Dear Editor,

Parks Canada would like to acknowledge the Letter to the Editor in the July 22nd issue of The Columbia Valley Pioneer regarding the signs in Kootenay National Park. Parks Canada is in the process of implementing a significant highway sign replacement program in the mountain national parks, including Kootenay National Park. This project will upgrade the signs to the national parks standard.

This project is wide-ranging and encompasses all seven of the mountain national parks, and will therefore take a few years to complete. Work will begin in 2012 and visitors and residents can expect to see new signs in place in 2013 and 2014. The new signs will be constructed entirely of metal so as to better withstand the elements.

We realize that this is still a number of years away, and that some of the current signs will not last that long. In the interim, Parks Canada has placed overlays on some of the signs in very poor condition, making them much easier to read. These temporary signs were installed in late July and placed at Marble Canyon, the Simpson River, Kootenay Crossing, Verdant Creek, Dolly Varden, and other locations along the highway.

As much as we would like to see the signs replaced sooner, projects of this magnitude take time. We greatly appreciate the patience of both visitors and residents as Parks Canada embarks on this significant sign replacement program.

In addition to the sign replacement program, Parks Canada continues to reinvest in infrastructure upgrades throughout Kootenay National Park to better serve the needs of residents and visitors. We have recently completed major upgrades to the Redstreak Campground area, including sewer and water system upgrades (the Redstreak water system also serves as a back-up water supply to the Village of Radium Hot Springs), existing RV sites have been widened to accommodate larger vehicles, a new sani-station site was constructed, and accessibility was improved for persons with disabilities. In addition, parts of Redstreak Road and Highway 93 South have been recently repaved.

Caroline Marion

Superintendent for Kootenay National Park