Periodic Report on the Application of the
World Heritage Convention

Section II

Report on the State of Conservation of
Nahanni National Park
 

1 INTRODUCTION
 

1a State Party
CANADA
1b Name of World Heritage Site
Nahanni National Park
1c Geographic Coordinates
Latitude 61°05' - 62°01' N / Longitude 123°36' - 127°30' W
1d Date of inscription
08/09/78
1e Date of subsequent extension(s)
N/A

1f Organization(s) responsible for the preparation of report

Organization Name: Parks Canada
Name: Blyth, Chuck
Title: Superintendent, Nahanni National Park Reserve
Address: P.O. Box 348
City: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories
Postal Code: X0E 0N0
Telephone: 867 695-3151
Fax Number: 867 695-2446
Email: chuck.blyth@pc.gc.ca
 

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2 STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

2a Original justification for inscription
The original nomination stated that there is exceptional representation here of numerous on-going geological processes, notably fluvial erosion, tectonic uplift, folding and canyon development, mass wastage, wind erosion, formation of karst and pseudo-karst landforms, and of a variety of hot springs, as well as examples of glacial and peri-glacial activity. Remnants of lacustrine landforms add to the diversity of the geology of this national park reserve. Two major world biomes, the Nearctic Boreal Forest and Nearctic Alpine Tundra, are well represented in Nahanni National Park Reserve, as well as the ecozone between them. The park's diversity of birds and mammals, including several species considered “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red Data Book, is also noted.

The nomination stated that Nahanni appears to qualify for inscription on the World Heritage List under the World Heritage Natural Criteria (ii) and (iii) and to a lesser degree under (i) and (iv). In addition, it noted that the site appears to demonstrate an array of features of global significance and has integrity and sufficient size to contain the key features, ecosystems and habitat requirements for its species.
 

2b Criteria for initial inscription
Cultural Criteria:
Natural Criteria:
ii
iii
 

2c Agreed upon Statement of Significance
At the time of inscription, the World Heritage Committee did not agree upon a Statement of Significance.
Proposed Statement of Significance
The World Heritage Committee inscribed Nahanni National Park based on natural criteria (ii) and (iii).

Criterion (ii): Nahanni National Park has exceptional representation of a number of on-going geological processes, notably fluvial erosion, tectonic uplift, folding and canyon development, wind erosion, formation of karst and pseudo-karst landforms, and a variety of hot springs. The major geological and geomorphological features provide a combination of geological processes which are unique in the world.

Criterion (iii): Located along the Nahanni River, one of the most spectacular wild rivers in North America, this park contains deep canyons and huge waterfalls, as well as a unique limestone cave system.

(Note: The Statement of Significance proposed here reflects the definitions and numbering of the criteria at the time the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List. Changes in the definitions and numbering of the criteria since that time will need to be taken into account when officially submitting a Statement of Significance to the World Heritage Committee for approval. Clarification by the Committee of the criteria under which the site was inscribed will also affect the Statement of Significance that is officially submitted.)
       

2d Criteria added after initial inscription
Since the initial inscription, the World Heritage Committee has not added additional criteria to the inscription.
 

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3 STATEMENT OF AUTHENTICITY/INTEGRITY

3a Initial evaluation of authenticity/integrity
In the nomination of Nahanni, Canada noted "the site appears to demonstrate an array of features of global significance. It also has integrity and sufficient size to contain the key features, ecosystems and habitat requirements for its species".

In its evaluation of the nomination, IUCN observed, "the area is of sufficient size to be self-perpetuating vis-à-vis criteria (ii) and (iv). With regard to criterion (ii) it would be desirable to incorporate the entire upstream watershed in the World Heritage Site even if it is not included in the National Park".
     

3b Significant changes in authenticity / integrity
Since inscription, there have been significant changes in the authenticity / integrity of the site.
Description of changes in authenticity / integrity
In April 2003, the Government of Canada and the Deh Cho First Nations signed an agreement to withdraw most of the lands in the watershed of the South Nahanni River from mineral exploration for a period of five years. In August 2003, the Government of Canada withdrew these lands until October 2008. This is seen as a positive development in maintaining the integrity of the World Heritage Site.
 

