Parks Canada is closing parking lots. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Parks Canada to close access to trails

The agency is urging people to stay at home; will close parking lots at midnight

Parks Canada is suspending all vehicle access to national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas at midnight.

Federal minister of the environment Jonathan Wilkinson said in a video posted on Parks Canada’s Facebook page, on the morning of March 24, that despite closing visitor services and facilities on March 19, visitation levels are soaring, increasing the likelihood for spreading COVID-19.

“This is an issue as our trails and day use areas are suddenly quite crowded,” Wilkinson said.

“To be clear: this is unsafe.”

READ MORE: Trudeau: More ‘stringent measures’ will come if Canadians ignore COVID-19 guidelines

READ MORE: B.C. reports 3 new COVID-19 deaths but 100 people have recovered, Henry says

Starting from 12:01 a.m. on March 25, parking lots throughout national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas will be closed.

“You need to stay at home,” Wilkinson said.

Highway and roads which pass through Parks Canada areas, such as the Trans-Canada, will remain open.

Parks Canada will continue provide highway maintenance, snow removal, fire response, dam operations, water management, as well as avalanche forecasting.

Indigenous traditional activities will continue, but Parks Canada are asking all users to follow the advice of public health experts on physical distancing.

Wilkinson said Canada will get through the COVID-19 crisis.

“But it will take monumental efforts on everyone’s behalf.”

There are 48 national parks in Canada, including seven in B.C. and 970 national historic sites, of which 90 are also in this province.

The national parks in B.C. include:

• Glacier National Park

• Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

• Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site

• Kootenay National Park

• Mount Revelstoke National Park

• Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

• Yoho National Park

BC Parks have also suspended services and closed facilities in most provincial parks. However, day-use areas services and some facilities are still available at Mount Seymour, Cypress, Goldstream, Rathtrevor Beach, Miracle Beach and Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Avalanche Canada is also urging all backcountry users to be extra vigilant in the backcountry and avoid any possibility of incidents that could add additional load to the healthcare system.

“This could be a time to avoid the backcountry. If you choose to head out, every effort should be made to avoid injuries.”

More to come.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Air Canada extends suspension of flights in and out of West Kootenay Regional Airport until April 30

It’s still unknown if flights will resume at Castlegar’s airport on May 1

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Nakusp council members support company’s bid to build new fibre-optic line in community

Council has written a letter of support for Teraspan Networks to build line

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix had sharp words for those arriving from overseas abiding by federal law

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

ANKORS East Kootenay details concerns surrounding harm reduction amid COVID-19

Harm reduction providers are having to keep up with rapidly changing situation

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read