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Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Overview
Banff National Park is Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

's oldest national park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains
Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA...

. The park, located 110–180 kilometres (70–110 mi) west of Calgary
Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

 in the province of Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, encompasses 6641 square kilometres (2,564.1 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s and ice field
Ice field
An ice field is an area less than 50,000 km² of ice often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation. It is an extensive area of interconnected valley glaciers from which the higher peaks rise as nunataks...

s, dense coniferous
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

 forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway
Icefields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway , also known as Highway 93 north, is a scenic road in Alberta, Canada. It parallels the Continental Divide, traversing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies, travelling through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. It links Lake Louise with Jasper to the north....

 extends from Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Alberta
Lake Louise is a hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Improvement District No. 9 Banff . It is named for the nearby Lake Louise, which in turn was named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta , the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, and the wife of John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll, who was the...

, connecting to Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² . It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and...

 in the north. Provincial forests and Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia. Yoho NP is bordered by Kootenay National Park on the southern side and Banff National Park on the eastern side...

 are neighbours to the west, while Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park is located in southeastern British Columbia Canada covering in the Canadian Rockies and forms part of a World Heritage Site. The park ranges in elevation from at the south-west park entrance to at Deltaform Mountain...

 is located to the south and Kananaskis Country to the southeast.
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Encyclopedia
Banff National Park is Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

's oldest national park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains
Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA...

. The park, located 110–180 kilometres (70–110 mi) west of Calgary
Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

 in the province of Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, encompasses 6641 square kilometres (2,564.1 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s and ice field
Ice field
An ice field is an area less than 50,000 km² of ice often found in the colder climates and higher altitudes of the world where there is sufficient precipitation. It is an extensive area of interconnected valley glaciers from which the higher peaks rise as nunataks...

s, dense coniferous
Pinophyta
The conifers, division Pinophyta, also known as division Coniferophyta or Coniferae, are one of 13 or 14 division level taxa within the Kingdom Plantae. Pinophytes are gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all extant conifers are woody plants, the great majority being...

 forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway
Icefields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway , also known as Highway 93 north, is a scenic road in Alberta, Canada. It parallels the Continental Divide, traversing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies, travelling through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. It links Lake Louise with Jasper to the north....

 extends from Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Alberta
Lake Louise is a hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Improvement District No. 9 Banff . It is named for the nearby Lake Louise, which in turn was named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta , the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, and the wife of John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll, who was the...

, connecting to Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² . It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and...

 in the north. Provincial forests and Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia. Yoho NP is bordered by Kootenay National Park on the southern side and Banff National Park on the eastern side...

 are neighbours to the west, while Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park is located in southeastern British Columbia Canada covering in the Canadian Rockies and forms part of a World Heritage Site. The park ranges in elevation from at the south-west park entrance to at Deltaform Mountain...

 is located to the south and Kananaskis Country to the southeast. The main commercial centre of the park is the town of Banff
Banff, Alberta
Banff is a town within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is located in Alberta's Rockies along the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately west of Calgary and east of Lake Louise....

, in the Bow River
Bow River
The Bow River is a river in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River, and is considered the headwater of the Nelson River....

 valley.

The Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway , formerly also known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I railway founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001...

 was instrumental in Banff's early years, building the Banff Springs Hotel
Banff Springs Hotel
The Fairmont Banff Springs or simply the Banff Springs Hotel is a former railway hotel constructed in Scottish Baronial style located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The original hotel, designed by American architect Bruce Price, was built between spring of 1887 and 1888 by the Canadian...

 and Chateau Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a Fairmont Hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Louise, near Banff, Alberta. The original Chateau was gradually built up at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was thus "kin" to its predecessors, the Banff...

, and attracting tourists through extensive advertising. In the early 20th century, roads were built in Banff, at times by war internees, and through Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

-era public works projects. Since the 1960s, park accommodations have been open all year, with annual tourism visits to Banff increasing to over 5 million in the 1990s. Millions more pass through the park on the Trans-Canada Highway
Trans-Canada Highway
The Trans-Canada Highway is a federal-provincial highway system that joins the ten provinces of Canada. It is, along with the Trans-Siberian Highway and Australia's Highway 1, one of the world's longest national highways, with the main route spanning 8,030 km...

. As Banff is one of the world's most visited national parks, the health of its ecosystem has been threatened. In the mid-1990s, Parks Canada
Parks Canada
Parks Canada , also known as the Parks Canada Agency , is an agency of the Government of Canada mandated to protect and present nationally significant natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative...

 responded by initiating a two-year study, which resulted in management recommendations, and new policies that aim to preserve ecological integrity.

History


Throughout its history, Banff National Park has been shaped by tension between conservation
Conservation movement
The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

 and development
Subdivision (land)
Subdivision is the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop, usually via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is then known in the United States as a subdivision...

 interests. The park was established in 1885, in response to conflicting claims over who discovered hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

 there, and who had the right to develop the hot springs for commercial interests. Instead, prime minister John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

 set aside the hot springs as a small, protected reserve, which was later expanded to include Lake Louise
Lake Louise (Alberta)
Lake Louise is a lake in Alberta, Canada. The glacial lake is located in Banff National Park, from the hamlet of Lake Louise and the Trans-Canada Highway....

 and other areas extending north to the Columbia Icefield
Columbia Icefield
The Columbia Icefield is an icefield located in the Canadian Rockies, astride the Continental Divide of North America. The icefield lies partly in the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is about 325 km² in area, 100 to 365 metres in depth and...

.

Early history


Archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 evidence found at Vermilion Lakes
Vermilion Lakes
The Vermilion Lakes are a series of lakes located immediately west of Banff, Alberta, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.The three lakes are formed in the Bow River valley, in the Banff National Park, at the foot of Mount Norquay. They are located between the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian...

 radiocarbon dates the first human activity in Banff to 10,300 B.P.
Before Present
Before Present years is a time scale used in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use AD 1950 as the origin of the age scale, reflecting the fact that radiocarbon...

 Prior to European contact, aboriginals
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

, including the Stoneys
Nakoda (people)
The Nakoda are a First Nation group, indigenous to both Canada and, originally, the United States....

, Kootenay
Kootenai (tribe)
The Ktunaxa , also known as Kootenai, Kutenai or Kootenay , are an indigenous people of North America. They are one of three tribes of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation in Montana, and they form the Ktunaxa Nation in British Columbia...

, Tsuu T'ina
Tsuu T'ina Nation
The Tsuu T'ina Nation is a First Nation in Canada. Their territory is located on the Indian reserve Tsuu T'ina Nation 145, whose east side is adjacent to the southwest city limits of Calgary, Alberta...

, Kainai
Kainai Nation
The Kainai Nation is a First Nation in southern Alberta, Canada with a population of 7,437 members in 2005, and had a population of 9,035 members as of 9 February 2008...

, Peigans
Northern Peigan
The Northern Peigans or Aapátohsipikáni are a First Nation, part of the Niitsítapi . Known as Piikáni, "Pekuni" or Aapátohsipikáni , they are very closely related to the other members of the Blackfoot Confederacy: Aamsskáápipikani , Káínaa or...

, and Siksika, were common in the region where they hunted bison
Bison
Members of the genus Bison are large, even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four extinct species are recognized...

 and other game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

.

With the admission of British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 to Canada on 20 July 1871, Canada agreed to build a transcontinental railroad
Transcontinental railroad
A transcontinental railroad is a contiguous network of railroad trackage that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders. Such networks can be via the tracks of either a single railroad, or over those owned or controlled by multiple railway companies...

. Construction of the railroad began in 1875, with Kicking Horse Pass
Kicking Horse Pass
Kicking Horse Pass is a high mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Americas of the Canadian Rockies on the Alberta/British Columbia border, and lying within Yoho and Banff National Parks...

 chosen, over the more northerly Yellowhead Pass
Yellowhead Pass
The Yellowhead Pass is a mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies. It is located on the border between the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and lies within Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park....

, as the route through the Canadian Rockies. Ten years later, the last spike was driven in Craigellachie, British Columbia
Craigellachie, British Columbia
Craigellachie is a locality in British Columbia, located several kilometres to the west of the Eagle Pass summit between Sicamous and Revelstoke...

.


Rocky Mountains Park established


With conflicting claims over discovery of hot springs in Banff, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald decided to set aside a small reserve of 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) around the hot springs at Cave and Basin as a public park known as the Banff Hot Springs Reserve in 1885. Under the Rocky Mountains Park Act
Rocky Mountains Park Act
The Rocky Mountains Park Act was enacted on June 23, 1887, by the Parliament of Canada, establishing Banff National Park which was then known as "Rocky Mountains Park". The act was modelled on the Yellowstone Park Act passed by the United States Congress in 1881. The Rocky Mountains Park Act...

