operations and adaptive management in response to climate change impacts. The mountain national parks will continue to collaborate with others on climate change research, monitoring and education.

The next ten years will see Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site continue a proactive approach towards strengthening Indigenous relations, improving the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, maintaining high visitor satisfaction and enjoyment, and focusing on sustainable infrastructure investments. The national historic site will be positioned as a hub for visitor experiences, learning and scientific research on natural science, climate change, and the protection of species at risk, centred on the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre where the area’s history of innovation in transportation and snow science are celebrated.


Key strategy 1: Conserving natural and cultural heritage for future generations

The protection of natural and cultural resources and park landscapes are core to the reason for the park’s existence, and maintaining and restoring ecological integrity1 is the first priority in park management. Parks Canada’s approach to conserving these important aspects will be guided by an understanding of and respect for significance of place and natural and cultural values. Knowing that uncertainties exist, Parks Canada’s ecosystem management, conservation and restoration initiatives will be built on the best available science and Indigenous knowledge, in support of a precautionary, adaptive approach that provides for evolution of management policies and practices based on the monitoring of outcomes.

In Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site, natural and cultural heritage features are influenced greatly by the impacts associated with the Trans-Canada Highway and rail corridor that transect the parks and site. Projected increases in highway traffic and park visitation will compound these impacts over the period of this management plan. The intent of this key strategy is to identify the management direction that will best maintain and improve the ecological and cultural integrity of the parks and site. Priorities are to reduce wildlife mortality, focus on species at risk recovery, improve habitat quality and connectivity through collaborative initiatives, active management and focused attention on improved ecological monitoring and research; and to ensure that the resources and landscapes that tell the story of this special place, and its role in Canada’s history, are preserved and shared.

Objective 1.1

An improved Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program developed in collaboration with Indigenous partners, is actively guiding management and decision-making based on science and Indigenous knowledge.

Targets

  • Proposed ecological integrity measures (i.e., invasive species, sensitive high elevation species, multi-species mammal occupancy, and stream thermal regime) are developed with baseline data being collected by 2023.
  • The ecological integrity monitoring program is evaluated by 2025 to determine if adjustments or targeted research are required to understand effects of climate change on park ecosystems.
  • All ecological integrity measures have condition ratings by 2028.

Objective 1.2

The condition of cultural resources including archaeological sites, landscapes and landscape features is improved based on science and Indigenous knowledge.

Targets

  • A cultural resource inventory of the Trans-Canada Highway corridor is complete by 2025.
  • Risk assessments are completed for cultural resources that may be vulnerable to climate change impacts by 2025.
  • Culturally significant cabins are restored and maintained in accordance with approved maintenance plans by 2030.

Objective 1.3

Impacts of increasing highway traffic on wildlife and habitat are reduced through active management and mitigations.

Targets

  • Habitat connectivity increases from 2020 levels.
  • Wildlife mortality is reduced by 2030 so that mortalities from all sources include no grizzly bear or wolverine, and less than 4% and 5% of the population over five years for mountain goat and black bear respectively.
  • Invasive species, aquatic and terrestrial connectivity improvements are incorporated into all highway construction or maintenance projects.
  • Structural connectivity along transportation corridors improves from 2020 levels, through collaboration with Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure British Columbia and Canadian Pacific Railway.

Objective 1.4

Research needs and priorities for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site are identified and communicated to the public in collaboration with partners, stakeholders and Indigenous partners whose traditional territories include the parks and site.

Targets

  • High priority research is initiated through partnerships with academic institutions and Indigenous partners by 2022.
  • A volunteer based citizen science program, established by 2025, contributes to research initiatives.

Objective 1.5

Regional connectivity initiatives are influenced by species at risk recovery and landscape-level conservation initiatives between neighbouring land managers, stakeholders, Indigenous partners and Parks Canada.

Targets

  • Parks Canada collaborates with the Province of British Columbia towards a 2023 completion date for herd recovery planning for the Columbia South population of mountain caribou.
  • The multi-species action plan for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks is updated by 2025, considering interconnectivity, regional stressors, climate change and landscape-level priorities.
  • A minimum 20% of the historical fire regime is maintained through the use of prescribed fire, and trends toward the natural fire regimes by actively managing natural ignitions to improving the ecological integrity of the forest ecosystem.
  • Priority areas for the preservation of habitat security and functional connectivity on the landscape are identified by 2025, and managed with regional partners.

Objective 1.6

Public safety and resource management are strengthened through collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, local and regional governments and non-profit organizations.

Targets

  • Parks Canada’s in-park wildfire risk reduction and response contributes to local and regional wildfire risk reduction and emergency preparedness plans and programs.
  • The protection of ecological and cultural integrity, critical infrastructure and neighbouring lands improves in coordination with local and regional stakeholders and partners.
  • Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are woven into fire management planning, species at risk action plans, and impact assessments.

