New research has spelled out for the first time the gap between official lists of trails in the southern Rockies and the number of trails there actually are, suggesting effects from the growing number of backcountry users may be larger than suspected.
The conclusions, the result of crunching 50 different data sets from Alberta and British Columbia covering more than 50,000 kilometres of trails and roads, show nearly a quarter of trails in those areas don’t appear on official maps.
“There is a gap,” said biologist Annie Loosen, one of the researchers who wrote the report for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, the B.C. government and the University of Northern British Columbia. “Our report highlights there is a management gap.”
The report comes as pressure on Alberta’s beloved mountains and foothills grows. So many people are trying to get to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park that Parks Canada recently cut off private vehicle access.