Jasper SkyTram Partnership Ltd. (Jasper SkyTram) is proposing a concept to replace its existing SkyTram, adjusting the SkyTram alignment from the north facing slope of Whistlers Mountain to the east face, and moving the upper terminal approximately 250 metres (m) upslope from the existing location.
The current SkyTram is approaching the end of its operational life, resulting in increased maintenance requirements and operational costs related to environmentally inefficient infrastructure.
As conceived, the SkyTram Redevelopment Concept (the SkyTram Redevelopment) would:
In total, we are anticipating 9.6 hectares (ha) of new ground disturbance and additional 0.2 ha of disturbance that falls within areas previously disturbed by existing developments, including Parks Canada Agency (Parks Canada) roads, trails and portions of the existing SkyTram footprint
Improving Wildlife Habitat
Returns land to Zone II - Wilderness, the designation for land that is zoned to preserve ecological integrity within national parks
Eliminates the need for passenger vehicles, buses and trucks along a portion of Whistlers Road. This will reduce or remove human traffic, sensory disturbance and vehicle pollution from Whistlers wilderness corridor.
Restoring Creek Flow
Eliminates the need to withdraw drinking water from an unnamed creek approximately one kilometre west of the parking lot and restores creek flow.
Enhancing Environmental Education
Educate visitors on wildlife recovery programs and conservation programs using displays and interpretive trails.
We are committed to ongoing, open and productive dialogue with Indigenous groups and stakeholders potentially affected by the Project as well as other potentially interested parties
A four-phased approach is intended to follow outcomes of the impact assessment process as determined by Parks Canada.
We intend to reclaim or decommission approximately 3.4 ha of the existing SkyTram footprint as part of the SkyTram Redevelopment, returning the land within the existing base area and SkyTram alignment to Zone II – Wilderness, and restoring wildlife connectivity within the conceptual redevelopment area. We expect that areas with ground disturbance or vegetation clearing, such as the existing base area, will be reclaimed or allowed to revegetate naturally. Areas with above-ground infrastructure, such as the sewage line, will be decommissioned and removed. We do not expect these areas to require reclamation; however, requirements will be determined in conjunction with Parks Canada.
Desktop reviews were completed to assess the environmental impact of the SkyTram Redevelopment on water quality, fish and fish habitat as well as noise levels of the Project. Field programs were conducted during the summer of 2019 to identify the presence and distribution of listed plant species, Whitebark Pine and invasive plant species near the Project footprint.
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