Key strategy 2: True to place experiences

National Parks and national historic sites provide exceptional opportunities for Canadians to develop a sense of connection to natural and cultural heritage. The opportunity to be immersed in nature, history and diverse cultures while surrounded by wilderness and mountain landscapes is truly distinctive. Maintaining the authenticity and quality of this experience while ensuring that visitors understand its uniqueness is central to Parks Canada’s mandate. Visitor opportunities will be characterized by sustainability and responsiveness to diverse visitor needs and expectations. Activities and communications will be designed to advance understanding and stewardship of natural and cultural resources, encouraging all to share the responsibility of conserving these special places.

Maintaining and improving ecological integrity is the first priority for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks. Managing expectations and defining appropriate activities, facilities and services will continue to be key considerations to manage visitor use and offer quality visitor experiences. The stories and diverse cultures that shaped the area, and their connection to Canada’s history, will be celebrated and shared, inspiring national and international audiences.

With visitation trending upwards, the intent of this key strategy is to maintain high levels of visitor satisfaction while minimizing, mitigating and/or reducing negative environmental impacts. Backcountry skiing is an activity which presents visitor pressure points during winter and spring with parking capacity not meeting demand at most trailheads which can impact the quality of the experience. Opportunities to enhance the shoulder season and winter offers will be a focus along with careful planning for sustainable visitation.

Objective 2.1

A welcoming sense of place provides opportunities for visitors of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to experience the natural and cultural heritage of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site.

Targets

  • An accessibility and inclusivity audit is completed by 2022 with a focus on road-accessible areas, with implementation of recommendations starting in 2023.
  • Accessible and inclusive options for visitors to experience the parks improves from 2020 levels at the majority of day use areas.
  • Planning for new visitor facilities or upgrades to existing facilities considers safety, accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Visitor satisfaction improves with online trip planning tools and on-site signage that includes descriptive language and graphics that enable visitors to choose experiences that meet their needs, interests and abilities.

Objective 2.2

The stories of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site are shared with Canadian and international audiences, inspiring them to visit.

Targets

  • Quality outreach programs supported by online platforms, strategic venues and key partnerships reach traditional and new target audiences in urban centres like Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver.
  • In-park programs (e.g., Learn to Camp), products and collaborations achieve high levels of visitor satisfaction.
  • Strategic marketing and outreach initiatives result in increased visitation by families, children and youth from 2020 levels.
  • New or revised interpretive programs and products are developed using an audience-centred approach to offer diverse and inclusive opportunities for all visitors.
  • Website visits and social media engagement increase from 2020 levels, through innovative digital media that brings the parks to virtual travellers.

Objective 2.3

Visitor use and the protection of natural and cultural resources are integrated to reduce impacts, manage expectations and maintain quality experiences.

Targets

  • Patterns of visitor use in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site, and best practices from other national parks for visitor use management, are evaluated to identify appropriate implementation measures by 2022.
  • New trip planning tools and initiatives help match visitor expectations with parks capacity, and are used by an increasing number of people annually.
  • New in-park and online awareness initiatives help reduce visitor impacts on sensitive ecosystem components and contribute to a declining annual trend of incidents of human-wildlife conflict from 2020 levels.

Objective 2.4

Visitors to Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site experience high levels of enjoyment, learning and satisfaction.

Targets

  • An increased number of visitors participate in in-park learning opportunities like interpretive programs, school programs and citizen science from 2020 levels.
  • 85% of visitors report that Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site are meaningful to them by 2026.
  • Services and programs are in place by 2025 for group and bus tours, to facilitate opportunities to explore the parks, learn something, and actively share their experiences through social media.

Objective 2.5

Canadians have an increasing sense of connection with Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site.

Targets

  • Online story-telling, photo and video sharing, and audience interaction fosters connections to Canadians where they live, and result in an increasing annual trend of website and social media visitation and engagement.
  • Strategic outreach events and initiatives lead to an increased number of interaction, immersion and ambassadorship-level connections with target audiences including youth, young adults and urban Canadians, from 2020 levels.
  • Through collaboration with regional museums, tourism partners and cultural organizations, new in-park and virtual story-telling is enhanced by weaving in the diverse cultural contributions and events that have, and continue to, shape regional and national history. (e.g., Japanese railway workers, Scandinavian ski-jumpers)

Objective 2.6

Visitor experiences and opportunities in the fall, winter and spring are enhanced to address peak season visitor pressures and capitalize on emerging seasonal travel markets.

Targets

  • Seasonal regional tourism trends are evaluated and strategies developed to improve trip planning, promote seasonal visitation, visitor experience and safety, and address potential impacts on wildlife in extended visitor seasons.
  • New opportunities are explored by 2025 to improve sustainability, ecological integrity and visitor experiences at existing backcountry cabins and facilities. Where appropriate, this will be accomplished in collaboration with partners.
  • Spring and fall visitation targets are established for Mount Revelstoke National Park by 2025.
  • New and repeat visitation from the region shows an increasing trend over the next five years.
  • 100% compliance is achieved for the Winter Permit System; users are aware of the challenges of winter backcountry use before arriving in Glacier National Park, understand the requirements of the system; and support the implementation of a cost recovery model for its implementation.

