Stop the Maligne Lake Road Closure - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

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post #16 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 08:49 PM
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I've heard rumors about Maligne Lake Road winter closure since 2005. They haven't materialized yet but this time looks like the "D-Day" is coming. Park wardens like to emphasize that predators (wolves, cougars) use human tracks to access caribou or deer.

[Added] Maligne Lake Road is the only place I've full packs of wolves in winter a couple of time. Seems like predators use it a lot indeed.

Maintaining natural equilibrium is a delicate thing, but if park officials believe that there are way too many wolves out who threaten caribou then why not to relocate or cull some of them? Making it more difficult for the predators to access the prey can make them more desperate, increasing the likelihood of confrontation with humans.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by nomsha

I wouldn't describe Tonquin, Skyline, and Jonas-Nigel-Brazeau as front-country by any stretch, but from my understanding they are definitely the most well used routes. Tonquin and Skyline are 2-5 day linear trails, and the Brazeau loop is either an in-out or a several day loop.
Gotcha, thanks! Glad to hear some multi-day routes are still receiving attention.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by nomsha

To me it seems like the thought process in Jasper is you should only be able to enjoy the mountains by driving by at 70km/h on Highway 16. After all, why would you want to get out of your car unless you were at a visitor centre or glass-bottomed walkway?
Indeed []
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mad owl woman

I'm not familiar with Jasper. Are the areas listed basically front country? Roughly how many kilometers of trail?

I ask because I'm seeing a trend towards developing front country as a priority for Parks on the coast and I'm curious if it's the same trend in Jasper.
Jasper is a heavily backcountry-based park. It contains miles of historical trails, and a number of places you really can't access without hiking 4+ days to reach. Once upon a time, that was valued. Now it moves steadily more to encouraging roadside development (glacier walk), and maintaining the couple of big-name short trails (the 2- to 4-day Skyline, for example, with the others in a similar idea). The long trails haven't had any maintenance in years, and are rapidly being actually decommissioned with bridges being removed and trails disappearing.
There is certainly a trend in traffic to more day-trippers and strollers, and fewer 10-day backpackers, but Parks is going beyond just working with that, and actively encouraging it by making it harder and harder to do anything else.
As people have commiserated elsewhere on the forum, campgrounds even 2 days from a road (or just not on a popular trail) are often in complete disrepair, yet parks expects a good chunk of money to stay there (which has led to many here stating that they just don't ask or pay anymore).


Regarding the original topic, petitions, especially online ones with online 'signatures' mean nothing at all, no matter how professional you make them look. You might get an issue looked at if enough people each actually individually contact the relevant people, but a petition isn't worth the bits it's stored in.
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 08:28 AM
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This is a list of the backcountry trails that have been decommissioned since I moved here in 1976, but most of them only in the last few years.
Moosehorn Lakes=36kms
Merlin Pass=32 kms
Mystery Lake=8kms
Vine Creek=9.5kms
Miette River=40kms
Meadow Creek=17kms
Maligne Pass=44kms
Elysium Pass=16kms
North Boundary=180kms
Watchtower=14kms
The complete South Boundary can no longer be done from Medicine Lake. If you want to do the South boundary in one direction you have to either start or finish at Rocky Pass, which is in the middle of nowhere.
Castleguard River, which starts in northern Banff and finishes in Jasper=50 kms
And another in Northern Banff, but close to Jasper is Howse Pass=24kms
Because these trails are decommissioned and not closed you can still use them, but crawling under and over and around deadfall with packs is no fun at all. Crossing raging rivers sucks too.
I fear that Athabasca Pass will be axed next. It already was semi decommissioned with crews only clearing it every two or three years.

In 1994, when the backcountry passes came into being, Parks spent over one million dollars to pave part of the skyline trail at Miette Hotsprings. Yes, they did put in a few tent pads and picnic tables and bear poles in the backcountry, but haven't touched one since.
There is one trail crew worker left and I think they will hire one more in the summer, but their main task will be removing dangerous dead standing trees from around front country campgrounds, and there are thousands of those.
So, who is keeping the trails clear? The outfitters are keeping the longer trails open and a few guys around town are keeping some of the shorter ones open. But we do not build bridges. The outfitters will continue be able to ride the back country because their horses will get them through, but too bad for the backpackers.

