Slideshow Description: The photos in this slideshow are intended to ‘tell the story’ of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, showing the area’s dramatic mountain landscapes, plants and animals, people, threats and conservation needs. It includes recent photographs from the area including parts of Banff National Park (Lake Louise, Peyto Lake, Saskatchewan Crossing and Columbia Icefield), Yoho National Park (Emerald Lake and Burgess Shale) and Jasper National Park (Athabasca Falls, Maligne Lake). This page of the website is still under development and a more detailed description of the various aspects of the site which are illustrated in the slideshow will be included in due course – so please come back again soon!
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s recent Conservation Outlook Assessment the conservation status of this site is ‘good with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that the ‘management of the world heritage values have consistently been a focus of management plans in each of the mountain parks. Programs to monitor and manage threats have been identified, but implementation may be hampered by current funding conditions in the BC and federal parks. Park managers have been creative in finding alternative approaches, including collaborative partnerships and stewardship initiatives. These may have the added benefit of raising awareness of environmental issues and levels of risk to conserved values in these parks. Geological values have benefited from protective measures designed to control access, including the use of virtual, web-based tours of the Burgess Shale site. Pressure for commercial development in the front-country is a threat to both viewscapes and biodiversity. The emphasis on increasing visitation in federal parks as a management goal and approval of two new commercial recreation projects in the front-country in recent years raise concerns regarding the ability to balance visitation and ecological integrity in the current fiscal climate. Management direction can be rebalanced in the short-term, assuming political will exists.’