Objective 2.7

The environmental impacts of increasing visitation are reduced for front and backcountry sites through sustainable and diversified management options.

Targets

  • A year-round visitor use monitoring program is implemented by 2022 to establish baseline data, identify trends, and consider cumulative impacts to inform decisions on front and backcountry offers.
  • Infrastructure upgrades at designated backcountry campgrounds improves waste management, and reduces footprint and human-wildlife interactions from 2020 levels by 2030.
  • Environmental impacts of visitation like waste management, habitat security and connectivity, human-wildlife conflict and impacts on sensitive subalpine environment are addressed through the implementation of a backcountry use strategy developed by 2025.
  • Green transportation options and enhancement of available public transit are explored and implemented by 2030.

Key strategy 3: Strengthening Indigenous relations

The Government of Canada has committed to deepen and strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples. Accordingly, many places administered by Parks Canada are managed through cooperative management bodies or advisory relationships with local Indigenous communities. These structures recognize the important and ongoing roles and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples as stewards of heritage places. With approaches founded on renewed relationships, respect and cooperation, the mountain national parks will continue to recognize Indigenous connections and work with Indigenous partners to advance priorities of mutual interest.

Objective 3.1

Indigenous partners whose traditional territories include Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site, including the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, and syilx/Okanagan, are engaged in park management through strong collaborative relationships with Parks Canada.

Targets

  • Agreements to work together are established with Indigenous peoples with traditional connections to these lands.
  • Landscape level connectivity goals, including the future possibility of adjacent Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, are identified in the next five years.
  • Indigenous communities with traditional connections to these lands are increasingly present in the national parks and national historic site, have easy access, use the lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices, and feel welcome and supported.

Objective 3.2

Indigenous knowledge and perspectives of Indigenous partners whose traditional territories include Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site, including the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, and syilx/Okanagan peoples, are key components of park management functions.

Targets

  • Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are part of ecological and cultural resource management.
  • Indigenous partners are involved in the presentation of history and Canada’s stories, and collaborate on the development and delivery of Indigenous content and stories in park programming through the planning period.
  • Visitors learn about Indigenous perspectives and knowledge through experiences in the parks.
  • The baseline percentage of visitors who engage in Indigenous-related learning experiences is established by 2026.
  • Cultural awareness training is available every year for Parks Canada staff and businesses operating in the park.

Objective 3.3

Opportunities for Indigenous peoples whose traditional territories include Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site, including the Ktunaxa, Secwépemc, and syilx/Okanagan peoples, to benefit from economic and other opportunities associated with the parks are considered and pursued.

Targets

  • Indigenous recruitment tools are developed and implemented with the goal of attracting and retaining Indigenous peoples to the national park work force.
  • Contracting, procurement and other business opportunities for Indigenous communities are available.
  • Indigenous Guardian programs play a role in park monitoring and visitor learning opportunities.

Key strategy 4: Crossing the Columbias: Transportation, assets and infrastructure

Travel and transportation are integral themes woven throughout the history of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. Crossing the Columbia Mountains has always been a challenge due to the mountainous terrain, significant annual precipitation, and notable avalanche hazards. The goal of this key strategy is to continue to ask the question: how can we travel better, safer, and with less impact through this rugged mountain terrain? Visitor services and experiences, wildlife and aquatic connectivity, park operations, impacts of climate change, and the movement of people and goods through the mountains, along the national road and rail corridor, are all intricately connected in managing these special places. Weather conditions are an ever-present challenge for park operations and preparing for long term climate change impacts on visitor infrastructure is a priority.

Federal and provincial investments continue to advance Trans-Canada Highway twinning between the Alberta Border and Kamloops with a detailed impact assessment nearing conclusion for future twinning within Yoho National Park. While there are no fixed capital expansion plans set for the portions of the Trans-Canada Highway within Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks, this key strategy identifies appropriate targets to prepare for environmental, safety and visitor experience considerations over the course of plan implementation.

Objective 4.1

The sustainability of park operations is improved by reducing environmental impacts, and continuing to upgrade the condition of assets and infrastructure.

Targets

  • According to the Asset Condition Report, improve the ratio of good vs. fair or poor by 2025.
  • Contribute to Parks Canada’s goal of “greening” operations and decarbonizing energy use by exploring options for increased public transportation in park operations.
  • Built assets at high risk of climate change impacts are prioritized and a conceptual scope of work developed for each by 2025.
  • Climate change trends and projections, and their impacts are identified and measures to address them are incorporated into operational plans (e.g., asset investments, area management plans, fire management, species at risk, etc.) and impact assessments by 2025.
  • Aggregate extraction for roadway improvements and maintenance will be guided by the Mountain Parks Aggregate Management Strategy (2019) and the Parks Canada Management Directive 2.4.7 – Sand, Gravel and other Earth Material: Excavation and Site Rehabilitation.2

Objective 4.2

Safety, access and capacity are improved along the Trans-Canada Highway and at visitor use areas through environmental design and innovative visitor management tools.