, enacted on 23 June 1887, the park was expanded to 674 square kilometres (260.2 sq mi) and named Rocky Mountains Park. This was Canada's first national park, and the second established in North America, after Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

. The Canadian Pacific Railway built the Banff Springs Hotel
Banff Springs Hotel
The Fairmont Banff Springs or simply the Banff Springs Hotel is a former railway hotel constructed in Scottish Baronial style located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The original hotel, designed by American architect Bruce Price, was built between spring of 1887 and 1888 by the Canadian...

 and Chateau Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a Fairmont Hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Louise, near Banff, Alberta. The original Chateau was gradually built up at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was thus "kin" to its predecessors, the Banff...

 to attract tourists and increase the number of rail passengers.

Early on, Banff was popular with wealthy European tourists, who arrived in Canada via trans-Atlantic luxury liner
Ocean liner
An ocean liner is a ship designed to transport people from one seaport to another along regular long-distance maritime routes according to a schedule. Liners may also carry cargo or mail, and may sometimes be used for other purposes .Cargo vessels running to a schedule are sometimes referred to as...

 and continued westward on the railroad, as well as upper-class American and English tourists. Some visitors participated in mountaineering activities, often hiring local guides. Tom Wilson, along with Jim and Bill Brewster, was among the first outfitters in Banff. The Alpine Club of Canada
Alpine Club of Canada
The Alpine Club of Canada is a mountain club with a National Office in Canmore, Alberta that has been a focal point for Canadian mountaineering since its founding in 1906. The club was co-founded by Arthur Oliver Wheeler, who served as its first president, and Elizabeth Parker, a journalist for...

, established in 1906 by Arthur Oliver Wheeler
Arthur Oliver Wheeler
Arthur Oliver Wheeler was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada in 1876 at the age of 16. He became a land surveyor and surveyed large areas of western Canada, including photo-topographical surveys of the Selkirk Mountains and the British Columbia-Alberta boundary along the continental divide...

 and Elizabeth Parker, organized climbs and camps in the backcountry.

By 1911, Banff was accessible by automobile from Calgary. Beginning in 1916, the Brewsters offered motorcoach tours of Banff. In 1920, access to Lake Louise by road was available, and the Banff-Windermere Road opened in 1923 to connect Banff with British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

.

In 1902, the park was expanded to cover 11400 square kilometres (4,401.6 sq mi), encompassing areas around Lake Louise, and the Bow
Bow River
The Bow River is a river in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River, and is considered the headwater of the Nelson River....

, Red Deer
Red Deer River
The Red Deer River is a river in Alberta, Canada. It is a major tributary of the South Saskatchewan River.Red Deer River has a total length of and a drainage area of...

, Kananaskis
Kananaskis River
The Kananaskis River is a mountain river in western Alberta, Canada. It is a tributary of the Bow River, crossing the length of Kananaskis Country.The river was named by John Palliser in 1858 after a Cree.-Course:...

, and Spray
Spray River
Spray River is a short river in western Alberta, Canada. It is a tributary of the Bow River.Spray River originates in the southern area of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies and flows north between the Spray Valley Provincial Park and the Bow Valley Wildland...

 rivers. Bowing to pressure from grazing and logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

 interests, the size of the park was reduced in 1911 to 4663 square kilometres (1,800.4 sq mi), eliminating many foothills areas from the park. Park boundaries changed several more times up until 1930, when the size of Banff was fixed at 6697 square kilometres (2,585.7 sq mi), with the passage of the National Parks Act
National Parks Act (Canada)
The National Parks Act is a Canadian federal law that regulates protection of natural areas of national significance.-National parks:The act enables Parks Canada to designate and maintain national parks and national parks reserves. Within these, additional wildland areas may be designated...

. The Act also renamed the park as Banff National Park, named for the Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway , formerly also known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996, is a historic Canadian Class I railway founded in 1881 and now operated by Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, which began operations as legal owner in a corporate restructuring in 2001...

 station, which in turn was named after the Banffshire
Banffshire
The County of Banff is a registration county for property, and Banffshire is a Lieutenancy area of Scotland.The County of Banff, also known as Banffshire, was a local government county of Scotland with its own county council between 1890 and 1975. The county town was Banff although the largest...

 region in Scotland. With the construction of a new east gate in 1933, Alberta transferred 0.84 square kilometres (207.5 acres) to the park. This, along with other minor changes in the park boundaries in 1949, set the area of the park at 6641 square kilometres (2,564.1 sq mi).

Coal mining


In 1887, local aboriginal tribes signed Treaty 7
Treaty 7
Treaty 7 was an agreement between Queen Victoria and several mainly Blackfoot First Nations tribes in what is today the southern portion of Alberta. It was concluded on September 22, 1877. The agreement was signed at the Blackfoot Crossing of the Bow River, at the present-day Siksika Nation...

, which gave Canada rights to explore the land for resources. At the beginning of the twentieth century, coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 was mined
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 near Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake located in the eastern area of Banff National Park in Canada, about five kilometres northeast of the Banff townsite...

 in Banff. For a brief period, a mine operated at Anthracite, but was shut down in 1904. The Bankhead
Bankhead, Alberta
Bankhead, Alberta was a small coal mining town that existed in the early twentieth century, in Banff National Park, near the town of Banff, Alberta. The mine was located at Cascade Mountain, which contains high grade anthracite coal deposits...

 mine, at Cascade Mountain
Cascade Mountain (Alberta)
Cascade Mountain is a mountain located in the Bow River Valley of Banff National Park, adjacent to the town of Banff. The mountain was named in 1858 by James Hector after the waterfall or cascade on the southern flanks of the peak. The mountain has also been called Stoney Chief, which is related...

, was operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1903 to 1922. In 1926, the town was dismantled, with many buildings moved to the town of Banff and elsewhere.

Prison and work camps


During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, immigrants from Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 were sent to Banff to work in internment camps. The main camp was located at Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain is located within Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, approximately half-way between Banff and Lake Louise. While looking nearly impenetrable from the Trans-Canada Highway, the peak can be ascended from the backside on the northeastern slopes...

, and was moved to Cave and Basin during winter. Much early infrastructure and road construction was done by Slavic Canadian internees
Ukrainian Canadian internment
The Ukrainian Canadian internment was part of the confinement of "enemy aliens" in Canada during and for two years after the end of the First World War, lasting from 1914 to 1920, under the terms of the War Measures Act that would be used again, in the Second World War, against Japanese Canadians;...

.


In 1931, the Government of Canada
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

 enacted the Unemployment and Farm Relief Act
Unemployment and Farm Relief Act
The Unemployment and Farm Relief Act was enacted in July 1931 by the Parliament of Canada, enabling public works projects to be set up in Canada's national parks during the Great Depression. This legislation followed the Unemployment Relief Act, passed in 1930, which provided grants for municipal...

 which provided public works
Public works
Public works are a broad category of projects, financed and constructed by the government, for recreational, employment, and health and safety uses in the greater community...

 projects in the national parks during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. In Banff, workers constructed a new bathhouse and pool at Upper Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs are commercially developed hot springs located in Banff National Park in Canada, near the Banff townsite. The hot pool is outdoors and while in the pool, visitors can look across the valley to Mount Rundle....

, to supplement Cave and Basin. Other projects involved road building in the park, tasks around the Banff townsite, and construction of a highway connecting Banff and Jasper
Jasper, Alberta
Jasper is a specialized municipality in western Alberta, Canada. It is the commercial centre of Jasper National Park, located in the Canadian Rockies in the Athabasca River valley....

. In 1934, the Public Works Construction Act
Public Works Construction Act
The Public Works Construction Act was enacted in 1934 by the Parliament of Canada, provided $40 million in assistance during the Great Depression. Public works projects included many construction projects in Canada's national parks and historic sites, such as building the replica Port Royal...

 was passed, providing continued funding for the public works projects. New projects included construction of a new registration facility at Banff's east gate, and construction of an administrative building in Banff. By 1940, the Icefields Parkway reached the Columbia Icefield area of Banff, and connected Banff and Jasper.

Internment camps were once again set up in Banff during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, with camps stationed at Lake Louise, Stoney Creek, and Healy Creek. Prison camps were largely composed of Mennonites from Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

. Japanese internment
Japanese Canadian internment
Japanese Canadian internment refers to confinement of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia during World War II. The internment began in December 1941, following the attack by carrier-borne forces of Imperial Japan on American naval and army facilities at Pearl Harbor...

 camps were not stationed in Banff during World War II, but rather were located in Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² . It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and...

 where their detainees worked on the Yellowhead Highway
Yellowhead Highway
The Yellowhead Highway is a major east-west highway connecting the four western Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Although part of the Trans-Canada Highway system, the highway should not be confused with the more southerly, originally-designated...

 and other projects.

