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Speak Up Now Against the Icefields Trail

A new bike path in a national park may sound benign, but this proposal in Jasper National Park is anything but. The “Icefields Trail” would carve a new 109 km paved corridor through some of Jasper’s most sensitive valley bottom habitat, from the town of Jasper to the Columbia Icefields, and eventually to Lake Louise. The price tag for this project is $87 million just for phase one.

This proposal is inconsistent with the federal government's commitment to limit development in our national parks, and their legal obligation to put ecological integrity first in all aspects of park management. It is also contrary to Parks Canada’s obligations to protect species at risk in the park, as the proposed trail would fragment and destroy critical habitat for endangered caribou and other species at risk.

Given its route through important grizzly bear habitat, the trail also raises serious concern for the safety of cyclists and bears alike.

CPAWS is calling on federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change to reject the Icefields Trail project and reinvest in Parks Canada’s conservation, science and education programs.

In a recent speech in Banff, Minister McKenna affirmed her commitment to re-focus on nature conservation in our national parks, and to limiting development.  Saying no to the proposed Icefields Trail now, and investing in conservation, science and education, would be a good next step to deliver on this promise.

A public comment period for the “Icefields Trail” proposal is open until April 24th.

Please write to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change and share your concerns about the proposed Icefields Trail in Jasper National Park.

Remember that your own words are the most powerful.

Suggested points:

  1. This new paved corridor through Jasper poses serious risks to wildlife, including endangered caribou and grizzly bears. 
  2. Cycling through grizzly habitat also poses risks to trail users.
  3. The project contradicts the federal government’s commitment to limit development in our national parks, and Parks Canada’s legal mandate to prioritize ecological integrity in all aspects of park management.  It also ignores Canada’s global responsibility to protect World Heritage Sites.
  4. The $87 million should be invested in Parks Canada’s conservation, science and education programs which were cut dramatically in recent years.
  5. The Icefields Trail proposal was developed behind closed doors by Parks Canada, which is contrary to the government’s commitment to open, transparent decision-making.

Please say no to the proposed Icefields Trail, and reinvest in conservation, science and education in our national parks.

You letter will be sent to:
Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change

copied:
Mr. Jim Eglinski, MP for Jasper National Park, Member, Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development 
Ms. Deb Schulte, MP, Chair, Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Mr. William Amos, MP, Member of Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Mr. John Aldag, MP, Member of Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Mr. Wayne Stetski, MP, Member of Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, NDP Parks Critic

 

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