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4 MANAGEMENT

MANAGEMENT REGIME
4a Ownership/Management

Management under protective legislation
Description: Nahanni National Park Reserve is managed under the authority of the Canada National Parks Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act, in addition to Parks Canada's Guiding Principles and Operational Policies.
 

4b Level of authority
National
Description: see 4c and 4e
 

4c Legal status
The property is a national park reserve. A national park reserve is a national park that is pending settlement of outstanding Aboriginal title in the region. Its status as a park reserve provides for the continuation of traditional use by local Aboriginal people in the park.
 

4d Agency/agencies with management authority

Agency Name: Parks Canada
Name: Blyth, Chuck
Title: Superintendent, Nahanni National Park Reserve
Address: P.O. Box 348
City: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories
Postal Code: X0E 0N0
Telephone: 867 695-3151
Fax Number: 867 695-2446
Email: nahanni.info@pc.gc.ca
 

Agency Name: Parks Canada
Name: Latourelle, Alan
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Address: 25 Eddy Street, 7th Floor
City: Gatineau, Quebec
Postal Code: K1A 0M5
Telephone: 819 997-9525
Fax Number: 819 953-9745
Email: alan.latourelle@pc.gc.ca
 

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4e Protective measures and means of implementing them
Canada National Parks Act and Regulations (2000)
Parks Canada Agency Act (1998)
Parks Canada's Guiding Principles and Operational Policies
Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (1998)
Species At Risk Act (2002)
Fisheries Act (1985)
Migratory Birds Convention Act (1994)

The Canada National Parks Act (2000) requires that “the maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority of the Minister when considering all aspects of the management of parks.”

The Parks Canada Agency Act (1998) established an Agency “for the purpose of ensuring that Canada's national parks, national historic sites and related heritage areas are protected and represented for this and future generations and in order to further the achievement of the national interest as it is related to those parks, sites and heritage areas and related programs.”
 

4f Administrative and management arrangements
Nahanni National Park Reserve is managed through a local administrative and operational office in Fort Simpson, NT, and along with Wood Buffalo National Park and several national historic sites, is part of the Southwest Northwest Territories Field Unit of Parks Canada. The Park Superintendent reports to the Field Unit Superintendent, based in Fort Smith, NT.

Nahanni National Park Reserve is also a participant in the Deh Cho Process, the negotiations between Canada and the Deh Cho First Nations with respect to governance, lands and resource management in the Deh Cho region of NT. As part of this process, Parks Canada and the Deh Cho First Nations have developed an Interim Park Management Arrangement, which will see a greater role in park management for the local Aboriginal people. The signing of this document by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Grand Chief of the Deh Cho First Nations was announced in August 2003.

Parks Canada and the Deh Cho First Nations have also signed a second MOU to work together to expand Nahanni within the Greater Nahanni Ecosystem.
 

4g Significant changes in management regime since inscription
The new Canada National Parks Act (2000) states that the "maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and processes, shall be the first priority of the Minister when considering all aspects of the management of parks."

An Interim Park Management Arrangement was developed and signed in 2003, to provide guidelines for an interim management arrangement that will guide park management between Parks Canada and the Deh Cho First Nations, until the park is established in legislation. To facilitate this, the Nah'a Dehe Consensus Team consisting of representatives of both Parks Canada and Deh Cho First Nations has been established. Deh Cho First Nations represent the Dene and their long-standing connection to the landscape.
 

4h Management plan
There is a management plan in place for the site.
Summary of management plan
Management plans are required under the Canada National Parks Act. The first Nahanni National Park Reserve Management Plan was completed in 1987, and amendments to the management plan were approved in 1994. A new park management plan was completed in cooperation with the Deh Cho First Nations, receiving Ministerial approval in April, 2004.

