Nahanni National Park Reserve

Introduction

Canada’s national parks are places where we protect, study, learn about and enjoy the living diversity of nature and culture, and strive to ensure the integrity of ecosystems. They are part of the inheritance of all Canadians. They are special places recognized under the Canada National Parks Act as being of national importance.

Under the Act, Parks Canada has mandated responsibility for ensuring the ecological integrity of national parks. This Act also requires that national parks prepare a management plan, and these plans are to be reviewed every five years. A management plan is a strategic guide to future

management, directing the long-term protection, presentation and operations of a national park, and is prepared in consultation with Canadians. It is approved by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and tabled in Parliament.

Nahanni National Park Reserve Management Plan and Amendments

The first management plan for Nahanni National Park Reserve was approved in 1987, and was intended to serve for a fifteen year period. A plan review was initiated in 1992, in keeping with Parks Canada’s five year review requirement. The 1992 review determined that amendments were needed to update the plan, in response to national policy changes and local needs.

Highlights of these amendments included:

• the maintenance of ecological integrity as a priority in the protection of park resources;

• refinements to cultural resource management objectives;

• incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge in decision making;

• improvements to the presentation of the park’s natural and cultural resources;

• strategies for management of wilderness carrying capacities; and

• recognition of pending settlements on lands, resources and self-government through the Deh Cho Process.

The product of the 1992 review was an official amendment to the plan, approved by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in 1994. Therefore both the 1987 plan and the 1994 plan amendment have served as the park’s management strategy since 1994. Much of the direction from these previous plans has been carried forward to this management plan, which replaces both documents.