Provincial officers expect 1000’s at Alberta parks and campsites this weekend and are urging guests to be conscious of COVID-19 restrictions, wildlife, and rubbish left behind.
Alberta Setting and Parks stated that about 161,000 campsite reservations have been made throughout the province as of Could 20 — greater than double the 74,000 reservations made on the identical date earlier than the pandemic in 2019.
Kanananskis Nation Space Supervisor Debbie Mucha stated that regardless of a drop in temperatures and precipitation within the lengthy weekend forecast, campsites in her area are in extraordinarily excessive demand.
“It is a bit bit chilly on the market, however we all know Albertans need to get out and about,” Mucha stated.
“It should be fairly busy.”
She is hoping that avalanche dangers, bear exercise, littering and COVID-19 well being restrictions like bodily distancing might be high of thoughts for Albertans.
“We wish everybody to be conscious of COVID-19 tips,” Mucha stated. “However we’re additionally asking guests to plan forward.”
How you can plan forward
This includes bringing additional private objects like masks and sanitizer — however be ready to pack out what you pack in, Mucha stated.
Rubbish ought to go into correct bins to keep away from trash on the paths.
Parks Canada employees and hikers alike observed extra litter on trails and in campsites final summer season, possible attributable to elevated use.
“Litter was undoubtedly a priority throughout the province,” Mucha stated. “It is fairly straightforward, whenever you’re touring inside a park or to the outside, to only carry some additional rubbish baggage.”
Trash on the paths impressed volunteer clean-up occasions in Alberta parks final 12 months. Sarah Kuindersma is pictured selecting up a poop bag on the path in August 2020. (James Younger/CBC)
Visitors and parking congestion is probably going, so have a number of locations in thoughts, and take into account visiting throughout off-times.
Avalanche dangers are current in some parks across the province, so examine forecasts earlier than you go.
And be conscious of the wildlife that’s now returning to the panorama — significantly bears, Mucha stated.
“Carry bear spray, have it safely saved, have it accessible, and particularly know easy methods to use it whenever you’re recreating open air,” she stated.
Banff braces for guests, RCMP prepares to implement sober driving
Earlier this week Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta‘s chief medical officer of well being, urged Albertans to remain dwelling for the lengthy weekend if they will.
Nevertheless, she stated these heading out for a weekend of tenting ought to stick with members of the identical family and make advance preparations — like stocking up on provides at dwelling — to assist decrease contact with others.
In the meantime, Parks Canada stated that it was bracing for an inflow of tourists to Banff Nationwide Park, and solely providers and actions the place well being and security dangers might be mitigated might be accessible.
“Whereas Parks Canada continues to remind the general public to observe public well being orders that [suggest] staying near dwelling, Parks Canada should put together for the potential for a busy Could lengthy weekend in Banff Nationwide Park,” Parks Canada spokesperson Justin Brisbane stated.
“All guests should observe journey restrictions and respect the steerage of public well being consultants.”
Brisbane stated guests are strongly inspired to plan forward and seek the advice of Alberta Well being Companies, Banff Nationwide Park and the City of Banff on-line for up-to-date data on restrictions.
Alberta RCMP stated Tuesday that it’s going to even be patrolling the roads to implement sober driving this weekend as a part of Canada Highway Security Week, a nationwide marketing campaign that goals to curb impaired driving, distracted driving and rushing.
“We need to make sure that everybody, wherever they could be travelling over the lengthy weekend, does so safely.”