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Archived - Bringing Back Plains Bison to Banff National Park

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Parks Canada seeking public input on plan to return iconic animal to one of Canada’s most popular national parks

Banff National Park, Alberta, September 10, 2013 -- Today, Parks Canada released a draft plan for public consultation regarding the reintroduction of plains bison to Banff National Park, Canada's first national park.

Since the initiative was first announced in January 2012, Parks Canada has been taking important steps by meeting with the Province of Alberta, municipal governments, stakeholders, organizations and technical experts to gather input on key elements of bison reintroduction to Banff National Park. Feedback from these meetings is critical for informing the plan for reintroducing this iconic animal to the landscape, which were for thousands of years, the dominant herbivores on the East Slopes of the park. Although wild herds have been absent since the late 1870s, plains bison once roamed freely through much of what is now Banff National Park.

Parks Canada is now launching broader public consultations to ensure that all potential negative and positive impacts, both in the park and on neighbouring lands, are carefully considered and addressed when bringing bison back to Banff.

"Parks Canada is an international leader in conservation and restoration and in providing incredible visitor experiences," said Dave McDonough, superintendent for the Banff Field Unit. "We see public consultation as an opportunity for citizens to become involved in the stewardship of Canada's first national park."

Reintroducing plains bison furthers Parks Canada's conservation goal of restoring and maintaining a full complement of native species in Canada's national parks. Additionally, providing Canadians with opportunities to see and learn about Canada's wildlife helps contribute to an authentic national park experience.

From September 9 until November 1, 2013, all Canadians are invited to provide feedback on the draft plan. To access the plan, along with other information on the plains bison, the public is encouraged to visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/banff-bison. Comments on the plan and reintroduction can be sent to opinion@pc.gc.ca.

Parks Canada works to ensure Canada's historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.

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