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

Boundary hospital ‘ready for a surge,’ hoping it never comes

The emergency department director confirmed there were active COVID-19 cases in the Boundary

Grand Forks and Boundary cancellations, changes due to COVID-19

This newspaper’s list of community events, institutions that change or cancel due to pandemic

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Don’t avoid doctor’s office if you need help, say Kootenay Boundary physicians

There are alternatives to coming in physically to offices, docs say

Boundary friends make the best of a birthday in isolation

11-year-old Becca Macfarlane had hoped to go bowling with her friends

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘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

Most Read