Winter tourism


Winter tourism in Banff began in February 1917, with the first Banff Winter Carnival. The carnival featured a large ice palace, which in 1917 was built by internees. Carnival events included cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a winter sport in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles...

, ski jumping
Ski jumping
Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump and attempt to land as far as possible down the hill below. In addition to the length of the jump, judges give points for style. The skis used for ski jumping are wide and long...

, curling
Curling
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a...

, snowshoe
Snowshoe
A snowshoe is footwear for walking over the snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person's foot does not sink completely into the snow, a quality called "flotation"....

, and skijoring
Skijoring
Skijoring is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.- Dog skijoring :...

. In the 1930s, the first downhill ski resort, Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village is a Canadian ski resort, located within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is one of three major ski resorts located in the Banff National Park. The Sunshine base area is located Southwest of the town of Banff, Alberta. By car, it is about one hour and thirty minute drive...

, was developed by the Brewsters. Mount Norquay ski area was also developed during the 1930s, with the first chair lift installed there in 1948.

Since 1968, when the Banff Springs Hotel was winterized, Banff has been a year-round destination. In the 1960s, the Trans-Canada Highway was constructed, providing another transportation corridor through the Bow Valley, in addition to the Bow Valley Parkway, making the park more accessible. Also in the 1960s, Calgary International Airport
Calgary International Airport
Calgary International Airport, , is the international airport that serves Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the surrounding region; it is situated approximately northeast of downtown Calgary...

 was built.

Canada launched several bids to host the Winter Olympics in Banff, with the first bid for the 1964 Winter Olympics
1964 Winter Olympics
The 1964 Winter Olympics, officially known as the IX Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Innsbruck, Austria, from January 29 to February 9, 1964...

 which were eventually awarded to Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. Canada narrowly lost a second bid, for the 1968 Winter Olympics
1968 Winter Olympics
The 1968 Winter Olympics, officially known as the X Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1968 in Grenoble, France and opened on 6 February. Thirty-seven countries participated...

, which were awarded to Grenoble
Grenoble
Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère...

, France. Once again, Banff launched a bid to host the 1972 Winter Olympics
1972 Winter Olympics
The 1972 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XI Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated from February 3 to February 13, 1972 in Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan...

, with plans to hold the Olympics at Lake Louise. The 1972 bid was most controversial, as environmental lobby groups provided strong opposition to the bid, which had sponsorship from Imperial Oil
Imperial Oil
Imperial Oil Limited is Canada's largest petroleum company. The company is engaged in the exploration, production and sale of crude oil and natural gas. It is controlled by US based ExxonMobil, which owns 69.6% of its stock...

. Bowing to pressure, Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

, then the Minister of Environment, the government department responsible for Parks Canada, withdrew support for the bid, which was eventually lost to Sapporo, Japan. The cross-country ski events were held at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park
Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park
Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park is a provincial park in Alberta, Canada, located immediately west of Canmore, west of Calgary.The park is situated at the foot of Mount Rundle in the Canadian Rockies, along the Bow Valley and the Trans-Canada Highway, at an elevation of and has a surface of...

 at Canmore, Alberta
Canmore, Alberta
Canmore is a town in Alberta, Canada, located approximately west of the City of Calgary near the southeast boundary of Banff National Park. It is located in the Bow Valley within Alberta's Rockies. The town shares a border with Kananaskis Country to the west and south and the Municipal District of...

, located just outside the eastern gates of Banff National Park on the Trans-Canada Highway
Trans-Canada Highway
The Trans-Canada Highway is a federal-provincial highway system that joins the ten provinces of Canada. It is, along with the Trans-Siberian Highway and Australia's Highway 1, one of the world's longest national highways, with the main route spanning 8,030 km...

, when nearby Calgary
Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

 hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics
1988 Winter Olympics
The 1988 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XV Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event celebrated in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 13 to 28 February 1988. The host was selected in 1981 after having beat Falun, Sweden and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy...

.

Conservation


Since the original Rocky Mountains Park Act, subsequent acts and policies placed greater emphasis on conservation. With public sentiment tending towards environmentalism, Parks Canada
Parks Canada
Parks Canada , also known as the Parks Canada Agency , is an agency of the Government of Canada mandated to protect and present nationally significant natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative...

 issued major new policy in 1979, which emphasized conservation. The National Parks Act was amended in 1988, which made preserving ecological integrity the first priority in all park management decisions. The act also required each park to produce a management plan, with greater public participation.

In 1984, Banff was declared a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

, together with the other national and provincial park
Provincial park
A provincial park is a park under the management of a provincial or territorial government in Canada.While provincial parks are not the same as national parks, their workings are very similar...

s that form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site is located in the Canadian Rockies. It consists of four national parks:*Banff*Jasper*Kootenay*Yohoand three British Columbia provincial parks:*Hamber Provincial Park...

, for the mountain landscapes containing mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyon
Canyon
A canyon or gorge is a deep ravine between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water it will eventually drain into. This forms a canyon. Most canyons were formed by a process of...

s and limestone caves as well as fossil
Fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s found here. With this designation came added obligations for conservation.
During the 1980s, Parks Canada moved to privatize many park services such as golf courses, and added user fees for use of other facilities and services to help deal with budget cuts. In 1990, the Town of Banff
Banff, Alberta
Banff is a town within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is located in Alberta's Rockies along the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately west of Calgary and east of Lake Louise....

 was incorporated
Municipal corporation
A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which...

, giving local residents more say regarding any proposed developments.

In the 1990s, development plans for the park, including expansion at Sunshine Village, were under fire with lawsuits filed by Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). In the mid-1990s, the Banff-Bow Valley Study was initiated to find ways to better address environmental concerns, and issues relating to development in the park.

Geography



Banff National Park is located in the Rocky Mountains on Alberta's western border with British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 in the Alberta Mountain forests
Alberta Mountain forests
The Alberta Mountain forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of Canada.-Setting:This ecoregion covers the grand Rocky Mountains of Alberta including the eastern outliers of the Continental Ranges. Located almost entirely in Alberta and taking in the Alberta-British Columbia border from...

 ecoregion. Banff is about an hour and half driving distance from Calgary
Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

, and four hours from Edmonton
Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is the province's second-largest city. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by the central region of the province.The city and its census...

. Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² . It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and...

 is located to the north, while Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia. Yoho NP is bordered by Kootenay National Park on the southern side and Banff National Park on the eastern side...

 is to the west, and Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park is located in southeastern British Columbia Canada covering in the Canadian Rockies and forms part of a World Heritage Site. The park ranges in elevation from at the south-west park entrance to at Deltaform Mountain...

 is to the south. Kananaskis Country, which includes Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Spray Valley Provincial Park
Spray Valley Provincial Park
Spray Valley Provincial Park is a provincial park located east of the Rocky Mountains, along the Spray River in western Alberta, Canada.The park is part of the Kananaskis Country park system Spray Valley Provincial Park is a provincial park located east of the Rocky Mountains, along the Spray River...

, and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is a provincial park located in Alberta, Canada. The park is located in Kananaskis Country approximately 90 km west of Calgary, along the Kananaskis Trail....

, is located to the south and east of Banff.

The Trans-Canada Highway
Trans-Canada Highway
The Trans-Canada Highway is a federal-provincial highway system that joins the ten provinces of Canada. It is, along with the Trans-Siberian Highway and Australia's Highway 1, one of the world's longest national highways, with the main route spanning 8,030 km...

 passes through Banff National Park, from eastern boundary near Canmore
Canmore, Alberta
Canmore is a town in Alberta, Canada, located approximately west of the City of Calgary near the southeast boundary of Banff National Park. It is located in the Bow Valley within Alberta's Rockies. The town shares a border with Kananaskis Country to the west and south and the Municipal District of...

, through the towns of Banff and Lake Louise
Lake Louise, Alberta
Lake Louise is a hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Improvement District No. 9 Banff . It is named for the nearby Lake Louise, which in turn was named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta , the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, and the wife of John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll, who was the...

, and into Yoho National Park in British Columbia. The Banff townsite is the main commercial centre in the national park. The village of Lake Louise is located at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Icefields Parkway, which extends north to the Jasper townsite.

Banff



Banff, established in 1883, is the main commercial centre in Banff National Park, as well as a centre for cultural activities. Banff is home to several cultural institutions, including the Banff Centre
Banff Centre
The Banff Centre, formerly known as The Banff Centre for Continuing Education, is an arts, cultural, and educational institution and conference complex located in Banff, Alberta...

, the Whyte Museum
Whyte Museum
The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is located in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and makes available for research and education materials related to the cultural heritage of the Rocky Mountains of Canada and other mountains around the world...

, the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada is located in the town of Banff, Alberta within the Canadian Rocky Mountains, at the site of natural thermal mineral springs around which Canada's first national park, Banff National Park, was established....

