The temporary overnight closure of Stanley Park due to fire risk is ending, but on the same day the temporary overnight closure due to coyotes is starting.
The park will be closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a week "in an effort to reduce continued conflict between park users and coyotes," states the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in a press release. Essential access will be allowed.
"Park Rangers will continue to maintain temporary overnight access control points at four locations across the park to reduce the number of individuals in the park overnight," states the parks board. "Vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and anyone who does not require essential access to the park will be turned around at access control points."
The closure follows more attacks in the park over the last few days as the number of attacks by the wild dogs continues to skyrocket this year.
"We are taking the escalating conflicts with coyotes extremely seriously and have offered our full support to the Province to do whatever we can inside Stanley Park as public safety is our number one priority,” says parks board general manager Donnie Rosa. “At this point, a number of options are on the table and our focus remains on removing attractants and influencing public behaviour to ensure direct and indirect feeding of coyotes and other wildlife comes to a stop."
That includes 1,000 kgs of garbage, new animal-proof garbage cans coming soon and new signage. They're also asking the public to help by staying out of the park at night, staying on the trails and reporting anyone feeding the animals (call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277).
If you see a coyote in the park (or anywhere) they recommend making yourself look as big as possible and speaking loudly without screaming.
Two access control points will be at the traffic circle off West Georgia Street and at the corner of Barclay and Park Lane. Two more will be on the north and south exits of the Stanley Park Causeway (the road through the park to Lions Gate Bridge). The seawall will stay closed.
"Signage will be placed along the access points of the seawall to advise pedestrians and cyclists of the closure. Park Rangers will be patrolling the park throughout the closure to monitor activity," states the parks board.
While the parks board controls access to the park, the coyotes are being dealt with by the BC Conservation Officer Service. Both organizations are also working with the Stanley Park Ecological Society and Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.