A no-stopping zone on a highway in Kootenay National Park and the closure of day use areas at Olive Lake and Cobb Lake Trail are being implemented by Parks Canada to protect wildlife.
Drivers are restricted from stopping in a 15-kilometre zone on Highway 93 South between McKay Creek Operations Centre above Radium Hot Pools and Settler’s Rd. Vehicles legally required to do brake checks may do so, however, bear warnings are in effect and restrooms are closed.
Many bears feed on the vegetation at the side of the highway along the identified highway corridor and narrow shoulders and blind corners, combined with potential widlife activity, make stopping unsafe, according to Parks Canada.
The closure of the day use areas also keep people away from those locations and allow bears to feed undisturbed.
The safety measures will remain in place until bears move away from the highway as food becomes more plentiful at higher elevations, say Parks Canada.
The area will be patrolled by RCMP and Parks Canada personnel and have the ability to lay charges that range from $115 violation tickets to a mandatory court appearance and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Feeding wildlife in national parks is strictly prohibited. If anyone witnesses someone feeding wildlife, notify Banff Dispatch by calling 403-762-1470.