Targets

  • Visitor activity risk assessments are conducted at minimum, on an annual basis, and appropriate visitor safety mitigations implemented.
  • Visitor satisfaction with parking availability at visitor use areas shows an improving trend from 2020 levels.
  • Transportation corridor safety measures (i.e., chain-up, speed, emergency response, spills, and driver training) improve through collaboration with provincial stakeholders.

Objective 4.3

Cultural landscapes and visitor experience opportunities are integrated into highway management.

Targets

  • A pilot project for innovative new visitor offers is established by 2025 for vehicle holding areas for use during avalanche control or emergency road closures.
  • Front-country visitor services and facilities are reviewed and opportunities identified to integrate new or improved visitor experiences, cultural landscapes and viewscapes into future Trans-Canada Highway twinning designs by 2030.

Objective 4.4

Operational efficiency, safety and environmental protection are improved during the management plan period.

Targets

  • Planning, data collection, Indigenous knowledge data inventory, and investigation to support a Detailed Impact Assessment for twinning the Trans-Canada Highway is complete by 2030.
  • Former operational areas that are no longer in use are decommissioned and restored.
  • Risks to groundwater and streams is minimized through improvements in salt and abrasive storage in the Glacier National Park operations compound by 2030.
  • All new operational assets and buildings meet or exceed efficiency targets outlined in the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.

7.0 Management areas

Area management focuses on specific areas of the national parks that have complex management challenges including important natural and/or cultural values, high visitation, public interest, significant infrastructure and multiple visitor experience opportunities. These areas often require careful consideration for maintenance of ecological integrity and to ensure high quality visitor experiences. Three areas have been identified that require specific management objectives and targets in this management plan: Meadows in the Sky: From Columbia River Valley to Alpine Headwaters, Rogers Pass National Historic Site, and Beaver Valley.

Objectives and targets proposed for each of the three areas focus on visitor use management and minimizing/mitigating impacts to ecological and cultural integrity. Uncertainty of potential impacts on fragile alpine environments, habitat security and connectivity and new activities will be addressed through impact assessments to evaluate potential cumulative impacts on valued components prior to implementation of new visitor offers.


Meadows in the Sky area – From Columbia River Valley to Alpine Headwaters

The summit of Mount Revelstoke attracts visitors from around the world to see the stunning subalpine wildflower displays and mountain vistas, easily accessible from the 26-km long Meadows in the Sky Parkway. New visitor experiences implemented as a result of the 2010 park management plan and subsequent Meadows in the Sky Area Plan, engage visitors on a natural and cultural journey from the City of Revelstoke all the way to the summit. New interpretive offers and renewed trails immerse visitors in the evolving forest from top to bottom, guide them through the ski jumping history of Revelstoke, now an event of national historic significance, and help disperse visitors along the parkway. The new Snowforest Campground on the lower mountain will encourage a shift from day use visitation to multi-day visits. For a more immersive experience, alpine hiking trails and backcountry camping are offered at Eva Lake and Jade lakes.

As visitation continues to increase, a proactive approach is required to manage capacity limits and provide visitor trip planning tools that help minimize human-wildlife conflict concerns, congestion at the summit parking area, issues with dogs off leash, and protection of the sensitive subalpine meadow habitat.

The area plan for Meadows in the Sky builds on the previous decade of investments. With active involvement of Indigenous partners, the focus is on meeting the ecological integrity and operational needs for today and the coming years, while maintaining and improving visitor experiences and services. Creativity and innovation will continue to be at the forefront of sustainable visitation and park operations, and will inspire stewardship in and beyond park boundaries.

Objective 1

Visitor use is managed to protect the natural and cultural resources and facilitate quality experiences.

Targets

  • Patterns of visitor use are monitored and strategies developed by 2025, for reducing visitor impacts based on a detailed traffic capacity study and options analysis for the summit of Mount Revelstoke.
  • Baseline data on sensitive wildlife and vegetation communities is recorded annually to inform visitor use management.
  • Human-wildlife conflict incidents show a declining trend on an annual basis.
  • Through awareness and prevention measures, compliance with dog restrictions and dogs on leash regulations improves by 2025.

Map 2: Area management

Map 2: Area management
Map 2: Area management — Text version

A map encompassing Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. Regions on the map are colour-coded to indicate the development of an area-specific plan. Areas with specific plans are the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, Rogers Pass, and the Beaver Valley.

