Jasper Alberta Montane

The montane life zone in Jasper Alberta is warm, dry and found only on the very bottoms of Jasper's Athabasca and Miette Valleys. Douglas Firs stand on Jasper's south facing slopes, the furthest north in Alberta this species grows. Warm chinook winds sweep through Jasper Park valleys in winter, melting snow and making forage in the extensive grasslands easy for elk, moose, deer and sheep. When Bears wake in spring, they roam in and out of the montane, and in Jasper's beautiful fall, feast on red-and-orange buffalo berries for weeks at a time in the fall. Jasper wolves and cougars move through the valleys in search of food while bald eagles and osprey nest near the rivers, close to the pike and mountain white fish they feed their young.

Jasper Alberta's montane is also where humans live. The community of Jasper, the Canadian National Railway, Jasper Park Lodge, the Yellowhead Highway, 2 large campgrounds, a power station, pipeline, garbage transfer station, sewage waste plant, and a number of chalets and lodges all dot Albertan montane landscape. More than 2 million people will visit Jasper Park's montane every year, while another 1 million drive through it on the Yellowhead Highway.

Jasper Wildlife, like humans, use Jasper's valley bottoms as transportation corridors and rely on the montane for food and shelter. This creates concern that human use for hiking for example, in the valleys is adversely impacting wildlife corridors, fragmenting Jasper's ecosystem and giving animals less and less room to live. Parks Canada actively studies Jasper's wildlife corridors using cameras with infrared triggers to better understand where wildlife roams in Jasper and how human use, especially the creation and use of unofficial trails, is affecting them.

Parks Canada is committed to maintaining a high quality hiking trail system in Jasper for everyone's enjoyment. The use and creation of unofficial trails is displacing wildlife from their natural habitat, however. Please use only officially trails while hiking, horse-back riding, mountain biking or cross country skiing in Jasper's montane.

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