Gathering together some of North America’s leading bear and transportation experts, the Government of Canada and Canadian Pacific (CP) today launched the first Railway-Bear Conflict Mitigation Symposium in Banff National Park. Complementing the five-year Joint Action Plan announced last fall, the symposium will be an incentive for attendees to augment the draft research plan to further mitigate rail-related bear mortality in Banff and Yoho National Parks.
“The grizzly bear is an internationally recognized icon of Canada and our national parks,” said Minister Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. “Through the Joint Action Plan, we are committed to finding solutions to ensure grizzly bears remain on the Rocky Mountain landscape. In connecting with leading bear and transportation experts, we are taking an encouraging step towards the realization of our goal.”
Over the past 20 years, Parks Canada has reduced bear mortality related to human interaction on highways and within town sites through strategic mitigation actions. This symposium will provide a platform to share information and solicit input from experts with varied knowledge and perspectives. These specialists can help further the development of a credible scientific research program related to rail-specific solutions.
“Because we take the issue of grizzly health so seriously, we have brought together some of North America’s biggest and brightest subject experts to help us with our goal,” said Mr. Blake Richards. “Working with partners is one of many examples how we, as Canadians, are able to implement concrete actions to better protect Canada’s natural habitats and wildlife.”
In October, symposium participants and other interested parties will have the opportunity to submit proposals for consideration as part of the $1-million, CP-supported, research plan. This winter, a CP-Parks Canada selection committee will vet submissions and announce successful projects for spring/summer 2012 implementation. Projects will be tested and supported by robust monitoring to determine effectiveness.
“As an industry leader in environmental stewardship, we welcome the opportunity to expand upon our proud history with Canada’s National Parks,” said CP CEO Fred Green. “Through collaboration with Parks Canada and others, our goal is to identify projects that will make a positive, long-term difference for the preservation of bears.”
Over the summer, as part of other potential mitigation measures identified under the Joint Action Plan, Parks Canada and CP have used selected portions of the railway throughout Banff National Park as a living laboratory. Test initiatives, supported by research plans, include on-track structures such as peg boards to discourage bears from using the tracks as an escape path, strategic vegetation management and electro-mats which are being tested to support potential fencing structures.
Canadian Pacific (cpr.ca) operates a North American transcontinental railroad providing freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Incorporating best-in-class technology and environmental practices, CP is re-defining itself as a modern 21st century transportation company built on safety, service reliability and operational efficiency. Visit cpr.ca and see how Canadian Pacific is Driving the Digital Railway.
A world leader in managing protected areas, Parks Canada is committed to ensuring the protection and presentation of Canada’s historic and natural heritage. Through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians and people from around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery of our treasured natural and historic places.
Michelle Macullo, Communications Advisor
Mountain National Parks
T: (403) 760-1368
National Corporate Communications Branch