 

Objective 2

Indigenous partners and local communities have a close connection with Mount Revelstoke National Park

Targets

  • The lower slopes of Mount Revelstoke are an increasingly popular gathering area for Indigenous peoples, and families, groups or individuals from local and regional communities, to experience the national park.
  • Indigenous partners and local communities are actively engaged in developing shared objectives for the future of the Meadows in the Sky management area.
  • Events held in Mount Revelstoke National Park have an increasing trend in regional attendance and local collaboration (e.g., Learn to Camp programs) from 2020 levels.

Rogers Pass National Historic Site

In the heart of Glacier National Park, a narrow gap through the towering peaks of the Columbia Mountains is the setting for stories of travel and transportation, human perseverance, ingenuity and tragedy, and the ever present power of nature. Rogers Pass National Historic site was designated in 1971 for its pivotal role in the development of Canada as a nation. Commemorated for early route-finding, the building of the railway, and the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway, the stories continue to unfold today. As yet untold is history of the Indigenous peoples who travelled this corridor long before the European explorers, and their connections to this place today.

Rogers Pass inspires adventure, creativity and innovation. It was the birthplace of mountaineering and glacier studies in North America, as well as being the home of Canada’s first major railway hotel and first mountain guides. Welcoming mountain tourists since the 1880’s, it continues to be a destination for sightseeing, camping, hiking and mountaineering. In winter, snowfall amounts averaging around 10 metres at treeline make it a world-renowned back-country ski touring destination that continues to grow in popularity.

With more than 140 avalanche paths that can affect the transportation corridor through Glacier National Park, keeping this stretch open and safe has been an ongoing battle since the railway was completed in 1886. The avalanche control program in Rogers Pass is a wonder in itself with comprehensive climate and snow science data, innovative technology, and the world’s largest and longest running mobile avalanche control operation in partnership with Canadian Forces.

The stories of Rogers Pass continue to evolve and a vision for the area at its future best seamlessly weaves together the unique natural and cultural values, the front and backcountry opportunities and the transportation corridor. Visitors and through-travellers will experience the pass in ways that showcase its natural wonders and rich cultural history, and it will continue to inspire adventure, creativity and innovation into the future.

During the implementation of this management plan, opportunities for Rogers Pass redevelopment will be explored and advanced to create a destination with services and facilities for Indigenous peoples, visitors, partners and stakeholders and to serve as a hub for science and innovation. Building on the feedback from consultations, Rogers Pass will showcase the natural wonders and rich cultural history of the area, providing a range of services for through-travellers, cultural explorers and adventurers alike. Project proposals will be assessed through the planning permit process with opportunities for further public engagement before final approvals are granted. Opportunities for potential commercial facility development in the parks and historic site are limited to the former leasehold area in Rogers Pass.

Objective 1

Cultural resources and stories of the Columbia Mountains and Rogers Pass National Historic Site are celebrated and shared.

Targets

  • Indigenous partners are actively involved in presenting history of the area, from pre-contact to today.
  • The cultural resource inventory for the Rogers Pass National Historic Site including the proposed footprint for twinning the Trans-Canada Highway is complete by 2025.
  • Mitigations for cultural sites and landscapes in the proposed impact zone for Trans-Canada Highway twinning are identified by 2028.

Objective 2

A visit to Rogers Pass National Historic Site inspires adventure, discovery, creativity and innovation.

Targets

  • Interpretation, and engagement programs, informed by social, cultural and natural science and Indigenous knowledge, are developed for delivery in Rogers Pass National Historic Site by 2025.
  • Rogers Pass is a hub for scientific collaboration and innovation in natural science, climate change, and the protection of species at risk, leading to increased research permits/agreements by 2025.
  • New or improved services and overnight options result in an increased number of visitors staying longer in the area including through-travellers, cultural explorers and adventurers alike.

Objective 3

Innovative environmental design and sustainable development practices are integrated in infrastructure improvements in Rogers Pass.

Targets

  • New infrastructure at Rogers Pass meets or exceeds efficiency standards in line with the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.
  • Upgrades to Rogers Pass operational facilities meet or exceed efficiency and safety standards.

Beaver Valley area

The Beaver River flows through the remote south-eastern corner of Glacier National Park, dividing two of the Columbia Mountain ranges, the Purcells to the east and the Selkirks to the west. From the Trans-Canada Highway, the Beaver Valley Trail winds along the river through some of the oldest stands of western cedar and hemlock forest in the park. To the east, the park boundary follows the height of land, along ridgelines and subalpine meadows with unparalleled views of the glaciers and mountains beyond.

This area historically featured maintained trails, used by hikers and horseback riders, connecting a series of backcountry campsites and cabins. In 2011, Parks Canada discontinued backcountry trail and campsite maintenance in this area. The Copperstain Pass Trail and campsite were decommissioned, and the Copperstain Bridge over upper Grizzly Creek was removed, but improvements were made recently to the Beaver River Trail for multi-use as far as the lower Grizzly Creek Bridge.

