Parks Canada Invites Public Comment on Sunshine Village Ski Area Draft Site Guidelines

Site guidelines will contribute positively to the long-term protection of the environment and ecology of Banff National Park and enhance the national park experience for visitors.

Banff, Alberta – In managing national parks, Parks Canada is responsible for protecting the environment and providing Canadians with opportunities to discover and enjoy Canada’s natural heritage.

Downhill skiing is a cornerstone of winter tourism in the mountain national parks, and it is Parks Canada’s responsibility to ensure ski areas are managed in a way that both preserves our national parks and offers high-quality and meaningful visitor experiences.

On June 21, 2018, Parks Canada launched a 60-day public review and comment period on the draft Site Guidelines for the Sunshine Village ski area. These draft guidelines set the future course for use and development at the resort.

Site guidelines are instrumental in managing national park ski areas in ways that respect their unique setting. The draft Site Guidelines for the Sunshine Village Ski Area address key aspects of ski hill operations in a national park, including:

·  Requirements and goals related to ecological integrity, and visitor experience and education;

·  Development and future growth limits related to daily skier capacity, ski terrain and facilities;

·  Summer use;

·  Parking options; and

·  Leasehold reductions.

Also available for public review and comments will be the draft Strategic Environmental Assessment of the draft Sunshine Site Guidelines. This document considers the detailed impacts of what is proposed in the site guidelines, and measures needed to protect the park’s ecology and resources.

More than 13,000 Canadians provided feedback in 2017 through the Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada! In response to the feedback, Minister McKenna affirmed that ecological integrity is the first priority in the management of Parks Canada places. The Minister also identified three ongoing goals for Parks Canada: to Protect and Restore our national parks and historic sites; to enable people to further Discover and Connect with our national parks and heritage; and to Sustain for generations to come the incredible value – both ecological and economic – that our national parks and historic sites provide for communities.

Public consultation on Site Guidelines is an important example of how Parks Canada is implementing those priorities in Banff National Park and involving the public in shaping the future of Sunshine Village ski area. Parks Canada encourages all Canadians to get involved and identify opportunities and potential issues that may not yet be fully reflected in the draft Site Guidelines.

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