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Home » AMPPE in the News » Icefields Trail project a positive idea

July 6, 2016 – Jasper Fitzhugh.

The recent announcement of federal funding dedicated toward the creation of a trail between the town of Jasper and the Columbia Icefields (possibly to Lake Louise) has brought quite a bit of excitement to our mountain community. So far the response has been incredibly positive, indicating that there is definitely endorsement for a non-motorized and safe option to experience one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world. Cyclists have been riding the Icefields Parkway for many years, but increasing the safety component will undoubtedly lead to the opportunity for more people to experience the region outside of their cars.

The Association for Mountain Parks Protection & Enjoyment (AMPPE) has a mandate to support positive visitor experience and sustainable tourism, so the concept of a user-friendly pathway adjacent to the narrow Highway 93 in Jasper National Park is a welcome one. The opportunity to promote responsible and ecologically friendly travel within our national parks is a big win for both visitors and for the environment. It seems that there has been some dissension from regional environmental groups on the idea, but it’s difficult to understand where that perspective comes from considering the positive impacts that this pathway would bring. The proposed trail would be ideal for many reasons ranging from promotion of healthy and active lifestyles and tourism activities, decreased carbon emissions from car traffic and reduced animal mortality with slower speeds in play.

Photo Credit Travel Alberta

Cycling in Jasper National Park. Photo Credit Travel Alberta

The enormously successful Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff is a prime example of the fact that Canadians are looking for more engaging, accessible and eco-friendly ways to connect with their national parks. This is one more way that we can encourage people to get out and enjoy our beautiful wilderness in a manner that is both immersive and ecologically appropriate.
An environmental impact assessment is warranted and required to determine the feasibility and specific route details for the plan, but AMPPE commends the federal government for following through on their commitment to Parks Canada toward this initiative that will surely enhance visitor experience within Jasper National Park for generations to come.

Casey Peirce
Executive Director

Original article sourced here.


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