There continues to be visitor interest in multi-day backcountry options for Glacier National Park, and an opportunity exists for the Beaver Valley-Copperstain - Bald Hills route to be renewed. Increasing pressures along the park boundary are also of concern including timber harvesting, snowmobiling in winter, mountain biking, heli-hiking and heli-skiing operations, as well as increasingly easy access into the park from the nearby provincial forestry roads.

A multi-day offer through inland temperate rainforest and seemingly endless subalpine meadows along the Beaver Valley-Copperstain-Bald Hills route would be a worthy addition to the list of iconic mountain park backcountry experiences. Working with partners and neighbouring land managers, the area would maintain its wild and remote characteristics while welcoming the bold and adventurous for generations to come.

Objective 1

Visitor use management in the Beaver Valley-Bald Hills area ensures that visitation levels, services and assets are sustainable, and natural resources are protected.

Targets

  • Indigenous partners, local tourism stakeholders and neighbouring land managers are engaged in planning for the Beaver Valley and, where possible, are actively involved in implementation.
  • A comprehensive needs and feasibility assessment to develop visitor use management strategies is completed by 2025 that includes a review of visitation trends, desired conditions for resources and visitor experiences, investment needs for trails and assets, and an impact assessment to guide visitor offers in the Beaver Valley.

Objective 2

Visitors experience the remote wilderness of the Beaver Valley, connecting to the natural and cultural wonders.

Targets

  • The Beaver Valley ecosystems show an improving trend in condition with intact biodiversity and natural processes, and connectivity of the larger landscape and corridor maintained.
  • Trails and visitor facilities, as identified in the needs and feasibility assessment are improved and maintained in good condition.
  • Active restoration of Upper and lower Beaver Pits, gravel pits associated with construction and operation of the Trans-Canada Highway from the 1960s to the 1990s, improves ecosystem function by 2028.

8.0 Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks zoning

Parks Canada’s national park zoning system is an integrated approach to the classification of land and water areas in a national park and designates where particular activities can occur on land or water based on the ability to support those uses. The zoning system has five categories:

  • Zone I - Special Preservation;
  • Zone II - Wilderness;
  • Zone III – Natural Environment;
  • Zone IV - Outdoor Recreation; and
  • Zone V - Park Services.

The zoning maps (Maps 3, 4 and 5) following this section illustrate the zone designations for both Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks.

Proposed amendments from the 2010 management plan are further described below. They include:

  • New Zone I areas include Raspberry Rising Cave system, the Shaughnessy Fen and Marsh complex and Giant Cedars inland temperate rainforest;
  • Backcountry campsites and associated trails have been rezoned from zone III to zone II;
  • The Snowforest Campground in Mount Revelstoke National Park has been included in Zone IV;
  • The Zone IV boundary along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor has been reduced in width to a 100m buffer from either side of the centre line and also to include day use areas and infrastructure adjacent to the highway;
  • Zone V minor boundary adjustments to Rogers Pass and 1-Mile Compound have been included;
  • All wetlands within or adjacent to the Zone IV transportation corridor have been designated as environmentally sensitive areas; and
  • The Flat Creek ancient forest has been identified as an environmentally sensitive area.

The overall proposed changes in area, from the 2010 management plan, in both national parks are:

  • Zone I: 0.3% to 0.7%
  • Zone II: 92.6% to 97.6%
  • Zone III: 1.6% to 0.2%
  • Zone IV: 4.7% to 1.6%
  • Zone V: no change – 0.01%
  • Environmentally sensitive areas: 0.2% to 0.5%

Zoning descriptions

Zone I - Special Preservation (Less than one percent

Zone I lands deserve special preservation because they contain or support unique, threatened or endangered natural or cultural features, or are among the best examples of the features that represent a natural region. Preservation is the key consideration. Motorized access and circulation are not permitted.

Caves in Glacier National Park – Nakimu and Raspberry Rising caves

The Nakimu caves include over five kilometres of passages. It is one of the most extensive cave systems known in British Columbia. Features inside the caves include waterfalls, plunge pools, stalactite grottoes, moonmilk and seasonal and permanent ice deposits. Surface vegetation near the caves is also of special interest due to the presence of calcicole (calcium-dependent) plant species. Calcicoles are rare in the Selkirk Mountains due to the limited amount of limestone and calcarious soils.