Nahanni National Park Reserve is managed to maintain the park's ecological integrity, and to provide a high quality wilderness experience for Canadians and international visitors. The water quality of the South Nahanni River watershed has long been considered a key measure of the park reserve's ecological integrity and health. Few facilities exist in the park; those at high use areas are provided with the intent of minimizing environmental impact and ensuring public safety. Motorized travel on the river corridor is prohibited, except for traditional Aboriginal harvest and park operations. Aircraft access is permitted at two designated sites, Virginia Falls (Nailicho) and Rabbitkettle Lake; a system of zoning is used to manage visitor use and protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Highlights of the new plan include maintenance of the park's ecological integrity and wilderness character, including the establishment of designated wilderness areas, and recognition of its status as a World Heritage Site, and as a Canadian Heritage River. Working in cooperation with the Deh Cho First Nations towards achieving an ecologically sustainable boundary for the park is central to the plan. Education and interpretation, including on-site programs by local Aboriginal youth, are given high profile in the plan. The new plan will be made available at the following URL: www.pc.gc.ca/nahanni.
 

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
4i Annual operating budget

Approximately C$ 1 200 000 for fiscal year 2003-2004.
 

STAFFING LEVELS (HUMAN RESOURCES)
4j Staffing levels
Full time: 7
Part time: 1
Seasonal: 6
Other: 7
 
Administration (3)
- Superintendent
- Finance Officer
- Operations Clerk
Natural Resource Management (7)
- Warden Service Manager
- Park Warden (3)
- Conservation Biologist
- Park Patrolpersons (2)
Interpretation and Education (4)
- Heritage Programs Officer
- Park Interpreter
- Summer Students (2)
General Works (2)
- Maintenance Manager
- Labourer
Volunteers (5)
 

SOURCES OF EXPERTISE AND TRAINING IN CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
4k Sources of specialized expertise, training and services
Off-site assistance is available from the Field Unit Office in Fort Smith (e.g. Geographical Information System capacity, Cultural Resource Management), through Parks Canada's regional Service Centres, in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Calgary, Alberta, and through Parks Canada's National Office in Gatineau, Quebec. Nahanni also collaborates with a number of other agencies and organizations, such as environmental non-government organizations, and federal and territorial governments, on an individual project basis.
 

VISITATION
4l Visitor statistics available

Visitor statistics are available for the site.
Annual visitation, methodology and trends
Visitation in 2003 was 1,018 people. River trips have an average duration of over 10 days, resulting in a total of nearly 7,000 visitor-days. Access is primarily by float plane landings within the park, although some trips begin upstream and enter the park by river. Overnight visitors are required to register with park staff before commencing their trip, whereas day users may fly in on short notice, and are counted by staff on site.

According to records from 1984, visitation has increased to a peak in the mid 1990s, then declined, and has since been fairly constant or increasing slightly (except for low point in 2002).
 

4m Visitor facilities
Nahanni is managed as a wilderness park, and therefore has few visitor facilities. Float plane docks are in place at the two designated landing areas, Rabbitkettle Lake and Virginia Falls (Nailicho). Designated campgrounds with elevated food caches and outhouses are located at four sites in the park: Rabbitkettle Lake, Rabbitkettle Portage Landing (Island Campsite), Virginia Falls (Nailicho) and Kraus Hotsprings. Virginia Falls (Nailicho) also has composting toilets, as well as boardwalks along the campground loop, falls viewing promontories, and portage trail.
 

4n Tourism/visitor management plan
There is a tourism/visitor management plan in place for the site.
Summary of tourism/visitor management plan
Visitor management strategies are included in park management plan referred to earlier (4h).
 

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SCIENTIFIC STUDIES
4o Key scientific studies and research programs

Research programs (undertaken and/or supported) include:

  • Integrated survey of biophysical resources (1979)
  • Le développement des grottes dans la région du premier canyon de la rivière Nahanni sud, T.N.O. Canada (1979)
  • Large mammal distribution and abundance in Nahanni National Park (1981)
  • Nahanni National Park Boundary Review (1984)
  • Nahanni National Park Reserve Resource Description and Analysis (1984)
  • Non-Renewable Mineral and Energy Resource Potential of Proposed Extensions to Nahanni National Park Reserve (field work 1987, final report 2003)
  • Yohin Lake Resource Inventory (1990)
  • Protecting the Waters of Nahanni National Park Reserve, NWT (1991)
  • Rabbitkettle Hotsprings, Nahanni National Park Reserve, NWT. A hydrogeological study (1993)
  • Impact of aircraft landings on waterbirds at Rabbitkettle Lake (1994)
  • Grizzly and Black Bear food habits and hazard assessment of Rabbitkettle Lake area (1997)
  • Protecting the Aquatic Quality of Nahanni National Park Reserve, NWT (1998)
  • Decomposition rate and standing biomass (2000)
  • South Nahanni Woodland Caribou Herd seasonal range use and demography (2000)
  • South Nahanni River Watershed Study: Resource Mapping (2000)
  • Reconstruction of past climate and stream flow in the north Great Slave and Fort Simpson regions using tree ring analysis (2001)
  • Palaeolimnological assessment of a small lake near Brock River Weather Station (Tuktut Nogait National Park) and Big Sinkhole Pond (Nahanni National Park Reserve) (2001)
  • Distribution of Bull Trout in the South Nahanni River Watershed (2001)
  • The geomorphological case for including the Ram Plateau and Ram River Canyon in the proposed expansion of South Nahanni National Park (2001)
  • Postscript to the McMaster University 1974 report on the North Nahanni Karst (2001)
  • Areas of high conservation value adjacent to Nahanni National Park Reserve (2001)
  • Ecological Integrity Statement for Nahanni National Park Reserve (2001)
  • Fire History of Nahanni National Park Reserve and vicinity (2002)
  • Transboundary survey of Grizzly Bears in Nahanni National Park Reserve (2002/2003)
  • Geologic controls on the distribution and chemistry of thermal springs in the Mackenzie Mountains (2003)
  • Status of Nahanni Aster (2003)
  • Preliminary Survey of Macroinvertebrates from several Thermal Springs in and near Nahanni National Park Reserve, Northwest Territories (2003)

Use of results of scientific studies and research programs
These research and monitoring programs are part of the adaptive management framework used for management of Nahanni. In 1984, the Resource Description and Analysis (RD&A) compiled existing biophysical data on the area into a single comprehensive source, with chapters covering geology, hydrology, wildlife, vegetation, cultural resources and other topics. Although some areas of the RD&A are in need of updating, it remains an extremely valuable reference resource.

Through the development of an Ecological Integrity Statement for the park, in cooperation with the Deh Cho First Nations, previous research and monitoring data were used in preparation of priorities for future research and monitoring programs. These priorities will be subject to review as needed. Direction from the Ecological Integrity Statement was incorporated in the development of the new park management plan.

Specific studies are undertaken as critical data gaps are identified and/or opportunities arise for cooperative research with partners. Results of research and monitoring programs are reviewed in cooperation with the Deh Cho First Nations; where applicable, management options are prepared and evaluated, and necessary actions are taken. Much of the park's previous research contributed to the identification of areas of high conservation value adjacent to the park (2001), and was submitted to the Deh Cho Process, the vehicle for negotiations of governance, lands and resource management in the Deh Cho region. The areas of interest identified in this work received high consideration in negotiation of an interim land withdrawal through the Deh Cho Process, as described in 3b1.

Results of current and future research will continue to be used in the identification of priority areas for conservation planning in the vicinity of Nahanni as well as in the ongoing management of the site.

Role of WHS designation in design of scientific studies and research programs
The designation as a World Heritage Site has played very little role in the design of research programs. Much of the research on the canyons and karst areas was undertaken prior to the designation (and provided the justification for it). Subsequent research has occurred on the hotsprings and other sites referred to in the designation, but the World Heritage Site designation has not typically been a factor in the selection of research topics or sites.
 

EDUCATION, INFORMATION AND AWARENESS BUILDING
4p WHS plaque

There is a plaque at the site indicating that it is a World Heritage Site.
 

4q Use of WHC logo
The World Heritage Convention logo is used on all publications for the site.
 

4r Educational programs for schools
There are educational programs about the site's World Heritage values aimed at schools.
Description of educational programs for schools
Educational programs are not specifically related to the World Heritage program, but the sites heritage values are often the subject of programs. There is a unit of the territorial curriculum, developed in cooperation with Nahanni, which uses the park as a case study for protected area establishment/planning. Some of the World Heritage values (e.g. karst landscapes) are included as aspects to consider when designing a protected area.
   

4s Special events and exhibitions
There are no special events and exhibitions concerning the site's World Heritage values.
 

