There is no denying the fact that Canada’s national parks are spectacularly beautiful. The rocky mountains standing tall above turquoise lakes are a sight to behold. These enchanting sights attract swarms of tourists to Banff, Jasper, and Waterton National Parks every year, but while the visitors get their fill of natural beauty, such overwhelming number of tourists aren’t such a good idea for the environment.
Parking lots are overflowing, hiking paths are crowded, and the entire experience of visiting these parks is not nearly as fun as it should be. As Leyland Cecco wrote in The Guardian, “With the increased foot traffic comes more wear on the trail systems, more frequent encounters with wildlife, more trampling of delicate ground and more garbage.”
Parks Canada has been working to attract visitors in recent years through advertising and development, but critics say the efforts have gone too far. Peter Zimmerman of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is calling on Parks Canada to consider implementing visitor quotas that are focused on key sensitive areas, such as Moraine Lake. Park officials are trying to reduce congestion by encouraging the use of shuttles and advising visitors about peak busy times, but the vast majority of people still come in private vehicles.