Proposed Zone I amendments:

  • The zone boundaries around the Nakimu caves have been adjusted to better encompass the natural and cultural values without identifying location. Access to Nakimu Cave is restricted with no visitor access until further notice due to concerns with white nose syndrome and infection of bat populations within the cave system.
  • Raspberry Rising has been amended from an environmentally significant site to a zone I area. This cave system is less known but is growing in recognition as “one of Canada’s natural wonders.” Not only is it the most beautifully-decorated cave in the country, its unique biome is attracting interest from scientists in a range of disciplines, from climatology to medicine. Raspberry Rising is also restricted access, however access for research is permitted on a case by case basis with an approved permit and visitor safety plan.
  • Shaughnessy Fen and Marsh: A Zone I area is proposed for the Shaughnessy Fen and Marsh in Glacier National Park as it is a small representative wetland complex composed of a swamp, fen and marsh. The proposed Zone 1 wetland complex supports rare plants and other ecological elements that are unique to the areas due to calcareous limestone associations.
  • Giant Cedars: A Zone I representative area of inland temperate rain forest with an average age of dominant species exceeding 250 years is proposed for an area adjacent to Giant Cedars Boardwalk and Day-use Area. Temperate rain forests are globally recognized as rare, originally comprising only 0.3% of earth’s land base. Inland temperate rainforests are especially unique comprising only 2% of the temperate rainforest area globally with much of the area impacted by human disturbance and timber harvesting. Of the 15,528 hectares of ancient inland temperate rainforest in the national parks, 98 percent is within zones I and II. Even in the absence of direct disturbance, climate projections forecast that this ecosystem will be at risk due to changes and reductions in local precipitation.

Zone II – Wilderness (97%)

These extensive areas represent and conserve a portion of the Columbia Mountains Natural Region in a wilderness state. Protecting ecosystems where there is minimal human interference is the key consideration. Zone II areas offer opportunities for visitors to experience the parks’ ecological characteristics firsthand with few, if any, rudimentary services and facilities. Facilities are restricted to trails, backcountry campsites, alpine huts, trail shelters, descent assists on Mt. Sir Donald and warden patrol facilities. Public motorized access is not permitted. Approximately 97 percent of the parks will be managed as Zone II.

Proposed Zone II amendments:

  • Zone II amendments are proposed to better reflect the visitor experience opportunities, to ensure ecological protection in backcountry areas of the parks, and to provide consistency with the other mountain parks.
  • Adjustment of the zone IV corridor will result in an increase to zone II areas adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway corridor.
  • Backcountry campsites and associated trails have been rezoned from zone III to zone II.

Zone III - Natural Environment (Less than one percent)

In Zone III areas, visitors discover the parks’ natural and cultural heritage through recreational activities that require only minimal services and facilities of a rustic nature. While motorized access may be allowed, it will be controlled. No motorized access is currently permitted in Zone III. Zone III applies to areas where visitor use and facilities exceed the acceptable standards for Zone II.

The Zone III area in Mount Revelstoke National Park includes the Mount Revelstoke summit trails and the day-use trail areas at Skunk Cabbage and Giant Cedars. Zone III areas in Glacier National Park include the series of hiking trails in the Illecillewaet Valley and Bear Creek Falls.

Proposed Zone III amendments:

  • Backcountry campsites and associated trails have been rezoned from zone III to zone II.
  • Day-use trail areas with facilities and infrastructure have been rezoned from zone IV to zone III. This includes Skunk Cabbage, Giant Cedars, Mount Revelstoke Summit and Bear Creek Falls.

Zone IV - Outdoor Recreation (2%)

Outdoor recreation zones are limited areas capable of accommodating a range of opportunities for understanding, appreciating and respecting the parks’ heritage value. Appropriate opportunities and related essential services and facilities are provided in ways that impact the ecological integrity of the park to the smallest extent possible. Direct access by motorized vehicles is permitted.

In Mount Revelstoke National Park, the Meadows-in-the-Sky-Parkway including the Snowforest Campground and day-use areas are in Zone IV. The transportation corridor through Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park, including the many visitor facilities such as trailheads, day-use areas and viewpoints, and Canadian Pacific operational facilities are all included within Zone IV.

Proposed Zone IV amendments:

  • The zone IV corridor along the Trans-Canada Highway and railway has been reviewed to ensure the width is appropriate for the types of activities permitted and for consistency with other mountain parks. The width has been adjusted to include a 100m buffer from the centre line and also to include day-use areas with direct motorized access adjacent to the highway.
  • The Snowforest Campground at Mount Revelstoke has been included in Zone IV due to direct motorized access and level of infrastructure.

Zone V - Park Services (Less than one percent)

Park operations and administration, visitor services, and support facilities are concentrated in park service zones. In Mount Revelstoke National Park the Zone V area includes the 1-Mile compound, residential area and associated facilities, which will be reduced in size over the life of this plan. In Glacier National Park the Zone V area includes the Rogers Pass compound, the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, and the former site of Glacier Park Lodge and service station and associated facilities. Opportunities for potential commercial facility development in the parks and National Historic Site are limited to the former leasehold area in Rogers Pass.

Proposed Zone V amendments:

  • Minor boundary adjustments for the compound at Rogers Pass to include the water treatment plant, and boundary adjustments for 1-mile compound at Mount Revelstoke.

