No stopping zone into effect in KNP May 5
Human and wildlife safety is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Parks Canada takes action to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, to ensure the safety of both.
As of May 5, to protect wildlife and people, an annual temporary area closure and a 15 km no stopping zone will be in effect on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park (KNP). Safety measures will remain in place until bears move away from the highway as food becomes more plentiful at higher elevations.
Affected areas will include:
- No Stopping Zone: A 15 km portion of Highway 93 between McKay Creek Operations Centre above the Radium Hot Pools and Settler’s Road. Vehicles legally required to conduct brake checks may continue to do so. Bear warnings will be in effect and the restrooms will be closed.
- Area Closure: Olive Lake Day-use Area will be closed due to bear activity.
Parks Canada wildlife officers and Park Wardens will routinely patrol the area to ensure motorists are complying with the no stopping zone. Park Wardens and the RCMP have the ability to lay charges if motorists are not in compliance with the no stopping zone. Penalties for violations range from a $115 ticket to a mandatory court appearance and maximum fine of $25,000.
Parks Canada is committed to protecting bears and people. Many bears feed heavily on spring vegetation and dandelions along this 15 km stretch of Highway 93. Narrow shoulders and blind corners, combined with multiple grizzly and black bears focussed on finding food, make stopping here unsafe.
The no stopping zone and temporary area closure will allow bears to feed undisturbed and will prevent traffic congestion that is dangerous for both bears and people.
Feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited in national parks. It is also unlawful to stop in the no stopping zone to view wildlife. Parks Canada thanks you for respecting wildlife, the temporary no stopping zone and the associated closures.
Increased traffic volumes are expected on Highway 93 until June 1. Motorists from the Trans-Canada Highway are being diverted through Kootenay National Park due to scheduled highway improvements west of Yoho National Park. We need your support to obey speed limits and slow to 70 km/h when passing vehicles with flashing lights. Safety is a shared responsibility.
Outside of the no stopping zone, consider not stopping for wildlife. If you choose to do so:
o stay inside your vehicle;
o pull over only if it is safe to do so;
o pull all four wheels onto the shoulder;
o give bears more space than you think they need;
o be aware of the traffic around you; and
o move along quickly.
Please report wildlife sightings to Parks Canada Dispatch – 403-762-1470.
Lead image: Two grizzly cubs wander along the side of Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park, near the Olive Lake day use area. e-KNOW file photo