Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: 2015-046L

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. 2015-046L is issued.

Activity affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

Construction at Mistaya Canyon in Banff National Park to expand parking capacity and allow safer access to the site for vehicles will result in destruction of one hectare of high elevation critical habitat for Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population.

Start Date: 2018-03-27   End Date: 2019-08-30

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Alberta

Affected Species:

Alternatives: The no-action alternative is to maintain the current situation. Motorists have been parking their passenger vehicles and recreational vehicles along the edges of the highway. They have also been parking behind other parked vehicles, creating hazards for those trying to exit the parking area. Recreational vehicles have also been observed backing out of the parking area onto the highway, with visitors stopping traffic to complete the maneuvers. Due to the high risk of vehicle collisions and lack of safe access to the site, the no-action option was deemed unacceptable. Acceleration and deceleration lanes are necessary to facilitate safe access into the parking lot. Mitigations: The mitigation measures outlined in the impact assessment documents will be applied to minimize impacts of the construction on critical habitat. These mitigation measures include: clearly defining boundaries of the construction zone and clearing limits with flagging; keeping clearing for the highway widening within pre-disturbed areas as much as possible; and installing a new washroom building on site to reduce contamination of the surrounding area due to human waste. Jeopardy to Survival or Recovery of the Species: The national population and distribution objectives in the recovery strategy for the species are to “stop the decline in both size and distribution of all Local Population Units; maintain the current distribution within each LPU; and increase the size of all LPUs to self-sustaining levels and, where appropriate and attainable, to levels which can sustain a harvest with dedicated or priority access to aboriginal peoples.” Since Banff National Park does not have an existing herd of caribou, the primary objective is to maintain suitable habitat to allow a sustainable caribou population to exist in the park. This would involve protecting critical habitat and ongoing assessments of habitat quality and whether it could sustain a reintroduced herd of caribou. The Mistaya project will contribute to declines in caribou critical habitat, and will result in a net loss of functional habitat. Due to the location of the parking lot within a main transportation corridor, it has a low probability of caribou use. This project is not anticipated to adversely affect the potential for future reintroduction of caribou, nor the survival or sustainability of reintroduced caribou.

Contact Person(s)
Parks Canada
Species Conservation and Management
Natural Resource Conservation
Parks Canada
30 Victoria Street 3rd floor
Gatineau, QC
J8X 0B3
Tel: 888-773-8888
Fax: 819-420-9273

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