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

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

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Local business provides first responders with 22 bottles of hand-sanitizer amid shortages

By: Jesse Heinrichs A hand-sanitizer shortage has hit some of the people… Continue reading

Veterinary clinics considered essential services, continue to help animals

The B.C. government recently released an official list of businesses that are… Continue reading

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

Most Read