There is a possibility of wildlife encounters along the race courses – If wildlife (bear, elk, cougar, wolf, coyote, deer) is sighted along the course, the location of the sighting will be communicated immediately to the Parks Canada RMO (Resource Management Officer). If the race has commenced and the lead vehicle/cyclist at the head of the race slows, you MUST slow down and stop if required behind the lead vehicle/cyclist. DO NOT pass the lead vehicle/cyclist. In the case of a wildlife situation, the race start may be delayed, or stopped by course marshals, Park Wardens, or RCMP and/or an alternate route will be implemented. Due to the unique character of Banff National Park a wildlife interaction, although unlikely, could occur on the race route.
The following are some resources you may find helpful:
Wildlife Response Flagging System
The Wildlife Response Flagging System is used as a means to manage participant movement and safety along the event route. The flagging system is modeled on universal traffic control colours, green, yellow, red which will be present at each aid station and potentially other locations along the run route. Please be aware what each flag colour represents in order to proceed through the run with proper precaution.
“Green” or No Flag
Assessment: No wildlife concerns currently along the event route, or any sections of that area. Wildlife are not present in the area or species of special concern have passed through the area and are greater than 100 m away, or other wildlife is greater than 30m and are moving further away.
Response: Continue along route as planned.
Assessment: Wildlife are present in the area (species of special concern ≥100m, or other wildlife ≥30m from the course route) but there is a low risk of direct conflict between the wildlife and the event participants/staff/volunteers.
Response: The participants may continue along the planned route, but are to be warned of the wildlife sighting and to use caution in the area, potentially having to slow down, stop, or turn around.
Examples: Code yellow scenarios include (but are not limited to):
- Ungulates feeding >30m from the course in an area that is not typically managed by Parks wildlife staff.
- A bear, or other carnivore that is >100m, but known to be present in the area of the course route.
Assessment: Wildlife are present in the event area and the risk of human-wildlife conflict is deemed by the RMO(s) as being high if the participant continues along the planned route or in that location.
Response: The participant is not permitted to proceed and all people must remain at a safe distance as designated by the RMO(S). Participants may be held at the start line, aid station or along the route. Participants may also be rerouted or turned-around early on the route.
Examples: Code red scenarios include (but are not limited to):
- A bear or wolf <100 m to the event route and staying in the area (persistent).
- An aggressive female elk during calving season within 100 m of the race route, or an aggressive Male elk ≤100m of the course during the rutting season.
- A bear, or other carnivore feeding on a kill (e.g. an elk calf) in the area at any distance from the event with a line of sight to the race route (maybe >100m); Animals will defend their kill with aggression and could charge participants even if they are outside of the 100 m buffer.