, and several art galleries
Art gallery
An art gallery or art museum is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art.Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection...

. Throughout its history, Banff has hosted many annual events, including Banff Indian Days which began in 1889, and the Banff Winter Carnival. Since 1976, The Banff Centre has organized the Banff Mountain Film Festival
Banff Mountain Film Festival
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is an international film competition and an annual presentation of short films and documentaries about mountain culture, sports, and environment. It was launched in 1976 as The Banff Festival of Mountain Films by The Banff Centre and is held every fall in Banff,...

. In 1990, Banff incorporated as a town of Alberta, though still subject to the National Parks Act
National Parks Act (Canada)
The National Parks Act is a Canadian federal law that regulates protection of natural areas of national significance.-National parks:The act enables Parks Canada to designate and maintain national parks and national parks reserves. Within these, additional wildland areas may be designated...

 and federal authority in regards to planning and development. As of the 2005 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, the Town of Banff has a population of 8,352, of which nearly 7,000 are permanent residents. The Bow River flows through the Town of Banff, with the Bow Falls
Bow Falls
Bow Falls is a major waterfall on the Bow River, Alberta just before the junction of it and the Spray River. The falls are located near the Banff Springs Hotel and golf course on the left-hand side of River Road....

 located on the outskirts of town.

Lake Louise




Lake Louise, a hamlet located 54 kilometres (33.6 mi) northwest of the Town of Banff, is home to the landmark Chateau Lake Louise
Chateau Lake Louise
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a Fairmont Hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Louise, near Banff, Alberta. The original Chateau was gradually built up at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was thus "kin" to its predecessors, the Banff...

 at the edge of Lake Louise. Located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Lake Louise, Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park, outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately . The lake has a surface area of ....

 provides a scenic vista of the Valley of the Ten Peaks
Valley of the Ten Peaks
Valley of the Ten Peaks is a valley in Banff National Park that is crowned by ten notable peaks and also includes Moraine Lake. The valley can be reached by following the Moraine Lake road near Lake Louise...

. This scene was pictured on the back of the $20 Canadian banknote
Canadian banknotes
Canadian banknotes are the banknotes of Canada, denominated in Canadian dollars . In everyday usage, they are called bills. Currently, they are issued in five, ten, twenty, fifty, and hundred dollar denominations. All current notes are issued by the Bank of Canada, which released its first series...

, in the 1969–1979 ("Scenes of Canada") series. The Lake Louise Mountain Resort
Lake Louise Mountain Resort
The Lake Louise Ski Area is a ski resort located in Banff National Park, near the village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It can be reached from Banff, from where it is a 35 to 45 minute drive west on Trans-Canada Highway, or Calgary, a 2-hour drive...

 is also located near the village.

Icefields Parkway




The Icefields Parkway
Icefields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway , also known as Highway 93 north, is a scenic road in Alberta, Canada. It parallels the Continental Divide, traversing the rugged landscape of the Canadian Rockies, travelling through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. It links Lake Louise with Jasper to the north....

 extends 230 kilometres (142.9 mi), connecting Lake Louise to Jasper, Alberta. The Parkway originates at Lake Louise, and extends north up the Bow Valley, past Hector Lake
Hector Lake
Hector Lake is a small glacial lake in western Alberta, Canada. It is located on the Bow River, in the Canadian Rockies.It is named after James Hector, a geologist and naturalist with the Palliser Expedition....

, Bow Lake
Bow Lake (Alberta)
Bow Lake is a small lake in western Alberta, Canada. It is located on the Bow River, in the Canadian Rockies, at an altitude of 1920 m.The lake lies south of the Bow Summitt, east of the Waputik Range and west of the Dolomite Pass, Dolomite Peak and Cirque Peak.Bow Lake is...

, and Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The lake itself is easily accessed from the Icefields Parkway...

. The Parkway then crosses a summit, and follows the Mistaya River
Mistaya River
Mistaya River is a short river in western Alberta, Canada. It flows through the Canadian Rockies, and a section of the Icefield Parkway was built along its course....

 to Saskatchewan Crossing, where it converges with the Howse
Howse River
Howse River is a short river in western Alberta, Canada. It is a tributary of the North Saskatchewan River.Howse River is a corded river, with several streams crossing in its flood plain...

 and North Saskatchewan River
North Saskatchewan River
The North Saskatchewan River is a glacier-fed river that flows east from the Canadian Rockies to central Saskatchewan. It is one of two major rivers that join to make up the Saskatchewan River....

.

The North Saskatchewan River
North Saskatchewan River
The North Saskatchewan River is a glacier-fed river that flows east from the Canadian Rockies to central Saskatchewan. It is one of two major rivers that join to make up the Saskatchewan River....

 flows east from Saskatchewan Crossing, out of Banff, into what is known as David Thompson country, and onto Edmonton. The David Thompson Highway follows the North Saskatchewan River, past the man-made Abraham Lake
Abraham Lake
Abraham Lake is an artificial lake on North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta, Canada. Abraham Lake has a surface area of and a length of .-History:...

, and through David Thompson Country. At Saskatchewan Crossing, basic services are available, including gasoline, cafeteria, a gift shop, and small motel.

North of Saskatchewan Crossing, the Icefields Parkway follows the North Saskatchewan River up to the Columbia Icefield
Columbia Icefield
The Columbia Icefield is an icefield located in the Canadian Rockies, astride the Continental Divide of North America. The icefield lies partly in the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is about 325 km² in area, 100 to 365 metres in depth and...

. The Parkway crosses into Jasper National Park at Sunwapta Pass at 2,023 metres (6,635 ft) in elevation, and continues on from there to the Jasper townsite.

Geology


The Canadian Rockies consist of several northwest-southeast trending ranges. Closely following the continental divide
Continental divide
A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea...

, the Main Ranges form the backbone of the Canadian Rockies. The Front Ranges are located east of the Main Ranges. Banff National Park extends eastward from the continental divide and includes the eastern slope of the Main Ranges and much of the Front Ranges. The latter include the mountains around the Banff townsite. The foothills are located to the east of the Park, between Calgary and Canmore. On the other side of the Park, the Western Ranges pass through Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Still farther west is the Rocky Mountain Trench
Rocky Mountain Trench
The Rocky Mountain Trench, or the Trench or The Valley of a Thousand Peaks, is a large valley in the northern part of the Rocky Mountains. It is both visually and cartographically a striking physiographic feature extending approximately from Flathead Lake, Montana, to the Liard River, just south...

, the western boundary of the Canadian Rockies region in British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

.

The Canadian Rockies are composed of sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock are types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution....

, including shale
Shale
Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. The ratio of clay to other minerals is variable. Shale is characterized by breaks along thin laminae or parallel layering...

, sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

, limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 and quartzite
Quartzite
Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink...

, that originated as deposits on a continental shelf, similar to the relatively shallow shelf off-shore of the eastern US. The geologic formation
Geologic formation
A formation or geological formation is the fundamental unit of lithostratigraphy. A formation consists of a certain number of rock strata that have a comparable lithology, facies or other similar properties...

s in Banff range in age from Precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 eon to the Jurassic
Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 period. Rocks as young as late Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

, formed from the shedding of sediments towards the continental interior from rising mountain ranges farther west, were themselves caught up in the mountain-building as deformation progressed inland. However, most of these deposits -- notably the Cretaceous sandstones exposed in the footwall of the McConnell thrust fault
Thrust fault
A thrust fault is a type of fault, or break in the Earth's crust across which there has been relative movement, in which rocks of lower stratigraphic position are pushed up and over higher strata. They are often recognized because they place older rocks above younger...

 at Yamnuska mountain -- are outside of the boundaries of Banff park proper.

Although the rocks in Banff Park were laid down as sediments between ~600 Ma to ~175 Ma, the main period of mountain building occurred between 80–120 million years ago, as a result of the shortening and deformation of the ancient continental shelf as exotic island terrane
Terrane
A terrane in geology is short-hand term for a tectonostratigraphic terrane, which is a fragment of crustal material formed on, or broken off from, one tectonic plate and accreted or "sutured" to crust lying on another plate...

s collided and were accreted onto the continent's margin. The shortening was accommodated by thrust fault
Thrust fault
A thrust fault is a type of fault, or break in the Earth's crust across which there has been relative movement, in which rocks of lower stratigraphic position are pushed up and over higher strata. They are often recognized because they place older rocks above younger...

s and associated folds.

Erosion
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 accompanied and outlasted the uplift of the Canadian Rockies, with a probable rejuvenation and acceleration of erosion rates since Pliocene
Pliocene
The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

 time, as the Earth entered a period of extensive glaciation. Glacial landforms overwhelmingly dominate Banff's geomorphology
Geomorphology
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them...

