November 05, 2013 - 4:19 PM
A portion of Scenic Canyon Regional Park that has been closed since late September is now open again.
The area of the park between KLO and Mission Creeks and the Field Road and McCulloch Road parking areas and the Layer Cake Mountain Lookout next to the Gallagher’s Canyon subdivision was closed after ongoing reports of cougar activity and sightings in that vicinity.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Our Parks Services staff have consulted with BC Conservation Officers and haven’t had any recent reports of cougar activity. We’ve decided to reopen that area of the park that was closed, but will keep signs in place advising visitors that cougars have been active in the area and that they should be prepared.”
While this section of the park and its trails are open again, visitors are reminded that the two parking areas and other park amenities are now closed for the winter season and regular maintenance is not taking place.
The Ministry of Environment’s Safety Guide to Cougars advises that while human conflicts with these large cats are extremely rare and an attack is highly unlikely, it pays to be prepared especially when in a natural setting, like the Greenway through the Scenic Canyon Regional Park corridor.
The Safety Guide recommends people should travel in groups of two or more and that you make enough noise so that you don’t surprise a cougar. Carry a sturdy walking stick that can be used as a weapon if necessary and keep children and pets close at hand and under control. Visitors to our Regional Parks must have their dog on a leash at all times and must stay on designated trails.
Finally, the Guide says people should watch for cougar tracks and signs and remember that cougars are unpredictable. If you should encounter a cougar, stay calm, talk to it in a confident voice, pick up all children off the ground and never turn your back on the cougar. Instead, back away slowly, remaining upright and do all you can to make yourself look larger, and always give a cougar an avenue of escape.
If you observe a cougar or bear within Scenic Canyon Regional Park or other Regional Park please contact the Parks Services office at 250-469-6232 and the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013