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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Barriere Timber Mart looking after staff and customers during Covid-19 crisis

Staff at Barriere Timber Mart are saying “thank you” to their customers… Continue reading

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

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read