, with examples of all classic glacial forms: cirque
Cirque
Cirque may refer to:* Cirque, a geological formation* Makhtesh, an erosional landform found in the Negev desert of Israel and Sinai of Egypt*Cirque , an album by Biosphere* Cirque Corporation, a company that makes touchpads...

s, arete
Arete
Areté is the term meaning "virtue" or "excellence", from Greek ἈρετήArete may also be used:*as a given name of persons or things:**Queen Arete , a character in Homer's Odyssey.***197 Arete, an asteroid....

s, hanging valleys, moraine
Moraine
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have...

s, U-shaped valley
U-shaped valley
A U-shaped valley also known as a glacial trough is one formed by the process of glaciation. It has a characteristic U-shape, with steep, straight sides, and a flat bottom. Glaciated valleys are formed when a glacier travels across and down a slope, carving the valley by the action of scouring...

s et al. The pre-existing structure left over from mountain-building has strongly guided glacial erosion: mountains in Banff include complex, irregular, anticlinal
Anticline
In structural geology, an anticline is a fold that is convex up and has its oldest beds at its core. The term is not to be confused with antiform, which is a purely descriptive term for any fold that is convex up. Therefore if age relationships In structural geology, an anticline is a fold that is...

, synclinal
Syncline
In structural geology, a syncline is a fold, with younger layers closer to the center of the structure. A synclinorium is a large syncline with superimposed smaller folds. Synclines are typically a downward fold, termed a synformal syncline In structural geology, a syncline is a fold, with younger...

, castellate, dogtooth, and sawback mountains and many of the mountain ranges trend North-Northeast, with sedimentary layering dipping down to the West at 40 - 60 degrees. This leads to dipslope landforms, with generally steeper East and North faces, and trellis drainage, where rivers and old glacial valleys followed the weaker layers in the geological succession.

Classic examples are found at the Banff townsite proper: Mount Rundle
Mount Rundle
Mount Rundle is a mountain in Banff National Park overlooking the towns of Banff and Canmore, Alberta. The mountain was named by John Palliser in 1858 after Reverend Robert Rundle, who had visited the Banff area during the 1840s....

 is a classic dip slope
Dip slope
A dip slope is a geological formation often created by erosion of tilted strata. Dip slopes are found on homoclinal ridges with one side that is steep and irregular and another side, the dip slope, that is generally planar with a dip parallel to the bedding...

 mountain, and the Spray and Sulphur river drainages flow parallel to the geological strike of the mountain range. Just to the North of Banff townsite, Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain is located within Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, approximately half-way between Banff and Lake Louise. While looking nearly impenetrable from the Trans-Canada Highway, the peak can be ascended from the backside on the northeastern slopes...

 exemplifies a castellate shape, with steep slopes and cliffs. Castle Mountain is composed of Cambrian
Cambrian
The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, lasting from Mya ; it is succeeded by the Ordovician. Its subdivisions, and indeed its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where Britain's...

 rocks of the Cathedral formation (limestone), the Stephen
Stephen
Stephen or Steven is a masculine first name, derived from the Greek name Στέφανος meaning "crown, garland", in turn from the Greek word "στέφανος", meaning "wreath, crown, honour, reward", literally "that which surrounds or encompasses". In ancient Greece a wreath was given to the winner of a...

 shale above it, and the Eldon formation (limestone). Dogtooth mountains, such as Mount Louis
Mount Louis
Mount Louis is a mountain located in southeast Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is part of the Sawback Range.The mountain was named in 1886 after Louis B. Stewart....

, exhibit sharp, jagged slopes. The Sawback Range
Sawback Range
The Sawback Range is a mountain range of the Canadian Rockies that stretches from the Bow Valley in Alberta into southeastern Banff National Park.-Mountains:This range includes the following mountains and peaks:-References:...

, which consists of near-vertically dipping sedimentary layers, has been eroded by cross gullies
Gully
A gully is a landform created by running water, eroding sharply into soil, typically on a hillside. Gullies resemble large ditches or small valleys, but are metres to tens of metres in depth and width...

. Scree
Scree
Scree, also called talus, is a term given to an accumulation of broken rock fragments at the base of crags, mountain cliffs, or valley shoulders. Landforms associated with these materials are sometimes called scree slopes or talus piles...

 deposits are common toward the bottom of many mountains and cliffs.

Glaciers and icefields


Banff National Park has numerous large glaciers and icefields, many of which are easily accessed from the Icefields Parkway. Small cirque glacier
Cirque glacier
A cirque glacier is formed in a cirque, bowl-shaped depressions on the side of or near mountains. Snow and ice accumulation in corries often occurs as the result of avalanching from higher surrounding slopes....

s are fairly common in the Main Ranges, situated in depressions on the side of many mountains. As with the majority of mountain glaciers around the world, the glaciers in Banff are retreating. Photographic evidence alone provides testimony to this retreat and the trend has become alarming enough that glaciologists have commenced researching the glaciers in the park more thoroughly, and have been analyzing the impact that reduced glacier ice may have on water supplies to streams and rivers. The largest glaciated areas include the Waputik
Waputik Icefield
The Waputik Icefield is located on the Continental divide in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. It is developed on the heights of the Waputik Range in the Central Main Ranges....

 and Wapta Icefield
Wapta Icefield
The Wapta Icefield is located on the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies, in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The icefield is shared by Banff and Yoho National Parks and numerous outlet glaciers extend from the icefield, including the Vulture, Bow and Peyto Glaciers...

s, which both lie on the Banff-Yoho National Park border. Wapta Icefield covers approximately 80 square kilometres (30.9 sq mi) in area. Outlets of Wapta Icefield on the Banff side of the continental divide include Peyto
Peyto Glacier
Peyto Glacier is located in the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, approximately northwest of the town of Banff, and can be accessed from the Icefields Parkway. Peyto Glacier is an outflow glacier from the Wapta Icefield, which rests along the Continental divide...

, Bow
Bow Glacier
Bow Glacier is located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, approximately northwest of Lake Louise, and can be viewed from the Icefields Parkway. Bow Glacier is an outflow glacier from the Wapta Icefield, which rests along the Continental divide, and runoff from the glacier supplies water to...

, and Vulture Glaciers. Bow Glacier retreated an estimated 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) between the years 1850 and 1953, and since that period, there has been further retreat which has left a newly formed lake at the terminal moraine
Moraine
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have...

. Peyto Glacier has retreated approximately 2,000 metres (6,561 ft) since 1880, and is at risk of disappearing entirely within the next 30 to 40 years. Both Crowfoot
Crowfoot Glacier
Crowfoot Glacier is located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, northwest of Lake Louise, and can be viewed from the Icefields Parkway. The glacier is situated on the northeastern flank of Crowfoot Mountain....

 and Hector Glacier
Hector Glacier
Hector Glacier is located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The glacier is on the north slope of Mount Hector and extends northward for . In 1938, a large mass of the glacier broke off and covered the valley below with ice up to 60 m thick...

s are also easily visible from the Icefields Parkway, yet they are singular glaciers and are not affiliated with any major icesheets.

The Columbia Icefield
Columbia Icefield
The Columbia Icefield is an icefield located in the Canadian Rockies, astride the Continental Divide of North America. The icefield lies partly in the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and the southern end of Jasper National Park. It is about 325 km² in area, 100 to 365 metres in depth and...

, at the northern end of Banff, straddles the Banff and Jasper National Park border and extends into British Columbia. Snow Dome
Snow Dome (Canada)
Snow Dome is a mountain located on the Continental Divide in the Columbia Icefield, at the intersection of Banff National Park, and Jasper National Park, on the Alberta and British Columbia border in Canada.The mountain was named in 1898 by J...

, in the Columbia Icefields, forms a hydrological apex of North America, with water flowing from this point in to the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 via the Columbia
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

, the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

 via the Athabasca River
Athabasca River
The Athabasca River originates from the Columbia Glacier of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada...

, and into the Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, via the North Saskatchewan River
North Saskatchewan River
The North Saskatchewan River is a glacier-fed river that flows east from the Canadian Rockies to central Saskatchewan. It is one of two major rivers that join to make up the Saskatchewan River....

. Saskatchewan Glacier
Saskatchewan Glacier
Saskatchewan Glacier is located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, approximately northwest of the town of Banff, and can be accessed from the Icefields Parkway. Saskatchewan Glacier is the largest outflow glacier from the Columbia Icefield, which rests along the Continental divide. The...

, which is approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) in length and 30 square kilometres (11.6 sq mi) in area, is the major outlet of the Columbia Icefield that flows into Banff. Between the years 1893 and 1953, Saskatchewan Glacier had retreated a distance of 1,364 metres (4,474 ft), with the rate of retreat between the years 1948 and 1953 averaging 55 meters (180 ft) per year. Overall, the glaciers of the Canadian Rockies lost 25% of their mass during the 20th century.

