[MUSIC] Canada's mountain parks and it's northern neighbor Jasper National Park in particular, are subject to some unique development pressures. Within the parks there exists approximately 550 lease holders for commercial operations. Back country facilities, major tourist attractions, commercial ski operations, major highways and railways, and bustling town sites. However, in spite of these development pressures, 95% of these parks are declared wilderness areas with strong limits on development and use. So how to integrate use and preservation requires considerable dedication, some creative thinking. You ever heard of the phrase wicked problems? A wicked problem is one that is difficult to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize in the present. The problems that can have multiple potential solutions with no obvious best one. And problems that may never be completely be resolved. The phrase was first used in the context of social planning, but this is the challenge of managing mountain landscapes around the world. As you've already seen, there's some reason for optimism. Let's focus in on a few more. Highways and railways affect wildlife travel within the valley bottoms of mountains. These transportation corridors have to be managed from many potential risks, including avalanches and flooding. But also the impacts on wildlife, large carnivores like grizzly bears, for example, often rely on large home ranges to make their living. These animals need lots of room to move and thrive. Understanding barriers to their movement and maintaining wildlife corridors for a successful travel is thus critical, especially in the presence of human development. Current grizzly bear research in Banff National Park, a collaboration between Parks Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the University of Alberta has a goal to identify potential ways to reduce bear mortality on railway tracks. The railway company has spent $20 million to retrofit its train cars, reducing the amount of spillage by 80% since 2006. That kind of prevention is a great strategy, in addition to Parks Canada using carefully managed fire to restore habitat. And to specifically provide very rich habitat away from the tracks to give the bear some appealing low risk alternatives. Within this research program, other innovative measures are also being considered. For example, Parks Canada is working with the railway company to test the effectiveness of electrified mats in combination with fencing, for potential application on the railway to exclude bears and other wildlife from accessing those high risk locations. This combination of electrified mats and fencing have shown promising results. Parks Canada has recently installed electrified mats and Banff at Kootenay National Parks at several openings in the highway fencing to test and gain experience using these structures in real circumstances. Based on the research and data collected, recommendations when we made for the future use in application of this technology in other locations. Wildlife mortality along highways is a significant challenge where transportation corridors and wildlife intersect. Parks Canada has long committed to finding effective solutions to reduce human wildlife instance and ensure landscape connectivity for wildlife. Currently, there are 44 wildlife crossing structures and over 97 kilometers of fencing. Along the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff a variety of crossing structures, including large open overpasses, small covered underpasses and culverts provide passages for species of different sizes. The presence of crossing structures has successfully reduced the negative effects of habitat fragmentation on wildlife in the Rocky Mountains. Crossing structures have provided for hundreds of thousands of safe crossings for a whole host of species, including moose and bears, wolves, deer, and elk. With untold numbers of amphibians and fish using the installed culverts, the number of wildlife vehicle collisions has been reduced by 80%, across the board for all species, and up to 96% for deer and elk. The animal crossing structure model developed by Parks Canada has the longest running monitoring program of this type in the world and has been adopted internationally. >> To give you a better sense of what these crossing structures look like and how they work, we're here with Derek Petersen. Derek is the Ecological Integrity Monitoring Coordinator for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay. Derek, could you give us a tour? >> You bet. >> Derek, we're here standing underneath the Trans Canada Highway at the Healy Underpass. What can you tell me about this place? >> Yes, so the Trans Canada Highway, 82 kilometers that run through Banff National Park, have 44 highway related environmental mitigations for getting wildlife from one side to the other side of the highway. This is one of seven different underpass styles called an open span underpass. So we see that in combination with the highway mitigation fencing, as part of the environmental mitigations that went in for twinning and upgrading the Trans-Canada Highway. Nowhere else on the planet is there this density of both crossing structures and highway fencing, so this was a wonderful opportunity for Parks Canada to show leadership in the environmental mitigations related to highway development. The traffic volumes are between 17 and 30,000 vehicles a day, which equates to about one vehicle every three seconds. You can imagine if you're wildlife species standing on one side or the other, knowing for a variety of reasons you need to get to the other side of the Trans-Canada Highway, and without any mitigations what that would feel like. >> So which species would be comfortable using this type of underpass? >> Grizzly bears, wolves, and moose really like these open, wide open structures, whereas things like the black bear, deer, show less of a preference for the big structures versus some of the smaller structures, we'll see a little later on. >> Now I'm sure animals really would like to avoid the highway. Did it take them time to find these crossing structures and learn how to use them? >> It did, so there's a bunch of studies done beforehand. We knew where the mortality spots were along the highway just from monitoring roadkills. And so, we started with sort of that as a perspective, plus, looking at the landscape, there are certain environmental elements that would suggest a good location for a crossing structure. They're often tied into whether there's an existing river. We use the existing structures on the highway of course, it just makes sense if they already exist. If you can just do some minor enhancements, that they can become effective cross structures at that point. A combination between environmental and structural elements were considered. In certain instances, to put in a variety of different structures for them. So Derrick, here we are in the middle of the Trans-Canada Highway at the Redder overpass, this is very different from an underpass, but animals like to use these sort of crossing structures, as well, don't they? >> Absolutely, yes, so this is one of six overpasses we have in Banff National Park. These were all built at 50 meters, width the last three to go in were built at 60 meters wide. And I think the big difference to know here obviously, is we got the wide open view scape for animals. But you can notice there's vegetation across the