Human and wildlife safety is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Parks Canada takes action to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, to ensure the safety of both.
To protect wildlife and people, temporary area closures and a 15 km no-stopping zone are now in effect on Highway 93 South in Kootenay National Park. Safety measures will remain in place until bears move away from the highway as food becomes more plentiful at higher elevations. Affected areas include:
No Stopping Zone: A 15 km portion of Highway 93 South between McKay Creek Operations Centre above the Radium Hot Pools and Settler’s Road. Vehicles legally required to conduct brake checks may continue to do so. Bear warnings are in effect and the restrooms are closed.
Area Closures: Olive Lake day use area and Cobb Lake Trail are closed due to bear activity.
Parks Canada and the RCMP will be regularly patrolling the no stopping zone and have the ability to lay charges. Penalties for violations range from a $115 ticket to a mandatory court appearance and maximum fine of $25,000. For more details on affected areas, visit: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay/bulletins.
Parks Canada is committed to protecting bears and people. Safety is our top priority. Many bears feed heavily on spring vegetation and dandelions along this 15 km stretch of Highway 93 South. Narrow shoulders and blind corners, combined with multiple grizzly and black bears focussed on finding food, make stopping here unsafe. The no stopping zone and temporary closures allow bears to feed undisturbed and prevents traffic congestion that is dangerous for both bears and people.
Feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited in the national parks. It is also unlawful to stop in the no stopping zone to view wildlife. Parks Canada thanks you for respecting wildlife, the temporary no stopping zone and the associated closures.
If you see people feeding wildlife please promptly report the incident to Banff Dispatch when safe to do so via radio or by phone at 403-762-1470.
Outside of the no-stopping zone, consider not stopping for wildlife. If you choose to do so:
o stay inside your vehicle
o pull over only if it is safe to do so
o pull all four wheels onto the shoulder
o give bears more space than you think they need
o be aware of the traffic around you, and
o move along quickly.
For more information about how to observe wildlife safely, please visit our website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/mtn-bears.