Climate



Located on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, Banff National Park receives 472 millimetres (19 in) of precipitation annually. This is considerably less than received in Yoho National Park on the western side of the divide in British Columbia, with 884 millimetres (35 in) annual precipitation at Wapta Lake
Wapta Lake
Wapta Lake is a glacial lake in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies of eastern British Columbia, Canada.Wapta Lake is formed from Cataract Brook and Blue Creek in Yoho National Park, and is the source of the Kicking Horse River....

 and 616 millimetres (26.3 in) at Boulder Creek. 234 centimetres (92 in) of snow falls on average each winter in the Banff townsite, while 290 centimetres (114 in) falls in Lake Louise.

During winter months, temperatures in Banff are moderated, compared to other areas of central and northern Alberta, due to Chinook wind
Chinook wind
Chinook winds , often called chinooks, commonly refers to foehn winds in the interior West of North America, where the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains meet various mountain ranges, although the original usage is in reference to wet, warm coastal winds in the Pacific Northwest.Chinook is claimed...

s and other influences from British Columbia. The mean low temperature during January is −15 °C (6 °F), and the mean high temperature is −5 °C (24 °F) for the Town of Banff. Weather conditions during summer months are pleasant, with high temperatures during July averaging 22 °C (71 °F), and daily low temperatures averaging 7 °C (45 °F).

Ecoregions



Banff National Park spans three ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

s, including montane
Montane
In biogeography, montane is the highland area located below the subalpine zone. Montane regions generally have cooler temperatures and often have higher rainfall than the adjacent lowland regions, and are frequently home to distinct communities of plants and animals.The term "montane" means "of the...

, subalpine
Subalpine
The subalpine zone is the biotic zone immediately below tree line around the world. Species that occur in this zone depend on the location of the zone on the Earth, for example, Snow Gum in Australia, or Subalpine Larch, Mountain Hemlock and Subalpine Fir in western North America.Trees in the...

, and alpine
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

. The subalpine ecoregion, which consists mainly of dense forest, comprises 53% of Banff's area. 27% of the park is located above the tree line, in the alpine ecoregion. The tree line in Banff lies approximately at 2,300 meters (7,544 ft), with open meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

s at alpine regions and some areas covered by glaciers. A small portion (3%) of the park, located at lower elevations, is in the montane ecoregion. Lodgepole pine
Lodgepole Pine
Lodgepole Pine, Pinus contorta, also known as Shore Pine, is a common tree in western North America. Like all pines, it is evergreen.-Subspecies:...

 forests dominate the montane region of Banff, with Englemann spruce
Engelmann Spruce
Picea engelmannii is a species of spruce native to western North America, from central British Columbia and southwest Alberta, southwest to northern California and southeast to Arizona and New Mexico; there are also two isolated populations in northern Mexico...

, willow
Willow
Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere...

, aspen
Populus tremuloides
Populus tremuloides is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America, commonly called quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, and Quakies,. The trees have tall trunks, up to 25 metres, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. The glossy green leaves, dull beneath, become golden...

, occasional Douglas-fir
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir
The Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii subsp. glauca, is an evergreen conifer native to the interior mountainous regions of western North America, from central British Columbia and southwest Alberta in Canada southward through the United States to the far north of Mexico...

 and a few Douglas maple
Douglas Maple
Acer glabrum is a species of maple native to western North America, from southeastern Alaska, British Columbia and western Alberta, east to western Nebraska, and south through Washington, Montana and Colorado to California, Arizona and New Mexico....

 interspersed. Englemann spruce are more common in the subalpine regions of Banff, with some areas of lodgepole pine, and subalpine fir
Subalpine Fir
The Subalpine Fir or Rocky Mountain Fir is a western North American fir, native to the mountains of Yukon, British Columbia and western Alberta in Canada; southeastern Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, northeastern Nevada, and the...

. The montane areas, which tend to be the preferred habitat for wildlife, have been subjected to significant human development over the years.

Wildlife



The park has 56 mammal species that have been recorded. Grizzly
Grizzly Bear
The grizzly bear , also known as the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear, is a subspecies of brown bear that generally lives in the uplands of western North America...

 and black bears
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

 inhabit the forested regions. Cougar, lynx
Canada Lynx
The Canada lynx or Canadian lynx is a North American mammal of the cat family, Felidae. It is a close relative of the Eurasian Lynx . Some authorities regard both as conspecific. However, in some characteristics the Canada lynx is more like the bobcat than the Eurasian Lynx...

, wolverine
Wolverine
The wolverine, pronounced , Gulo gulo , also referred to as glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae . It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids...

, weasels
Weasel
Weasels are mammals forming the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. They are small, active predators, long and slender with short legs....

, northern river otter
Northern River Otter
The North American river otter , also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent, found in and along its waterways and coasts. An adult river otter can weigh between 5 and 14 kg...

 and wolves are the primary predatory mammals. Elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

, mule deer
Mule Deer
The mule deer is a deer indigenous to western North America. The Mule Deer gets its name from its large mule-like ears. There are believed to be several subspecies, including the black-tailed deer...

, and white-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

 are common in the valleys of the park, including around (and sometimes in) the Banff townsite, while moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

 tend to be more elusive, sticking primarily to wetland areas and near streams. In the alpine regions, mountain goat
Mountain goat
The Mountain Goat , also known as the Rocky Mountain Goat, is a large-hoofed mammal found only in North America. Despite its vernacular name, it is not a member of Capra, the genus of true goats...

s, bighorn sheep
Bighorn Sheep
The bighorn sheep is a species of sheep in North America named for its large horns. These horns can weigh up to , while the sheep themselves weigh up to . Recent genetic testing indicates that there are three distinct subspecies of Ovis canadensis, one of which is endangered: Ovis canadensis sierrae...

, marmot
Hoary Marmot
The hoary marmot is a species of marmot that inhabits the mountains of northwest North America. Hoary marmots live near the tree line on slopes with grasses and forbs to eat and rocky areas for cover....

s and pika
Pika
The pika is a small mammal, with short limbs, rounded ears, and short tail. The name pika is used for any member of the Ochotonidae, a family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae . One genus, Ochotona, is recognised within the family, and it includes 30 species...

 are widespread. Other mammals such as beaver
Beaver
The beaver is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American Beaver and Eurasian Beaver . Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges . They are the second-largest rodent in the world...

s, porcupine
North American Porcupine
The North American Porcupine , also known as Canadian Porcupine or Common Porcupine, is a large rodent in the New World porcupine family. The Beaver is the only rodent larger than the North American Porcupine found in North America...

s, squirrel
Squirrel
Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots , flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa and have been introduced to Australia...

s, chipmunk
Chipmunk
Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. They are usually classed either as a single genus with three subgenera, or as three genera.-Etymology and taxonomy:...

s, and Columbian ground squirrel
Columbian Ground Squirrel
The Columbian ground squirrel is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found in Canada and the United States....

s are the more commonly observed smaller mammals.
In 2005, a total of five caribou
Reindeer
The reindeer , also known as the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations. While overall widespread and numerous, some of its subspecies are rare and one has already gone extinct.Reindeer vary considerably in color and size...

 were counted, making this species one of the rarest mammals found in the park.

Due to the harsh winters, the park has few reptile
Reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

s and amphibian
Amphibian
Amphibians , are a class of vertebrate animals including animals such as toads, frogs, caecilians, and salamanders. They are characterized as non-amniote ectothermic tetrapods...

s with only one species of toad, three species of frog, one salamander species and two species of snakes that have been identified. At least 280 species of birds can be found in Banff including bald
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

 and golden eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

s, red-tailed hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
The Red-tailed Hawk is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on standard sized chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West...

, osprey
Osprey
The Osprey , sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than in length and across the wings...

, and merlin
Merlin (bird)
The Merlin is a small species of falcon from the Northern Hemisphere. A bird of prey once known colloquially as a pigeon hawk in North America, the Merlin breeds in the northern Holarctic; some migrate to subtropical and northern tropical regions in winter.-European and North American...

, all of which are predatory species. Additionally, commonly seen species such as the gray jay
Gray Jay
The Gray Jay , also Grey Jay, Canada Jay, or Whiskey Jack, is a member of the crow and jay family found in the boreal forests across North America north to the tree-line and in subalpine forests of the Rocky Mountains south to New Mexico and Arizona...

, American three-toed woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpecker
The American Three-toed woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis is a medium-sized woodpecker .This woodpecker has a length of 21 cm and a wingspan of 38 cm and closely resembles the Black-backed Woodpecker, which is also three-toed. Until recently, it was considered to be the same species as the Eurasian...

