Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Seasonal speed limit and wildlife etiquette keeps visitors and wildlife safe in Waterton Lakes National Park

Parks Canada - To strengthen wildlife and visitor safety, Parks Canada has reduced the speed limit on a portion of the Entrance Road (Highway 5) in Waterton Lakes National Park from 80 km/h to 60 km/h. The 1.75 km section extends between the turn-offs for the Golf Course and the Operations Compound and is in place from the May long weekend through to Thanksgiving.

Visitor and wildlife’s safety is a top priority for Parks Canada. Wildlife tracking data shows one individual bear alone crossed this section of road hundreds of times last season. Horseback tours and visitors also frequently cross the road in this area. The speed limit reduction could mean the difference between a wonderful wildlife sighting and a collision. The new speed limit adds only 30 seconds of driving time.

Parks Canada maintains or restores ecological integrity within our protected places while providing

Canadians with opportunities to discover and enjoy them. Waterton Lakes National Park is home to a wide range of astonishing wildlife from large mammals like grizzly and black bears, elk and bighorn sheep, to small amphibians and reptiles, such as long-toed salamanders and red-sided garter snakes.

Everyone has a role to play in keeping wildlife wild and safe in our national parks. Parks Canada expects all visitors to be informed and to act appropriately when enjoying Waterton and the wildlife living here. We need the support of all our visitors to ensure they are viewing wildlife from a safe distance and that wildlife do not obtain attractants and human food.

Visitors are encouraged to report wildlife concerns or suspected National Parks Act violations in the park by phoning 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367). For police, fire, and ambulance services phone 911.

Our website is a great source of information on how to safely enjoy wildlife. We also encourage visitors to check our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and Alberta 511 for traffic information and helpful travel tips.

Ten tips for visitors to help Respect Wildlife Space and Stay Safe:
  1. NEVER feed the wildlife – feeding wildlife in a National Park is illegal 
  2. Educate yourself about the wildlife in Waterton Lakes National Park. 
  3. Always follow the rules of the road and only stop to view wildlife in designated pullouts - take a picture and move on. 
  4. ALWAYS keep your dog on a leash at all times. 
  5. Hike during the day and make noise – travel in groups. 
  6. Do not approach wildlife – try to stay at least 30 m away from large animals and 100m away from bears - so NO SELFIES! 
  7. Carry bear spray when hiking and camping and know how to use it. 
  8. Keep a clear campsite – store all wildlife attractants (food, garbage, dishes, toiletries) 
  9. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, while hiking or driving 
  10. Check in with Parks Canada on site for safety tips and up to date advisories.

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