entire top of the overpass structure. And what we found is, as soon as the overpasses were constructed and construction was complete, the wildlife movement across the highway move shifted from the underpasses to the overpasses. So, again, suggesting that they are a very important highway wildlife mitigation for crossings for the Trans-Canada Highway Banff National Park. >> Derrick, we're here at the Red Earth underpass, this is a very different type of crossing structures than the ones we've been looking at. What can you tell me about this one? >> It is, again it's one of the seven different kinds of structures we've used on the Trans-Canada Highway, and this is a 2.4 by 3 meter precast concrete structure, and you can see just by looking at it, just from standing from this vantage point, a long, narrow, dark corridor. So obviously different wildlife would approach, and respond differently to this kind of a structure versus an overpass or versus a open-span underpass. So we see a structure like this being favored most by cougars and black bears. >> These fences along the highway are to keep the wildlife from going onto the road. They look pretty formidable. Do they work well? >> So yeah, they've tried a number of things. The latest version of the fencing, as we can see around us, has what's called a buried apron, so it's about 60 or so centimeters of mesh fencing that goes into the ground. Because we found in the first phase one and two of the construction project, without the apron, animals, especially some of the smaller carnivores like coyotes, etc., were digging under the fence, getting access to the highway corridor and obviously getting to address some mortality issues. >> So the other thing I noticed on the fence post over here, is a camera and is this the type of camera you use for monitoring wild life? >> Yes, it's very similar to the other 55 we have that monitor the 44 structures we have in Banff National Park. And again they run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and provide just a wealth of information for us. Also we can see animals that are using the underpass, but also those that approach a structure, and might, for whatever reason, be deterred from actually passing through it. >> Is it taking a picture of us right now? >> I believe it is, it should be. >> I can't wait to see that. >> There we go well >> Thanks so much for your time today too. This has been really interesting to learn more about how Parks Canada is keeping wildlife safe from the traffic. >> [SOUND] In many mountain places around the world beyond the high trafficked valleys and corridors, human movement in the back country is supported by a network of very simple shelters and huts. These are typically places only accessible by foot intended to provide shelter to hikers and climbers and other backcountry enthusiasts. The tradition of mountain huts is an old one. Prior to the arrival of tourism in many mountain regions, simple huts and shelters were first built largely for individuals who managed animals. So shepherds or boundary keepers and drovers. This is certainly the case in New Zealand. You might be amazed to hear that there are now over 1,500 backcountry huts throughout the Southern Alps of New Zealand, 300 odd in the North Island, and 1,200 or more in the South. There the Department of Conservation owns 950, and the rest are scattered among recreational clubs, charitable trusts, and high country farmers. In North America, the largest network of back country mountain huts is owned and operated by The Alpine Club of Canada. It's a tradition and a responsibility that the Canadian Club takes seriously. For the ACC, the purpose of their hut system is to facilitate safe and comfortable visits to the back country, but underpinning it all, is an explicit recognition and celebration of the unique ecological sensitivity of the high mountains. Their newest facility for example, the Louise and Richard Guy Hut, was open in the Spring of 2016. Located high above the treeline in Yoho National Park, on the western side of the Wapta Icefield, the small hut incorporates many state of the art technologies intended to reduce its carbon footprint, increase the longevity of the facility. The walls and ceiling of the hut are constructed of structurally insulated panels, which provide excellent insulation and reduce interior condensation. The hut runs on solar, wind and propane. The solar and wind energy is stored in a bank of batteries that powers the lighting, the fans and the control room. The hut's electrical systems can even be monitored remotely from the ACC's national office in Canmore. Visitors though need to know there's no power outlets in the hut for charging your personal devices. And usage is presently restricted to only the winter months. Just south of the Guy Hut is sensitive habitat for grizzly bears. And in partnership with Parks Canada, and to avoid pressuring the bear habitat, the Guy Hut is closed annually between May and November. Sustainable development of mountains is increasingly important for humanity. Although global framework for sustainable mountain development was adopted in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the development of mountain areas is still often shaped by decisions taken in political and economic centers in lowland areas far away from the mountains. The interests behind these decisions are often short-term rather than long-term. Ending political and economic marginalization requires that mountain areas need to be recognized as equal partners in development. Strategies to achieve this goal include decentralization, local institution building, recognition of local rights to natural resources, and establishment of platforms and collaborative networks to give mountain populations a voice. The Mountain Agenda was prepared for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. It identified the following seven key principles for mountain policy development. Recognize mountain areas as important and specific areas of development. Compensate for environmental services and goods provided to lowlands. Diversify into other livelihood options that could provide benefits to communities. Take advantage of local potential for innovation. Preserve cultural change without the loss of identity. Conserve mountain ecosystems and its early warning functions. And institutionalize sustainable development of mountain areas. These principals of sustainable development can be incorporated into policies, but to achieve tangible results, they have to be implemented at national levels. International partnerships are also required to support national initiatives to promote exchange of ideas and experiences, and to initiate concrete programs for mountain development. In the next lesson, our final lesson of the course, we'll consider some challenges for the future of mountain spaces and discuss some of the opportunities for ensuring that mountain peoples, economies, and environments are sustainable and resilient over the longterm. It's time again to return to your mountain world. By now your map is probably getting pretty full. We visited a few more places in this lesson. So see if you can locate them. Matt Peter and Laura Redmond are here to share with you their very last tech tip, an important one on outdoor environmental ethics. And of course, don't forget to complete your end of lesson quiz. Good luck, and we'll see you next time for our last lesson on the future of mountains.