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A Species At Risk Action Plan for Banff: AWA Encourages Moving at a Snail’s Pace

June 9, 2017

Parks Canada’s proposed action plan for species at risk in Banff National Park fails to meet the Species at Risk Act requirements for species-at-risk action plans. That is the message Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) delivered to Parks Canada today.

AWA’s critique comes in its comments on the Parks Canada Agency’s Multi-species Action Plan for Banff National Park of Canada [Proposed]. “Parks Canada’s proposed multi-species action plan doesn’t have any sense of urgency,” says AWA’s Ian Urquhart. “The Parks Canada proposal also lacks the details action plans ‘must include’ according to the Act.”

Proposed actions for five species – westslope cutthroat trout, woodland caribou, common nighthawk, olive-sided flycatcher, and Banff Springs Snail – are outlined in this plan. Those actions are a pale reflection of what Parks Canada proposed in 2007 to recover the Banff Springs Snail. “All of the species listed in this proposed action plan,” Urquhart added, “could benefit if Parks Canada moved as quickly and thoroughly on their behalf as the Agency did for the Banff Springs Snail in 2007.”

AWA urged Parks Canada to make the following revisions to its action plan:

  • Identify species’ critical habitat as required by section 49 (1)(a) of the Species at Risk Act. In part this means that where new critical habitat has been identified and/or will be added to a federal recovery strategy the proposed action plan should identify that habitat (ie. Rainbow and Hidden Lakes).
  • Identify portions of species’ critical habitat that have not been protected as required by section 49 (1)(c) of SARA.
  • With respect to sections 49 (1)(b) and (d) correct the vagueness and indeterminacy of the proposed action plan. Provide specific financial and personnel commitments (and project details where applicable) for each of the measures listed in this proposed action plan. Assign definitive target dates for the desired outcomes in the proposed action plan.
  • State that, with respect to woodland caribou, while Parks Canada is interested in re-introducing woodland caribou to Banff National Park it will be devoting its attention in the short to medium-term to developing and implementing woodland caribou protection and recovery strategies in Jasper National Park.

For More Information:

Ian Urquhart, Alberta Wilderness Association, 780 937-4692


It is my belief that Non-profit organizations like the Alberta Wilderness Association provide a clear framework that creates opportunities for Albertans to actively participate in the protection of their provinces resources.
- Chelsea Caswell, Student, University of Lethbridge
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