Annual Highway 1A closure to protect wildlife near Banff starts March 1
17-km stretch of Bow Valley Parkway is crucial habitat for bears, wolves and cougars
Parks Canada is going to restrict overnight traffic again this spring along a stretch of the old highway in Banff National Park in order to protect wildlife.
From March 1 to June 25, travel will not be permitted on Highway 1A between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. on the 17-kilometre section of the highway, also known as the Bow Valley Parkway, from Johnston Canyon Campground to the Fireside Picnic Area. This will be the fifth year of the seasonal travel restriction.
The section of roadway travels through a vital ecological area — the montane — which is home to large carnivores, including bears, wolves and cougars, Parks Canada said in a release.
"Protecting wildlife is the foundation of a great visitor experience and sustainable future for Banff National Park," the release said.
"This mandatory travel restriction will allow sensitive wildlife to move unimpeded across the landscape, use high-quality habitat, and engage in normal behaviour."
Businesses on the route will be still be accessible during travel restriction times via the Trans-Canada Highway exit at Castle Junction, Parks Canada says.
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