Glacier National Park Winter Restricted Areas Public Consultation Synthesis Report

Glacier National Park

[As Endemic Mountain Design – Now Selkirk Planning & Design]
Client: Parks Canada – Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks
Year: 2009

During the winter of 2008/2009 Parks Canada became concerned about Winter Restricted Area (WRA) permit violations within Glacier National Park. These WRAs are continuously controlled for avalanches with the use of artillery fire to protect the Trans-Canada Highway, and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) traffic. Permits are issued for each WRA to allow backcountry use when there is no chance of the need for avalanche control within the area over the course of the day. Permits are issued at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre daily. Permitting allows Parks Canada to keep the highway and railway safe for traffic and ensures that it can safely fire artillery and trigger avalanches without risking the safety of backcountry users. Parks Canada has significant concern about recent permit violations where people enter the WRAs without a permit.

Parks Canada undertook a public consultation process to gather feedback. The public meetings were a means of gathering feedback from users by providing maps for direct markup and comment as well as a questionnaire to engage stakeholders and encourage public input. Multiple site specific and general comments were received for each of the 5 WRA maps. Approximately 190 responses were received from the questionnaire and emails.

These comments and recommendations were recorded and synthesized into a short 12 page report. Parks Canada implemented a new Winter Permitting system in 2009-2010.