Parks Canada has turned down the controversial proposal for a hotel at Maligne Lake. However, it has accepted the rest of the 14 elements of Maligne Tours’ concept for further consideration, including tent cabins and additional visitor experience offers.
Maligne Tours’ proposal to construct 15 tent cabins adjacent to their day lodge lease is raising many of the same concerns that applied to the proposed hotel: people in an important wildlife ‘pinch point’ area at night; use of the trails at night and traffic on the narrow 38 km Maligne Road after dark. All of these could pose a threat to the ‘endangered’ woodland caribou herd of just four remaining animals and the sensitive grizzly bear population – a species listed as ‘threatened’ in Alberta.
In addition, to allow the tent cabins Parks Canada would have to amend the Jasper National Park Management Plan that clearly states: “No new land will be released for overnight commercial accommodation outside the community.” This could set a very dangerous precedent for other outlying commercial accommodations to propose their own new developments throughout the national parks. The Jasper National Park Management Plan involved many months of consultations and public input and should not be tampered with to suit the whims of business interests.