4t Facilities, visitor centre, site museum, trails, guides, information materials
An interpretive exhibit about the park is situated at the Fort Simpson Visitor Information Centre. Additionally there is a reception area and a brochure rack located in the park office in Fort Simpson. This is where visitors come to register their trips into the park.

Interpretive exhibits are situated at both Rabbitkettle and Virginia Falls (Nailicho). The exhibits contain interpretive material on the natural and cultural features of the region and information about safe travel and park regulations.

Park information and interpretation training sessions are given to commercial river guides and to local businesses and residents.

Guided interpretive hikes to Virginia Falls (Nailicho) are offered daily to both river users and day users. Virginia Falls (Nailicho) is the only location in the park where day visitors are permitted. Local Dene interpreters offer evening campfire programs on Dene culture and traditions to overnight users.

Guided interpretive hikes are also offered daily from Rabbitkettle Lake to the tufa mounds. Park staff must accompany all visitors to the tufa mounds, as the tufa mounds are a Zone 1 Special Preservation Area of the park.

Park publications available include: a park brochure, an interpretive handbook, South Nahanni River Touring Guide, Flat River Touring Guide, fact sheets, website. Brochures on World Heritage Sites and Canadian Heritage Rivers are also available.

Several books are published about Nahanni including: "Nahanni River Guide", "Nahanni: River of Gold ... River of Dreams", “Nahanni Portfolio.".
 

4u Role of WHS designation in education, information and awareness building activities
The World Heritage Site logo and information about site designation are included in information kiosks, park brochures, interpretive handbooks, both touring guides, and the website as both promotional and educational tools. World heritage Site status is also talked about in the guided interpretive walks to promote the world scale significance of the park.
 

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5 FACTORS AFFECTING THE PROPERTY

5a Development Pressures
Mineral Exploration and Development
Mining development continues to be a concern with two mines just outside and upstream from the park boundaries. Although both mines are not presently in operation the potential exists for negative environmental impacts from previous activity and from future proposed activities. Water quality is a concern on two different watercourses because of the close locality of the mines in relation to the water. There is a proposal to open an abandoned winter road to one of the mine sites and this may degrade areas such as North Nahanni Karst, an area identified as one of the world's best examples of karst topography, and also an area that has long been proposed for inclusion in the park.

Mineral developments such as existing tailings ponds, acid rock drainage, mine site sewage treatment, fuel leaks from an existing tank farm left from the 1980s operation, fuel spills (most recent reported spill was in 2002) and storage of chemicals such as cyanide and PCBs on site have the potential for impacts to water quality. The primary concern with water quality stems from the location of the mines on direct tributaries to the South Nahanni River. Though water quality was not identified as a World Heritage value at the time of inscription, water quality is fundamental to the overall integrity of the park in which the World Heritage values exist.

The impact of proposed road construction through karst terrain is another concern. Through risks inherent with development in karst landscapes, damage to terrain can result in impacts to water quality via underground channels.

In addition, the potential impacts of a mine site on transboundary wildlife can be significant, particularly with respect to grizzly bears and Dall's sheep; habituation of some of these wildlife species is already being seen. Impacts of mining activity on bull trout are of concern as the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists this species as a high priority candidate for inclusion on the species at risk list. This species is also known to be sensitive to industrial disturbance, and are known to spawn in tributaries of Prairie Creek, including those along the proposed road access through the North Karst.

Nahanni continues to establish baseline data for water quality monitoring and is working on creating a monitoring protocol to detect any human-caused changes in water quality. This process has been slow however, due to lack of financial or human resources to implement it. The park will continue to participate in the environmental assessment process in an effort to encourage best practices, and to reduce and mitigate potential environmental impacts. Reactive reports to the World Heritage Committee have been submitted in 2001, 2002 2003 and 2004.

Other mining claims - There is a history of mineral exploration and project proposals in the upper South Nahanni Watershed but most of these have not gone beyond the exploration stage. Recently, there has been mineral staking and/or exploration activity in at least three sites within the watershed, outside the park boundary.

