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Home » AMPPE in the News » Jasper well represented on AMPPE board

With a Jasperite as chair and another as co-vice chair, the community will be well represented on the Association for Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment (AMPPE) this year.

At the association’s annual general meeting last month, Mike Day, owner of Evil Dave’s Grill, was appointed chair and Mark Howe, owner of Jasper Whitewater Rafting Company, was appointed co-vice chair. Howe will share the role of vice-chair with Yannis Karlos of Balkan Restaurant in Banff.

AMPPE is an advocacy group that supports sustainable tourism and a positive visitor experience within Canada’s Rocky Mountain parks.

Day said the association’s goal is to protect parks while also promoting tourism within them.

“We’re trying to find that middle ground,” he said. “We try to get the best outcome we can to ensure human use is respected and remains viable in the parks.”

Photo credit Jim Byers, The Star.

Photo credit Jim Byers, The Star.

AMPPE was founded in 1994. In the last few years it has worked on numerous projects within Jasper National Park (JNP), advocating for them as they underwent Parks Canada’s environmental assessment and public engagement processes. Included in those projects is the Glacier Skywalk, which opened in 2014, and the relisting of the Jasper Airstrip for recreational flying in 2013.

The association also worked with Parks Canada to help develop a compromise to balance caribou conservation with recreational opportunities in the park. The result was seasonal closures in critical caribou habitat—including the Maligne Valley—and the creation of new offers in other areas of the park.

Day pointed to the Marmot Meadows Winter Hub, which opened in 2015, as a positive development to help find that balance.

One of AMPPE’s current projects is assessing new research that could explain the decline in harlequin ducks in Western Canada. If the research holds up, AMPPE hopes to work with Jasper businesses to re-open the Maligne River to rafting.

Harlequin ducks are listed as a species at risk. In an effort to protect them, Parks implemented a year-round closure on the mid-Maligne River in 1999 to ensure female ducks would go undisturbed when looking for potential nesting sites on the river.

AMPPE is also currently working with rafting companies that operate in the Lower Canyon of the Kicking Horse River to ensure continued access, after a CP Rail decision to deny access to commercial rafting companies at a long-used, but never legalized access point.

Harlequin Duck

A Harlequin Duck, listed by Parks Canada as a species at risk.

AMPPE represents business interests in Jasper, Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, as well as in Kananaskis Country.

Day has been a long-time board member with the association and is a former town Councillor, who served five consecutive terms in Jasper. He has also served on Tourism Jasper’s board of directors and currently sits on the strategic marketing advisory board for the Jasper Destination Marketing Committee.

“I am thrilled to welcome Mike Day as AMPPE’s new chairman and appreciate his deep connections to Jasper,” said Casey Peirce, the association’s executive director, in a press release. “I believe that the diverse mountain park community is stronger working together to support visitor experience, tourism communities and conservation efforts.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with Mike, Yannis, Mark and the accomplished AMPPE board to continue the decades of work that has been done already to keep our parks as a pristine and fulfilling destination for our guests.”

Original article sourced here.

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