Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
The contiguous national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, as well as the Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks, studded with mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and limestone caves, form a striking mountain landscape. The Burgess Shale fossil site, well known for its fossil remains of soft-bodied marine animals, is also found there.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
Click the + and - signs to expand or collapse full accounts of information under each topic. You can also view the entire list of information by clicking Expand all on the top left.
Description of values
Natural Scenic Beauty
Glaciers are melting due to a changing climate. Between 1919 and 2012, glacier cover in the study area decreased by 590±70 km2 (40±5 %). Seventeen 17 of 523 glaciers disappeared and 124 glaciers fragmented into multiple ice masses. Predictions are that Glaciers in Canadian Rockies Could Shrink By 95% by 2100.
The Burgess Fossil shales are well protected (camera, alarms, enforcement staff) and visitation to the sites is controlled and well managed. Research is carefully managed with a zoning system. Fossil theft has previously been recorded but with a successful arrest. Additional outcrops of the fossil bed are being carefully managed.
Parks Canada, who manages most of the property, has a sophisticated fire management program with detailed fire histories. However, having fire at the site is very complicated because of danger to visitors, visitor facilities, and national transportation corridors. The use of prescribed fire is now infrequent because the prescriptions are narrowly written to avoid smoke in towns or major visitor facilities. There is a direct conflict between re-introducing fire and the presence of millions of visitors. Parks Canada's assessment of forest condition shows the measure of "areas disturbed by fire" to be in in poor condition. A decline of fire on the landscape changes the mix of forest and open montane grasslands. In addition, a lack of fire creates conditions for large-scale insect outbreaks. Currently there are large areas of lodgepole pine forests killed by mountain pine beetle
In general Parks Canada has an abundance of processes in place that encourage public participation and its decisions receive considerable scrutiny in the media. However some stakeholders have expressed significant concern that Parks Canada's relationships were driven by the economic interests of tourism operators rather than conservation values, and furthermore, transparency has become an increasing issue. However, First Nations are increasingly being brought into a positive dialogue by Parks Canada and there appears to be real progress in this area.
2. Replacement of aging tourism infrastructure
3. Improvement of aquatic connectivity by replacing dysfunctional highway culverts
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|Reintroduction of Plains Bison to Banff|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||Better use of workd heritage values in sites management||World Heritage values do not explicitly appear to be an important part of the management of the 4 national parks and 3 provincial parks that constitute the site. Impacts on WH Values are not included in major environmental assessments, such as the Lake Louise Hill Hill expansion (Ref 17) or the Sulphur mountain gondola station redevelopment (Ref. 18).|
|2||Recommednation for the WH Committee to consider boundary expansion||There is an outstanding recommendation to expand the boundaries of the WH site. Decision : 30 COM 11B Follow-up to the Periodic Report for North America / Adoption of Statements of Significance 6. Encourages the State Party of Canada to put forward extensions to Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and Wood Buffalo National Park, pursuant to Canada's Tentative List for World Heritage Sites (2004);||
|1||2016 Forest Health Conditions in the Rocky Mountain National Parks. Roger Brett. Forest Health Technician, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, 5320 – 122 Street, Edmonton, AB T6H 3S5|
|3||Banff, Jasper and Canmore: Tourism Economic Impact Study 2016. Prepared by Grant Thornton, WMC and Econometric Research Limited.|
|4||CPAWS (2016) Protecting Canada’s National Parks: A call for renewed commitment to nature conservation. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society 2016 Parks Report.|
|5||Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Submission to the Ministers Round Table 2017. http://cpaws.org/uploads/CPAWS_submission_to_Ministers_Roun…|
|6||Clarke, G.K.C. et al. (2015) Projected deglaciation of western Canada in the twenty-first century, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2407|
|7||Festa-Bianchet, M., Pelletier, F., Jorgenson, J. T., Feder, C. and Hubbs, A. (2014) Decrease in horn size and increase in age of trophy sheep in Alberta over 37 years. Jour. Wild. Mgmt., 78: 133–141. doi:10.1002/jwmg.644|
|8||Hamber Provincial Park Management Plan. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/hamber/ham…|
Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines for Development and Use ...
|10||Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines for Development and Use Strategic Environmental. Assessment. Parks Canada 2015.|
|11||Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Canada (2017). Address to The Canadian Parks Conference Banff, AB March 10, 2017.|
|12||Mount Assiboine Provincial Park management plan. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/planning/mgmtplns/mt_assin…|
|13||Mount Robson Provincial Parks Management Plan. http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/planning/mgmtplns/mtrobson…|
|14||Office of the Auditor General of Canada (2013) Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Chapter 7—Ecological Integrity in National Parks. http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201311_…|
|15||Parks Canada (2016) State of Protected Heritage Areas Report. <http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2017/pc/R6…;.|
|16||Parks Canada Attendance 2011-12 to 2015-16. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/docs/pc/attend|
|17||Pigeon, Gabriel, Marco Festa‐Bianchet, David W. Coltman, and Fanie Pelletier. "Intense selective hunting leads to artificial evolution in horn size." Evolutionary applications (2016).|
|18||Plains Bison Reintroduction. 2017. http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/info/gestion-manageme…|
|19||Tennant, C., B. Menounos, R. Wheate, and J. J. Clague (2012) Area change of glaciers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, 1919 to 2006. The Cryosphere 6, no. 6: 1541.|