Oil and Gas Exploration
In the vicinity of the eastern end of Nahanni National Park Reserve, there has been increasing exploration for petroleum resources, including the cutting of seismic lines, seismic testing (both ground and helicopter supported), and helicopter based gravity surveys. Although this activity has not been permitted within the boundaries of the park, some activity has occurred in the identified areas of high conservation value adjacent to the park. Short-term concerns with this activity include potential impacts on transboundary wildlife including Dall's sheep and woodland caribou, impacts on fish or water quality at stream crossings, and potential fuel spillage. Longer term concerns include increased hunter access to wildlife populations, and with increasing disposable income among local residents, the potential for increased access and Aboriginal harvest within the park as well. Nahanni National Park Reserve includes its status as a World Heritage Site as a key factor in its interventions with the environmental assessment process. This is done in an effort to encourage best practices, and to reduce and mitigate potential environmental impacts.

In response to these pressures and as noted in 3b and 4f, Parks Canada and the Deh Cho First Nations are working together to expand the park. Current research is being undertaken to identify areas of high conservation value and areas of energy and mineral potential.
 

5b Environmental Pressures
Climate change is a potential environmental pressure, because recent modelling has suggested that the most likely impact of climate change in the vicinity of Nahanni is an increase in frequency and intensity of forest fires. Significant changes to the fire regime could possibly affect vegetation patterns and wildlife populations which are noted among the World Heritage values of the park. The park currently monitors climate change through various methods and is working on developing a way to monitor fire regimes.
 

5c Natural Disasters and Preparedness
Since the World Heritage values for which Nahanni was inscribed on the list are natural and some are cited specifically as on-going processes, natural disasters are unlikely to impact these values.

Natural seismic (earthquake) activity in the area frequently causes minor landslides, which are not usually of great significance to the World Heritage values, but a major seismic event at one of the mine sites could have serious environmental implications. Additionally, natural seismic events do have the potential to disrupt the hydrology of hotsprings, and thereby change the nature of those features. Alternatively, the latter type of events could be considered natural changes in the evolution of the landscape, and the dynamic aspect of the features is part of their value.
 

5d Visitor/Tourism Pressures
At current visitation levels, there have been some minor environmental impacts noted, but management strategies appear to be mitigating the effects. Bank erosion, trail development and human waste concerns have been recorded at campsites; management responses have included increased education on minimal impact camping methods, site closures and both passive and active reclamation of impacted sites. A restructured system of boardwalks has been developed at Virginia Falls (Nailicho) to reduce terrain impacts associated with World Heritage values. This has been a significant financial involvement for the field unit. Visitor impacts on sensitive features at Rabbitkettle Hotsprings tufa mounds are monitored annually, and other ecologically sensitive areas of the park are closed to public access. An increase in visitation will require continued monitoring and adaptive management measures as additional impacts, or the potential for impacts, are noted.

Visitors and traditional harvesters in the area are aware of each other's activities in the park, and are asked to respect the differences in ways of using the area; few if any conflicts have arisen.
 

5e Number of inhabitants within property, buffer zone
There are no residents within Nahanni National Park Reserve, although a few local Aboriginal residents do have seasonal camps in some areas to support traditional harvesting activities (fishing and hunting - primarily moose). There is no established buffer zone around the property.
 

5f Other
Not applicable.
 

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6 MONITORING

ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MONITORING PROPERTY
6a Formal monitoring program

There is a formal monitoring program established for the site.
Description of formal monitoring program
Ecological monitoring programs (annual unless otherwise indicated) at Nahanni include:

  • water quality (physical & chemical parameters, sediments)
  • satellite (AVHRR) monitoring of primary productivity
  • flowering and leaf phenology of trembling aspen
  • iceout & snowmelt at Rabbitkettle Lake
  • bird migration at Rabbitkettle Lake
  • upland sandpiper colony at Prairie Creek alluvial fan
  • breeding bird plots (in test phase)
  • bird checklists for days in field
  • Dall's sheep survey (index & composition count)
  • climate monitoring (automated weather stations)
  • Trumpeter Swan survey (5 yr. cycle, coordinated with Canadian Wildlife Service)
  • raptor monitoring (irregular)
  • photo monitoring at Wildmint Hotsprings
  • visitor impact monitoring at Rabbitkettle Hotsprings
  • visitor impact monitoring at campsites along South Nahanni River
  • forest fire monitoring, mapping occurrence and extent
    creel census (irregular)
  • monitoring of bear sightings, encounters and conflicts
  • wildlife observation cards, particularly for large mammals and unusual observations

Partners in these efforts include Environment Canada (water quality), Canadian Wildlife Service (Trumpeter swan survey and bird records database), University of Alberta (aspen phenology), and Wildlife Conservation Society (bears).

