Parks Canada

Parks Canada
Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific

October 13, 2010 12:00 ET

Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Take Action to Further Protect Grizzly Bears in Banff National Park

Joint Initiative Uses Research, Innovation, and Commitment to Protect Iconic Species

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, Minister responsible for Parks Canada and Minister responsible for Southern Alberta, along with Mr. Fred Green, Canadian Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), today announced a multi-faceted, research-based, five-year joint action plan to further mitigate rail-related grizzly bear mortality in Banff National Park.

Railway-related wildlife mortality is complex. Rail-related causes of grizzly bear mortality can include the presence of grain, bear behaviour, using the tracks as a travel route, and conditions adjacent to the railway such as seasonal bear foods, habitat quality, carcasses, terrain, travel conditions and snow conditions.

"Wildlife corridor management is now better understood thanks to ongoing advances in public awareness, waste management techniques, and world-leading strategies such as highway fencing," said Minister Prentice. "By working with Parks Canada, Canadian Pacific is demonstrating true environmental leadership by partnering in this research-based action plan focused on similarly advancing mitigation of railway-related grizzly bear mortality in Banff National Park."

Significant progress has been made in reducing railway-related grain spills within the national parks, including employing unique track vacuum vehicles to remove large spills and utilizing parks-specific operating procedures. The railway is also nearing completion of its $20-million unloading gate replacement program for federally-owned grain hopper cars.

"CP is pleased to take the next logical step and provide $1 million to launch an empirically-based joint program to build on existing knowledge and further explore grizzly behaviour and potential mitigating technologies and practices, especially those related to railway applications," said Canadian Pacific President and CEO Fred Green. "CP remains committed to being the industry leader in environmental stewardship through ongoing efforts to reduce attractants, implement effective solutions to target problematic areas along our tracks, and to collaborate with Parks Canada engineers to develop and contribute funding for unique mitigative wildlife structures."

Near-term actions within the plan will include vegetation management, whistle zones, reviewing opportunities for wildlife fencing and culverts in high risk areas and working with grain terminal operators to encourage loading practices that will further prevent grain spillage within the national parks. Through the new research program other experimentation may be employed to dissuade grizzly bears from searching for grain on the tracks.

Medium- and longer-term solutions will be identified and tested through the research program and will be supported by robust monitoring to determine effectiveness of experimentation.

"This agreement between Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific represents an important step forward in the shared responsibility of ensuring healthy grizzly bear populations for years to come," declared Minister Prentice.

Canadian Pacific, through the ingenuity of its employees located across Canada and in the United States, remains committed to being the safest, and most fluid railway in North America. Its people are the key to delivering innovative transportation solutions to its customers and to ensuring the safe operation of its trains through the more than 1,100 communities where it operates.

Parks Canada is a world leader in managing protected areas and continues to work to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future. Through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and three national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians, as well as people from around the world, to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery of our treasured natural and historic places.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounders at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room and at www.cpr.ca under Media.

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office, Environment Canada
    Pascale Boulay
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    http://twitter.com/jimprentice
    or
    Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Medias Relations
    819-994-3023
    http://twitter.com/parkscanada
    or
    Canadian Pacific
    Breanne Feigel
    Manager, Communications
    403-589-6949