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Take Actions! Jasper is our national park not a theme park!

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Dec 16 2011 (All day)

Jasper is our national park not a theme park!

Canada’s treasured Jasper National Park could be on its way to gaining a theme park-like attraction. Brewster Travel Canada, owned by a US-based company, wants to blast out the side of the cliff beside the Icefields Parkway to build the “Glacier Discovery Walk” – a massive infrastructure “skywalk”, and charge people who wish to admire the view. 

CPAWS believes that this may signal the start of a renewed surge of inappropriate commercial development within our Rocky Mountain national parks. We were able to stop this trend in the 1990s in Banff. Twenty years later, it’s time to take a stand once more to protect the natural wonders of our mountain national parks.

Take action today and let the government know that this kind of commercial development has no place in our national parks.

Background

December 16th, 2011 is the last day for public comment on the Environmental Assessment for Brewster's proposed Glacier Discovery Walk in Jasper National Park— a 400-metre walkway and massive glass-floored “skywalk” extending 30 meters over the Sunwapta Valley.

The stunning Tangle Ridge viewpoint on the Icefields Parkway would be privatized and visitors would have to pay fees ranging from $15 to $30 per person to access Brewster’s Glacier Discovery Walk. The remaining free public viewpoint would look onto the massive glass and metal structure, marring the natural canyon landscape— where today, mountain goats and sheep roam freely.

In CPAWS view, the Glacier Discovery Walk is an unnecessary infrastructure in our national park that would limit public access to this spectacular view. Read our news release here.

After reviewing the proposal, CPAWS is opposed to the Glacier Discovery Walk for the following reasons​:

  • It would set a dangerous precedent for renewed commercial development in our mountain national parks.  If this goes ahead, what will be next?
  • The long term impact on wildlife, including mountain goats and big horn sheep, cannot be predicted with confidence: there just isn’t enough data.
  • It would contravene Parks Canada’s own policy that says that “Only outdoor activities which promote the appreciation of a park's purpose and objectives, which respect the integrity of the ecosystem, and which call for a minimum of built facilities will be permitted.”(Parks Canada Guiding Principles and Operational Policy, section 4.1.3). Read entire policy here
  • There is no evidence that this would meet the objective of connecting Canadians with the natural heritage in their national parks.
  • There is little evidence that this infrastructure-focused development is what Canadians want for their national parks. The survey the company conducted was not representative of the views of all Canadians, but focused primarily on bus tour customers.

Posted December 15, 2011 by russ

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