, mountain bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
The Mountain Bluebird is a medium-sized bird weighing about 2-5 ounces, with a length from 15–20 cm . They have light underbellies and black eyes. Adult males have thin bills are bright turquoise-blue and somewhat lighter beneath. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, grey breast,...

, Clark's nutcracker
Clark's Nutcracker
Clark's Nutcracker , sometimes referred to as Clark's Crow or Woodpecker Crow, is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae. It is slightly smaller than its Eurasian relative the Spotted Nutcracker . It is ashy-grey all over except for the black-and-white wings and central tail feathers...

, mountain chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
The Mountain Chickadee is a small songbird, a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. Often, it is still placed in the genus Parus with most other tits, but mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data and morphology suggest that separating Poecile more adequately expresses these birds' relationships...

 and pipit
Pipit
The pipits are a cosmopolitan genus, Anthus, of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. Along with the wagtails and longclaws, the pipits make up the family Motacillidae...

 are frequently found in the lower elevations. The white-tailed ptarmigan
White-tailed Ptarmigan
The White-tailed Ptarmigan, Lagopus leucura, is the smallest bird in the grouse family. It is found in the mountains of the western United States, Canada and Alaska.-Description:...

 is a ground bird that is often seen in the alpine zones. Rivers and lakes are frequented by over a hundred different species including loon
Loon
The loons or divers are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Eurasia...

s, heron
Heron
The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae. There are 64 recognised species in this family. Some are called "egrets" or "bitterns" instead of "heron"....

s and mallard
Mallard
The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

s who spend their summers in the park.

Endangered species
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

 in Banff include the Banff Springs snail
Banff Springs snail
The Banff Springs snail, scientific name Physella johnsoni, is a species of small air-breathing freshwater snail in the family Physidae....

 (Physella johnsoni) which is found in the hot springs of Banff. Woodland caribou, found in Banff, are listed as a threatened species
Threatened species
Threatened species are any speciesg animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future.The World Conservation Union is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories,...

, as are grizzly bears.

Mountain pine beetles



Mountain pine beetle
Mountain pine beetle
The mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae, is a species of bark beetle native to the forests of western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia. It has a hard black exoskeleton, and measures about 5 millimeters, about the size of a grain of rice.Mountain pine beetles inhabit...

s have caused a number of large-scale infestations in Banff National Park, feeding off of the phloem
Phloem
In vascular plants, phloem is the living tissue that carries organic nutrients , in particular, glucose, a sugar, to all parts of the plant where needed. In trees, the phloem is the innermost layer of the bark, hence the name, derived from the Greek word "bark"...

 of mature lodgepole pines. Alberta's first known outbreak occurred in 1940, infecting 43 square kilometres (16.6 sq mi) of forest in Banff. A second major outbreak occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Banff and the surrounding Rocky Mountains region.

Tourism



Banff National Park is the most visited Alberta tourist destination and one of the most visited national parks in North America, with 3,927,557 visitors in 2004/2005. During summer, 42% of park visitors are from Canada (23% from Alberta), while 35% are from the United States, and 20% from Europe. Tourism in Banff contributes an estimated C$
Canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

6 billion annually to the economy
Economy of Canada
Canada has the tenth largest economy in the world , is one of the world's wealthiest nations, and is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Group of Eight . As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs...

.

A park pass is required for stopping in the park and permit checks are common during the summer months, especially at Lake Louise and the start of the Icefields Parkway. A permit is not required if travelling straight through the park without stopping. Approximately 5 million people pass through Banff annually on the Trans-Canada Highway without stopping.

Attractions in Banff include Upper Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs
Upper Hot Springs are commercially developed hot springs located in Banff National Park in Canada, near the Banff townsite. The hot pool is outdoors and while in the pool, visitors can look across the valley to Mount Rundle....

, and a 27-hole golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

 at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Banff Springs Hotel
The Fairmont Banff Springs or simply the Banff Springs Hotel is a former railway hotel constructed in Scottish Baronial style located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The original hotel, designed by American architect Bruce Price, was built between spring of 1887 and 1888 by the Canadian...

, and three ski resorts including Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village is a Canadian ski resort, located within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is one of three major ski resorts located in the Banff National Park. The Sunshine base area is located Southwest of the town of Banff, Alberta. By car, it is about one hour and thirty minute drive...

, Lake Louise Mountain Resort
Lake Louise Mountain Resort
The Lake Louise Ski Area is a ski resort located in Banff National Park, near the village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It can be reached from Banff, from where it is a 35 to 45 minute drive west on Trans-Canada Highway, or Calgary, a 2-hour drive...

, and Mount Norquay ski resort
Mount Norquay ski resort
Mt. Norquay is a mountain and ski resort in Banff National Park, Canada that lies directly northwest of the Town of Banff. The regular ski season starts early December and ends mid-April. Mount Norquay is one of three major ski resorts located in the Banff National Park.-History:The mountain was...

. The Banff Lodging Co
Banff Lodging Co
Banff Lodging Co is a division of Caribou Properties, a locally owned and operated hospitality company in the Banff National Park.- History :Banff Lodging Co was founded in 1985 by Wim Pauw when he acquired Caribou Corner, his first commercial mall...

 is a hospitality company in the park. Day hikes, such as the Cory Pass Loop
Cory Pass Loop
The Cory Pass Loop is a trail located in Banff National Park. Situated outside of the townsite of Banff, Alberta named after the Cory Pass. The Cory Pass is between Mount Edith and Mount Cory. The pass opens up to Gargoyle Valley, the trail continues around the east side of Mount Edith returning to...

, are popular with visitors. Other activities include alpine and Nordic skiing, and horseback riding.

Backcountry
Backcountry
A backcountry area in general terms is a geographical region that is:* isolated* remote* undeveloped* difficult to accessThe term may apply to various regions that are reasonably close to urban areas but are:* not immediately accessible by car...

 activities in Banff include hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

, climbing
Climbing
Climbing is the activity of using one's hands and feet to ascend a steep object. It is done both for recreation and professionally, as part of activities such as maintenance of a structure, or military operations.Climbing activities include:* Bouldering: Ascending boulders or small...

, and skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

. Parks Canada requires those using backcountry campgrounds, Alpine Club of Canada huts, or other backcountry facilities to purchase a wilderness pass. Reservations for using the campgrounds are also required.

The park saw a surge in visitors and interest in the park around August 2009 after the appearance of the "Crasher Squirrel
Crasher Squirrel
Crasher Squirrel is the name given to a squirrel seen in a photograph originally intended to be a self-portrait of a Minnesota couple; it can also refer to the resulting internet meme.-Photograph:...

" Internet meme. The meme is based a photograph of a Minnesotan couple visiting the park on the shore of Lake Minnewanka that was "crashed" by a Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
The golden-mantled ground squirrel, Callospermophilus lateralis, is a type of ground squirrel found in mountainous areas of western North America. It eats seeds, nuts, berries, insects, and underground fungi. It is preyed upon by hawks, jays, weasels, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. A typical adult...

; the photograph was quickly published in major news sources around the world and the image of the squirrel was digitally manipulated into humorous photos. The Banff Tourism Board has used the popularity of the meme to gain interest in the park, including setting up Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 and Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 pages for the squirrel.

Park management



Banff National Park is managed by Parks Canada
Parks Canada
Parks Canada , also known as the Parks Canada Agency , is an agency of the Government of Canada mandated to protect and present nationally significant natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative...

, under the National Parks Act
National Parks Act (Canada)
The National Parks Act is a Canadian federal law that regulates protection of natural areas of national significance.-National parks:The act enables Parks Canada to designate and maintain national parks and national parks reserves. Within these, additional wildland areas may be designated...

 which was passed in 1930. Over time, park management policies have increasingly emphasized environmental protection over development. In 1964, a policy statement was issued that reiterated ideals of conservation laid out in the 1930 act. With the controversial bid for the 1972 Winter Olympics, environmental groups became more influential, leading Parks Canada to withdraw its support for the bid. The 1979 Beaver Book was a major new policy, which emphasized conservation
Conservation ethic
Conservation is an ethic of resource use, allocation, and protection. Its primary focus is upon maintaining the health of the natural world: its, fisheries, habitats, and biological diversity. Secondary focus is on materials conservation and energy conservation, which are seen as important to...

. In 1988, the National Parks Act was amended, making the maintenance of ecological integrity the top priority. The amendment also paved the way for non-governmental organizations to challenge Parks Canada in court, for breaches in adhering to the act. In 1994, Parks Canada established revised "Guiding Principles and Operating Policies", which included a mandate for the Banff-Bow Valley Study to draft management recommendations. As with other national parks, Banff is required to have a Park Management Plan. On a provincial level, the park area and the included communities (other than the Town of Banff which is an incorporated municipality) are administered by Alberta Municipal Affairs
Alberta Municipal Affairs
Alberta Municipal Affairs is a ministry of the Executive Council of Alberta. Its major responsibilities include assisting municipalities in the provision of local government, administering a safety system for the construction and maintenance of buildings and equipment, and managing Alberta's...

 as Improvement District No. 9 (Banff).

