Location and Values: The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho. Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber cover a vast contiguous area of the most spectacular mountain scenery in North America. The area includes numerous high peaks, glaciers, lakes, canyons, limestone caves and the famous Burgess Shale fossil site.
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.’
Official UNESCO Site Details
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description