The Sunshine Village ski resort in Banff National Park is asking Parks Canada to allow expansion, increased development, and greater use for both summer and winter operations.
Banff National Park, Canada’s first and most iconic national park and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is already bursting at the seams with built infrastructure and visitors. Allowing Sunshine Village ski resort to expand its operations beyond the existing footprint would further jeopardize nature in the park – and potentially put important wildlife species, such as grizzly bears, at greater risk.
New Site Guidelines for the resort have been put forward by Parks Canada for public comment. These Site Guidelines include:
- An increase in capacity for the resort from 6,000 skiers per day to 8,500 skiers per day;
- Expansion of the parking area, which is in an important wildlife corridor; and
- Increased summer use in an area already degraded and impacted by overuse.
These proposals are not in keeping with Parks Canada’s priority to manage the park with ecological integrity as the first priority, and to keep the park unimpaired for the enjoyment of both current and future generations.
Help us put a stop to this increased development.
Sunshine Village is already breaking the rules by not complying with existing caps on the numbers of skiers allowed, and not meeting wastewater treatment objectives. Operating a private business in a national park comes with responsibilities – allowing these new Site Guidelines to go unchallenged would give Sunshine Village a free pass to more development and more flouting of the rules.
CPAWS is asking Parks Canada to:
- Revise the Site Guidelines to reflect the current size and operation of the ski hill, and not to contemplate expansion until Sunshine Village is fully compliant with existing regulations and can show that they do not impact ecological integrity;
- Set limits NOW on the number of visitors allowed into the area during the summer season before further damage and degradation occurs; and
- Reject any increase in parking lot footprint – traffic congestion and parking issues should instead be addressed with increased use of mass transit options.
Have your say. Submit your thoughts on the Site Guidelines to Parks Canada!