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

Harvesting portion of phase 1 of a fuel-mitigation project drawing to a close

By Ken Alexander Phase 1 of the fuel-mitigation project from Point Road… Continue reading

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

BC Parks doing some fuel-management projects on Green Lake’s Sunsetview site

By Ken Alexander The most recent fuel-management projects at Green Lake Provincial… Continue reading

Much of the Cariboo under open fire ban due to COVID-19

‘No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires’

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read