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$87 Million Icefields Trail – Speak Up for Jasper Wildlife!

March 16, 2017

Have you heard about Parks Canada’s “Icefields Trail” in Jasper National Park? The proposed 109km paved bicycle trail would follow highway 93A through Jasper. AWA believes the whopping $87 million of federal money allocated to this trail should instead be reinvested in science and conservation in our beloved National Parks, and that more wildlife-friendly alternatives exist for this project. Parks Canada is hosting consultations this week in Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, and online – we hope to see you there!

The Issue

Earlier this month, Parks Canada released the proposed route of its $87-million “Icefields Trail”, going from the town of Jasper to the border of Banff National Park.

These are a few concerns AWA has about the project:

  • It is the Minister’s number 1 priority in National Parks to enhance and maintain ecological integrity. The $87 earmarked for this project could be better allocated to conservation, scientific monitoring and research, and interpretation programs for parks visitors.
  • Jasper National Park has commitments and legal requirements to recover populations of species at risk like grizzly bear and endangered southern mountain caribou. The Icefields Trail as currently proposed will encroach on important habitat of caribou and bears.
  • Less expensive and ecologically damaging alternatives should be considered in the Environmental Assessment such as widening the shoulder of the existing highway.
  • Jasper’s backcountry trails are suffering from lack of maintenance – existing infrastructure maintenance should be prioritized before new infrastructure spending.

Take Action

If you can’t make it to the information sessions, please consider writing a letter or filling out the online form. We need your help speaking up for Alberta’s wildlife!

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
The Honorable Catherine McKenna
House of Commons, Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Email: ec.ministre-minister.ec@canada.ca
cc: Wayne Stetski, National Parks Critic: Wayne.Stetski@parl.gc.ca

Online survey: (Scroll to the very bottom and click “Icefields Trail (North) Public Consultations – Part 1”: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/plan/sentierdesglaciers-icefieldstrail.aspx

Please copy me on your correspondence at ajohancsik@abwild.ca!

To read more about the issue:

-Parks Canada website
-AWA Jasper Trail Mythbusters

AWA in the news:
-CBC
-Jasper Fitzhugh
-Crag and Canyon

 

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
- Wallace Stegner
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