Parks Canada monitors and reports on the ecological integrity of national parks through the national State of Protected Heritage Areas Report and the park-specific State of Parks report. Additionally, national parks are currently undergoing an effort to redesign their monitoring programs to improve consistency and rigor nationally.
 

KEY INDICATORS FOR MEASURING STATE OF CONSERVATION
6b Agreed upon key indicators

No key indicators for measuring the state of conservation of the site's World Heritage values have been agreed upon.
Future development of key indicators
Key indicators and targets for monitoring are included in the park management plan, but are not geared specifically to the identified World Heritage values, per se.
 

RESULTS OF PREVIOUS REPORTING EXERCISES
6c State Party actions in response to World Heritage Committee recommendations

Parks Canada has reported on the status of Nahanni National Park Reserve to the World Heritage Committee in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. These reports have provided information as requested from the Committee, on progress in the Deh Cho Process and interim land withdrawals adjacent to the park, and current situations with respect to developments in the vicinity, notably the Prairie Creek and Tungsten mine operations.

Upon requests from the World Heritage Committee, Parks Canada has also prepared a report on how the concerns and recommendations contained in the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board report will be addressed in relation to potential impacts from development activities on the World Heritage Site.
   

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7 CONCLUSIONS

WORLD HERITAGE VALUES
7a Main conclusions regarding the state of the property's World Heritage Values

Nahanni was nominated for inclusion on the World Heritage List under the World Heritage Natural Criteria (ii) and (iii), and to a lesser extent (i) and (iv). The property was inscribed on the list under criteria (ii) and (iii) in 1978, with specific reference to “the ongoing geological processes and the superlative natural phenomena” of the site.

Nahanni National Park Reserve continues to retain and protect the values for which it was designated.
 

MANAGEMENT AND FACTORS AFFECTING SITE
7b Main conclusions regarding the management of and factors affecting the property

Nahanni National Park Reserve is managed at a national level under the protective legislation of the Canada National Parks Act and Regulations (2000). Recent developments at a local level have resulted in a greater role in park management by the Deh Cho First Nations. A new management plan has been in place since April, 2004. Strategies for visitor use management are in place, there is an active research and monitoring program underway, and interpretation of the park is given high priority. The integrity of the site remains high, although development pressures, particularly mining and petroleum exploration, near the boundaries are potential threats.
 

PROPOSED FUTURE ACTION(S)
7c Approved future actions

Work towards a management regime which provides a greater role for the Deh Cho First Nations will continue, including strategies for local economic and employment opportunities. Strategies for improving local economic and employment opportunities, including training of locally recruited staff, are being investigated.

The boardwalk and campground facilities at Virginia Falls (Nailicho) have been reconstructed. Aboriginal companies and individuals have received many of the associated contracts.

The proposal to increase the size of the park may result in much more protection of the park ecosystems.
 

RESPONSIBLE IMPLEMENTING AGENCY(IES)
7d Agency(ies) responsible for implementing actions

Agency Name: Parks Canada
Name: Blyth, Chuck
Title: Superintendent, Nahanni National Park Reserve
Address: Nahanni National Park Reserve P.O. Box 348
City: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories
Postal Code: X0E 0N0
Telephone: 867 695-3151
Fax Number: 867 695-2446
Email: chuck.blyth@pc.gc.ca
 

TIMEFRAME FOR IMPLEMENTATION
7e Timeline for implementation of actions

The actions described are initiatives already underway; completion dates are not known. Park expansion work is planned between the present and 2007.
 

NEEDS FOR INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
7f Anticipated Requests for International Assistance

It is not anticipated that International Assistance, through the World Heritage Fund, will be requested.
 

ACTIONS STATE PARTY INTENDS TO REQUEST FROM WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
7g Potential Decisions for the World Heritage Committee

  • Change to criteria for inscription
  • Proposed new Statement of Significance, where previously missing