On Saturday, Parks Canada approved a plan set forth by Lake Louise Ski Resort that will reportedly double the area’s skier capacity as well as provide new amenities including lodging, lifts, and parking.
In an interview with CBC News, Lake Louise spokesperson Dan Markham rejoiced in the decision saying “I think it’s a really big win for everybody.”
The move by Parks Canada has drawn ire from conservationists as well as former park managers who claim the plan was rushed through. During the public response period, the plan received over 1,200 letters from concerned citizens, many of which believe the plan to be a misstep in the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s ecological history.
“We simply don’t know what the impact of this will be. It was rushed through. The public consultation was not taken seriously and we don’t have anywhere near the amount of information to make that decision, even if it wasn’t a world heritage site”– Stephen Woodley (former chief scientist with Parks Canada).
All developments are still subject to environmental assessments before final approval.
Here is what you need to know about the plan:
- 669 hectares of undeveloped land will be returned to a wilderness designation
- Possibly double the area’s capacity from 6,000 to 11,500 skiers and riders.
- Seeks to construct a new reservoir in order to reduce the amount of water taken from nearby streams for snowmaking.
- New lodge at Eagle’s Ridge to replace Whitehorn in order to provide more distance from native Grizzly bears.
- Offers access to new terrain in West Bowl, Hidden Bowl, Richardson’s Ridge, and West Juniper.
Check out the entire plan here: Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines for Development and Use