Subject to final funding approval for the upcoming fiscal year, Parks Canada expects to proceed with the Highway 93 South Wildlife Crossing Project in the summer of 2013. Over the past decade we have confirmed an annual average of about 50 larger animals killed in wildlife-vehicle collisions in Kootenay National Park, in addition to unreported or unconfirmed ones. This is problematic for both wildlife and visitor safety. We also believe that the combination of accidents and disturbance is making the highway a partial barrier to the flow of animal populations and gene pools across the landscape. Based on the success of wildlife crossings on the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff NP, our plan is to build at least one wildlife underpass and at least 3 km of fencing this year. The exact numbers will not be known until the project goes to contract. The project area has the highest wildlife-vehicle collision rate in the park, accounting for at least 10% of the park’s annual average. Motorists on Hwy 93 can periodically expect delays of up to 10 minutes from spring through fall, but construction will be halted on long weekends.
There is the potential future installation of cell phone towers in Kootenay NP. The 2010 park management plan identified the provision of cell coverage as a goal. Telus has provided an initial proposal to provide that coverage with a series of towers through the park. This proposal is at an early stage and there will be an environmental review before an approval decision is made. Telus will be conducting public consultation on this project once additional details are available, including proposed locations, tower height and design. No construction is anticipated this summer.
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Telus will be conducting public consultation on this project once additional details are available, including proposed locations, tower height and design