Environmentally / Culturally Sensitive Areas (1%)

This designation applies to naturally or culturally significant or sensitive features or areas that require special protection and visitor access management to protect resources. Recognition as an ecologically or culturally sensitive area ensures that the values for which a site has been designated are protected and respected in any park management decisions or actions. Culturally sensitive areas are considered in all park management decisions but have not been included on the zoning map as there are thousands of sites along the railway and highway corridor.

Wetland and old growth forest ecosystem complexes within or near the transportation corridor (Trans-Canada Highway and CP Rail) in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks have been designated as environmentally sensitive areas. Approximately 4 percent or 579 hectares of the ancient inland temperate rainforest within zones II and III is within the environmentally sensitive areas. Protecting the unique environmental attributes of these areas requires special care and consideration given their importance to plants and wildlife including species at risk, and sensitivity to disturbance. While there are examples of these ecosystems in other areas of the parks, due to their location, the environmentally sensitive areas are at higher risk of human-caused disturbance.

Proposed amendments:

The following areas have been designated as environmentally sensitive areas:

  • All wetlands within or adjacent to the transportation corridor (within a 500m area).
  • Flat Creek inland temperate rainforest.

Non-conforming uses

Some zones support uses or activities that do not conform to the spirit and intentions of the zone type. Non-conforming uses include weather stations and cell towers located in Zone II and a water intake in the Zone I Giant Cedars area.

Avalanche control operations, essential for park management and public safety are located in all zones. Avalanche control Infrastructure includes dikes, berms, dams, fences, nets, earthen mounds, mobile and static controls and avalanche detection systems.

Map 3: Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks zoning overview

Map 3: Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks zoning overview
Map 3: Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks zoning overview — Text version

A map encompassing Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. Regions on the map are colour-coded to indicate their classification as specific zone types or environmentally sensitive areas.

 

Map 4: Mount Revelstoke National Park zoning

Map 4: Mount Revelstoke National Park zoning
Map 4: Mount Revelstoke National Park zoning — Text version

A map of Mount Revelstoke National Park. Regions on the map are colour-coded to indicate their classification as specific zone types or environmentally sensitive areas.

 

Map 5: Glacier National Park zoning

Map 5: Glacier National Park zoning
Map 5: Glacier National Park zoning — Text version

A map of Glacier National Park. Regions on the map are colour-coded to indicate their classification as specific zone types or environmentally sensitive areas.

 

9.0 Summary of strategic environmental assessment

All national park management plans are assessed through a strategic environmental assessment to understand the potential for cumulative effects. This understanding contributes to evidence-based decision-making that supports ecological integrity being maintained or restored over the life of the plan. The strategic environmental assessment of the management plan for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks considered the potential impacts of climate change, local and regional activities around the park, expected increase in visitation and proposals within the management plan.

The management plan will result in many positive impacts including a greater understanding and consideration of climate change impacts, reduced operational greenhouse gas emissions, strategies to better understand patterns of visitor use and demand, and initiatives to protect habitat security and connectivity across the landscape with regional partners. In addition, proposed zoning changes will provide additional protection for sensitive wetlands and ancient inland temperate rainforests.

The strategic environmental assessment evaluated the potential impacts on different aspects of the ecosystem, including wetlands, freshwater quality and connectivity, forest health, carnivores, alpine environments, mountain goats, and caribou. All of these are expected to be impacted by climate change as temperatures increase and glaciers melt. The management plan identifies actions to adjust monitoring and operations to better incorporate climate change. Local and regional activities are also expected to contribute to cumulative effects on wetlands, freshwater connectivity and wildlife populations. As a result, the management plan identifies targets to work with Indigenous partners on landscape level connectivity goals. Collaborative initiatives are also outlined for caribou, species at risk, and habitat security and habitat connectivity reflecting the importance of working with neighbours to achieve mutually beneficial ecological goals.

Increasing visitation, work along the transportation corridor, and visitor offers proposed in the Beaver Valley Area Management Plan, Meadows in the Sky Area Management Plan and Rogers Pass backcountry areas could contribute to cumulative effects on wetlands, freshwater quality and connectivity, wildlife, forest, and alpine environments. The management plan identifies targets to assess proposals in the context of climate change, landscape connectivity, and external activities to support management decisions.

Indigenous partners, stakeholders and the public will be consulted on the draft management plan and summary of the draft strategic environmental assessment. Feedback will be considered and incorporated into the strategic environmental assessment and management plan as appropriate.

The strategic environmental assessment was conducted in accordance with The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2010) and facilitates an evaluation of how the management plan contributes to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. Individual projects undertaken to implement management plan objectives at the site will be evaluated to determine if an impact assessment is required under the Impact Assessment Act, or successor legislation. The management plan supports the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals of Greening Government, Sustainably Managed Lands and Forests, Healthy Wildlife Populations, and Connecting Canadians with Nature.

Many positive environmental effects are expected and there are no important negative environmental effects anticipated from implementation of the Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks Management Plan.