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Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Launch First Initiatives to Further Protect Bears in Banff National Park
Initiatives flow from Joint Action Plan to Safeguard Iconic Species
Banff, Alberta, August 9, 2011 -- Today, Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific (CP) announced the first initiatives coming from the joint action plan created last fall to further mitigate rail-related bear mortality in Banff National Park. Actions announced today include promising mitigations, the release of a five-year research plan and an upcoming bear-railway research symposium to be held in Banff this fall.
“The Government of Canada and CP share a common desire to reduce bear mortality in Banff National Park,” said the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. “Similar to the approach used successfully to address Bow Valley town sites and the highway, these innovative initiatives will incorporate the best science available to address railway-related bear mortality through shared responsibility.”
Parks Canada and CP will use selected portions of the railway throughout Banff National Park as a living laboratory to determine ways to mitigate rail-caused animal mortality through science-based initiatives. These locations will be used to test initiatives such as vegetation management to improve sight lines between animals and trains, wayside systems designed to warn bears of approaching trains, on-track structures to discourage bears from using the tracks as an escape path from trains, as well as gate and fencing structures. Some of these initiatives are currently underway while others are in the design phase for testing and implementation in the fall.
In addition, a research symposium will be the launching point to bring together some of North America’s leading bear and transportation scientists to share information and ideas to develop medium- and long-term solutions. Promising pilot projects will be identified, tested and supported by robust monitoring to determine effectiveness.
“Canadian Pacific is proud of our shared history and association with Canada’s national parks,” said CP CEO Fred Green. “As an industry leader in environmental stewardship, our goal is to work with Parks Canada and others to identify areas of our right-of-way where animals may be more vulnerable, test and implement effective solutions and contribute to the longevity of bears on the mountain landscape.”
As CP completes its $20-million unloading gate replacement program, progress has been made in reducing railway-related grain spills within the national parks, including employing track vacuum vehicles to remove large spills and utilizing parks-specific operating procedures. CP has also begun a grain car monitoring program outside the park boundaries to track faulty cars and improper loading practices in an effort to further reduce attractants.
Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) operates a North American transcontinental railroad providing freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Incorporating best-in-class technology and environmental practices, CP is re-defining itself as a modern 21st century transportation company built on safety, service reliability and operational efficiency. Visit cpr.ca and see how Canadian Pacific is Driving the Digital Railway.
A world leader in managing protected areas, Parks Canada is committed to ensuring the protection and presentation of Canada’s historic and natural heritage. Through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians and 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.
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