What really sticks in my craw about all this is that the Harper cutbacks isn't the main driving force behind all this. It's pressure from the Sierra Club that is causing most of this. While they still allow snowmobiling in the Yellowstone, they come up here and tell us that we're not doing enough to preserve our parks.

I think that the woodland caribou are destined for extinction no matter what parks do. They have a very low birth rate and let's face it, they are not very bright. If you walk slow enough, you can walk right up to a caribou. Try that with a moose or elk(backcountry elk, not a roadside one} or a deer. They are surrounded by wolves and grizzlies and the biggest killer of caribou calves is the wolverine.. They have culled the wolves and have sterilized them, but yet there are many around. It is true that snowmobile and ski tracks make it easier for the wolves to get to these places, but they still go there and still get the caribou. They just leave later in the spring.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:35 AM
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I noticed that Jasper NP finally posted the information about the Consultation on February 26 and 28 on their website:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jas...r-hiverap.aspx
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 11:18 AM
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Here is the information package they're distributing for the information session.

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post #22 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 12:13 PM
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The "other areas" question is a joke. They've cordoned off everything west of 93, east of 93, and north of 16. Where else can we go?

I also notice that Whistler's Creek is now being included, BUT, magically, Marmot Basin seems to have the boundary drawn around it, and the ski resort access road is also excluded from the closure.

Ah, yes, commercial interests that serve large volumes of bus/front country users are NEVER to be threatened, but commercial operations serving backcountry users (Tonquin Valley, ACC, HiHostels and Shangri La) are of course pretty much told to fold up and forget it.
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 03:18 PM
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Is the information package available as a PDF file somewhere online or did they just send you printed pages?
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by PackRat

Is the information package available as a PDF file somewhere online or did they just send you printed pages?
They emailed me a pdf.

I just put it on my website so you can download it here.

If you want to attend, they ask that you RSVP to them, which I would encourage as many people to do as possible.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by johngenx

The "other areas" question is a joke. They've cordoned off everything west of 93, east of 93, and north of 16. Where else can we go?
I was wondering that myself. I tend to spend more time in K-Country and Banff because I have a place to stay with family in Canmore, but I am trying to explore the Jasper area more. With these proposed changes, I may never get a chance!
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by johngenx

Where else can we go?
It pretty much leaves the Victoria Cross Range, the Icefields region, and the "Kane" peaks along Hwy 16. And given that they'd only have two roads to monitor, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for them to catch people trying to circumvent the exclusion orders.
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ecoulthard

We can all talk to the park superintendant on February 26th in Edmonton or February 28th in Jasper.

Just RSVPd. Will be there!
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 05:05 PM
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For those of you in Jasper planning on attending the info session, it has been moved to the Amethyst Lodge:

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post #28 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 07:33 AM
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What total bullsh_t! I don't get the 'closing' of huge areas at all! I mean, if there's no money left to maintain trails, that's one thing, but why CLOSE off huge areas making it ILLEGAL to go there at all?! How many people are realistically going into these areas especially when there's no trails anymore? I hate being told where I'm not allowed to go on my own two damn feet...
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by vern.dewit
I hate being told where I'm not allowed to go on my own two damn feet...
Yeah. We spent the better part of a week in the Snowbowl area, a supposedly "busy" backcountry area. There were nine people in the area the whole time. Nine! WTF???
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 12:26 AM
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Attended this evening's meeting. Somewhat productive, somewhat discouraging. The group from Parks were a little taken back by our unrelenting questions regarding how exactly does a small number of backcountry skiers impact the caribou so dramatically, and front country developments like ski resorts do not.

We saw their point about needed to protect wildlife, but after discussing how "compromises" are continually made for Brewsters, we wondered aloud why not for us.

They had some suggestions for alternative areas for winter recreation, all involved long travel on uninteresting terrain or limited options. They tried to explain what a great trip Fryatt is, but of course, no one took that ridiculous bait. Duh.

Honestly, I think that the "winter backcountry recreation season" for Jasper users is going to be one month per year, and possibly less than that if caribou numbers don't rebound.

The Maligne Lake area was not to be discussed, as it's going to have it's own round of meetings. But, WE talked about it almost non-stop.
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