A long, contemplated issue among conservationists is how to balance the interests of people with the interests of the environment. Banff National Park is one area that sees a high volume of tourists, and the ecological effects of this are hard to miss. The disappearance of Woodland Caribou from the park is just one example of how tourism has negatively impacted Banff’s ecological integrity.
The purpose of protected natural areas is to protect, but to what lengths?
Banff local and ecologist, Harvey Locke, said that one option is to control the number of people within the park.
“We could treat Banff National Park like anything else we value and say when it’s full, you can’t come in,” he said.
Cutting down tourism may help to slow the negative impacts of humans, but Banff businesses are not likely to be in favour of a cap.
So, what’s there to do? Is it possible for Banff National Park to ensure their natural areas will be there for future generations to enjoy?