Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific take action to further protect grizzly bears in Banff National Park

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CALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway and Parks Canada announced Wednesday a five-year action plan that would further reduce rail-related grizzly bear fatalities in Banff National Park.

Authorities have already identified many of the conditions that play a role in such incidents, including the presence of grain, bear behavior, the use of railroad tracks as a travel route, and conditions adjacent to the right-of-way such as seasonal bear foods, habitat quality, carcasses, terrain, travel conditions, and snow conditions.

Significant progress has already been made in reducing railway-related grain spills within the national parks, including employing unique track vacuum vehicles to remove large spills and using parks-specific operating procedures. The railroad is also nearing completion of a $20-million unloading gate replacement program for federally owned grain hopper cars.

Near-term actions within the new plan will include vegetation management, whistle zones, reviewing opportunities for wildlife fencing and culverts in high risk areas, and working with grain terminal operators to encourage loading practices that will further prevent grain spills within the national parks. Through the new research program other experimentation may be employed to dissuade grizzly bears from searching for grain on the tracks.

Medium- and longer-term solutions will be identified and tested through the research program and will be supported by robust monitoring to determine the effectiveness of the experiments.
CALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway and Parks Canada announced Wednesday a five-year action plan that would further reduce rail-related grizzly bear fatalities in Banff National Park.

Authorities have already identified many of the conditions that play a role in such incidents, including the presence of grain, bear behavior, the use of railroad tracks as a travel route, and conditions adjacent to the right-of-way such as seasonal bear foods, habitat quality, carcasses, terrain, travel conditions, and snow conditions.

Significant progress has already been made in reducing railway-related grain spills within the national parks, including employing unique track vacuum vehicles to remove large spills and using parks-specific operating procedures. The railroad is also nearing completion of a $20-million unloading gate replacement program for federally owned grain hopper cars.

Near-term actions within the new plan will include vegetation management, whistle zones, reviewing opportunities for wildlife fencing and culverts in high risk areas, and working with grain terminal operators to encourage loading practices that will further prevent grain spills within the national parks. Through the new research program other experimentation may be employed to dissuade grizzly bears from searching for grain on the tracks.

Medium- and longer-term solutions will be identified and tested through the research program and will be supported by robust monitoring to determine the effectiveness of the experiments.
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