Conservationists Applaud Parks Canada’s Decision to Reject Gondola Proposal

Calgary, AB, January 21, 2020 – Conservation organizations are applauding Parks Canada for their recent announcement to reject a proposal to build a gondola to the summit of Mt. Norquay in Banff National Park. It was announced January 21st that Parks Canada would no longer consider the proposal for the gondola or a pavillion and boardwalks at the summit of Mt. Norquay. 

“We are pleased that Parks Canada rejected the gondola proposal and is prioritizing nature and ecological integrity in the region.” said Katie Morrison Conservation Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Southern Alberta Chapter. 

CPAWS echoed Parks Canada’s concerns that the proposed gondola would have negative implications to existing policy and ski area guidelines, which were based on extensive public input and scientific research. Transportation and reducing traffic congestion are critical issues in Banff National Park, but the organization believes that these issues would be best addressed by incorporating a human use strategy in the upcoming Banff National Park Management Plan. 

“The Parks Canada decision to not further consider the proposed Norquay gondola or any further development outside the ski area lease area demonstrates a strong commitment to sound ecological decision making and a welcome reaffirmation of Parks Canada’s commitment to limiting development in our national park.” said Reg Bunyan of the Bow Valley Naturalists. “With this decision made, our hope is that Parks Canada will move quickly to limit the impact of of vehicular traffic on the wildlife corridor by implementing the recommended seasonal dusk to dawn vehicular restriction.” 

“This proposal was clearly in the service of private profit and would not have done enough to strengthen the effectiveness of wildlife corridors surrounding the Town of Banff. The extent of development in the proposal would have further compromised critical habitats and connectivity,” said Morrison. “Parks Canada agency holds an important responsibility, to safeguard National Parks for all Canadians, we are happy to see they have made the right decision. We look forward to continuing to work with Parks Canada and other stakeholders through the upcoming 10-year Parks Management Planning Process to find solutions that address ecosystem and visitor needs,” 

For Further Comment: Katie Morrison – CPAWS Southern Alberta, Calgary 403 463 6337 kmorrison@localhost