Environment


Since the 19th century, humans have impacted Banff's environment through introduction of non-native species, controls on other species, and development in the Bow Valley
Bow Valley
Bow Valley is a valley located along the upper Bow River in Alberta, Canada.The name "Bow" refers to the reeds that grew along its banks and which were used by the local First Nations peoples to make bows; the Peigan name for the river is "Makhabn", meaning "river where bow weeds grow".-Parks:Bow...

, among other human activities. Bison
Bison
Members of the genus Bison are large, even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four extinct species are recognized...

 once lived in the valleys of Banff, but were hunted by indigenous people and the last bison was killed off in 1858. Elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

 are not indigenous to Banff, and were introduced in 1917 with 57 elk brought in from Yellowstone National Park. The introduction of elk to Banff, combined with controls on coyote
Coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

 and wolves
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 by Parks Canada beginning in the 1930s, has caused imbalance of the ecosystem. Other species that have been displaced from the Bow Valley include grizzly bear
Grizzly Bear
The grizzly bear , also known as the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear, is a subspecies of brown bear that generally lives in the uplands of western North America...

s, cougars, lynx
Lynx
A lynx is any of the four Lynx genus species of medium-sized wildcats. The name "lynx" originated in Middle English via Latin from Greek word "λύγξ", derived from the Indo-European root "*leuk-", meaning "light, brightness", in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes...

, wolverine
Wolverine
The wolverine, pronounced , Gulo gulo , also referred to as glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae . It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids...

s, otter
Otter
The Otters are twelve species of semi-aquatic mammals which feed on fish and shellfish, and also other invertebrates, amphibians, birds and small mammals....

, and moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

. Beginning in 1985, gray wolves
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 were recolonizing areas in the Bow Valley. However, the wolf population has struggled, with 32 wolf deaths along the Trans-Canada Highway between 1987 and 2000, leaving only 31 wolves in the area.

The population of bull trout
Bull trout
The bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus, is a char of the family Salmonidae native to northwestern North America. Historically, S. confluentus has been known as the "Dolly Varden" , but was re-classified as a separate species in 1980. Bull trout are listed as a threatened species under the U.S....

 and other native species of fish in Banff's lakes has also dwindled, with the introduction of non-native species including brook trout
Brook trout
The brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior are known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters...

, and rainbow trout
Rainbow trout
The rainbow trout is a species of salmonid native to tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is a sea run rainbow trout usually returning to freshwater to spawn after 2 to 3 years at sea. In other words, rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species....

. Lake trout
Lake trout
Lake trout is a freshwater char living mainly in lakes in northern North America. Other names for it include mackinaw, lake char , touladi, togue, and grey trout. In Lake Superior, they can also be variously known as siscowet, paperbellies and leans...

, Westslope cutthroat trout
Westslope cutthroat trout
The westslope cutthroat trout , also known as the blackspotted cutthroat, is a subspecies of the cutthroat trout and is a freshwater fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. The cutthroat is the Montana state fish...

, and Chiselmouth
Chiselmouth
The chiselmouth is an unusual cyprinid fish of western North America. It is named for the sharp hard plate on its lower jaw, which is used to scrape rocks for algae...

 are also rare native species, while Chinook salmon
Chinook salmon
The Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, is the largest species in the pacific salmon family. Other commonly used names for the species include King salmon, Quinnat salmon, Spring salmon and Tyee salmon...

, White sturgeon
White sturgeon
The white sturgeon , also known as the Pacific sturgeon, Oregon sturgeon, Columbia sturgeon, Sacramento sturgeon, and California white sturgeon, is a sturgeon which lives along the west coast of North America from the Aleutian Islands to Central...

, Pacific lamprey
Pacific lamprey
The Pacific lamprey is an anadromous parasitic lamprey from the Pacific Coast of North America and Asia. It is also known as the three tooth lamprey and tridentate lamprey.-Biology:...

, and Banff longnose dace
Banff longnose dace
The Banff longnose dace, Rhinichthys cataractae smithi, was a diminutive version of the eastern longnose dace, its range restricted to a small marsh fed by two hot springs on Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park in Banff, Alberta....

 are likely extirpated
Local extinction
Local extinction, also known as extirpation, is the condition of a species which ceases to exist in the chosen geographic area of study, though it still exists elsewhere...

 locally. The Banff longnose dace
Banff longnose dace
The Banff longnose dace, Rhinichthys cataractae smithi, was a diminutive version of the eastern longnose dace, its range restricted to a small marsh fed by two hot springs on Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park in Banff, Alberta....

, once only found in Banff, is now an extinct species
Extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

.


The Trans-Canada Highway, passing through Banff, has been problematic, posing hazards for wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 due to vehicle traffic
Traffic
Traffic on roads may consist of pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using the public way for purposes of travel...

 and as an impediment to wildlife migration. Grizzly bears are among the species impacted by the highway, which together with other developments in Banff, has caused fragmentation
Habitat fragmentation
Habitat fragmentation as the name implies, describes the emergence of discontinuities in an organism's preferred environment , causing population fragmentation...

 of the landscape. Grizzly bears prefer the montane habitat, which has been most impacted by development. Wildlife crossing
Wildlife crossing
Wildlife crossings are structures that allow animals to cross human-made barriers safely. Wildlife crossings may include: underpass tunnels, viaducts, and overpasses ; amphibian tunnels; fish ladders; tunnels and culverts ; green roofs .Wildlife crossings are a...

s, including a series of underpasses, and two wildlife overpasses, have been constructed at a number of points along the Trans-Canada Highway to help alleviate this problem.

Fire management


Parks Canada management practices, notably fire suppression, since Banff National Park was established have impacted the park's ecosystem. Since the early 1980s, Parks Canada has adopted a strategy that employed prescribed burns, which helps to mimic effects of natural fires.

Development



In 1978, expansion of Sunshine Village ski resort was approved, with added parking, hotel expansion, and development of Goat's Eye Mountain. Implementation of this development proposal was delayed through the 1980s, while environmental assessments were conducted. In 1989, Sunshine Village withdrew its development proposal, in light of government reservations, and submitted a revised proposal in 1992. This plan was approved by the government, pending environmental review. Subsequently, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) filed a court injunction
Injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

, which halted the development. CPAWS also put pressure on UNESCO to revoke Banff's World Heritage Site status, over concerns that developments were harming the park's ecological health.

Banff-Bow Valley Study


While the National Parks Act and the 1988 amendment emphasize ecological integrity, in practice Banff has suffered from inconsistent application of the policies. In 1994, the Banff-Bow Valley Study was mandated by Sheila Copps
Sheila Copps
Sheila Maureen Copps, PC is a former Canadian politician who also served as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada from November 4, 1993 to April 30, 1996 and June 19, 1996 to June 11, 1997....

, the minister responsible for Parks Canada, to provide recommendations on how to better manage human use and development, and maintain ecological integrity. While the two-year Banff-Bow Valley Study was underway, development projects were halted, including the expansion of Sunshine Village, and the twinning
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

 of the Trans-Canada Highway between Castle Junction and Sunshine.

The panel issued over 500 recommendations, including limiting the growth of the Banff townsite, capping the town's population at 10,000, placing quotas for popular hiking trails, and curtailing development in the park. Another recommendation was to fence off the townsite to reduce confrontations between people and elk. By fencing off the townsite, this measure was also intended to reduce access to this refuge for elk from predators, such as wolves that tended to avoid the townsite. Upon release of the report, Copps immediately moved to accept the proposal to cap the town population. She also ordered a small airstrip to be removed, along with a buffalo paddock, and cadet camp, that inhibited wildlife movement.

In response to concerns and recommendations raised by the Banff Bow Valley Study, a number of development plans were curtailed in the 1990s. Plans to add nine holes at the Banff Springs Golf Resort were withdrawn in 1996.

Canmore


With the cap on growth in the Town of Banff, Canmore
Canmore, Alberta
Canmore is a town in Alberta, Canada, located approximately west of the City of Calgary near the southeast boundary of Banff National Park. It is located in the Bow Valley within Alberta's Rockies. The town shares a border with Kananaskis Country to the west and south and the Municipal District of...

, located just outside the Banff boundary, has been growing rapidly to serve increasing demands of tourists. Major developments proposals for Canmore have included the Three Sisters Golf Resorts, proposed in 1992, which has been subject of contentious debate, with environmental groups arguing that the development would fragment important wildlife corridor
Wildlife corridor
A wildlife corridor or green corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities . This allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity that often occur within...

s in the Bow Valley.

See also




External links