According to Parks Canada, hazard tree removal is expected to begin this week in Glacier National Park. Visitors can expect an extended closure of the Hemlock Grove Day Use Area and temporary closures when crews and equipment are in use.
A media relations officer for the park says the closures will not affect popular winter recreation parking lots such as the Illecillewaet Valley parking area or Bostock parking area.
Parks Canada says its top priority is to complete work in Illecillewaet Campground in preparation for the 2023 camping season. If time and weather allow, work crews will work proceed with removal at Hemlock Grove Day Use Area. They say that due to the large number of trees needing to be felled, they will be loaded onto trucks and removed from the sites.
A spruce beetle (a bark beetle native to B.C.) outbreak in Glacier National Park over the last seven years is to blame for large patches of dead and dying trees in the Rogers Pass corridor. Parks says that by attacking older, less healthy trees, the beetles open up the forest canopy, encouraging new growth and improving forest health. However, in situations where the trees increase public safety risk, Park staff intervene and take down the trees that could fall.