Firth River Campsite Monitoring
Wolf Tors campsite.
© Parks Canada
Approximately 80 percent of park visitors use some of the 35 campsites along
the Firth River in Ivvavik National Park every year. A number of these sites
are used repeatedly each summer by large groups of people. Potential impacts
to these campsites from human use include damage to vegetation, soil erosion
and improper disposal of human waste and garbage. All of these impacts can
affect the park environment and the quality of the wilderness experience for
park visitors. Campsites along the Firth River are monitored annually to identify
impacts from human use, and to determine if sites should be closed and restored.
- To identify and track human caused impacts to campsites along the Firth
- To provide park managers with information necessary to make decisions
about campsite closures and restoration.
Methods and Information Collected
- Thirty-five campsites are monitored along the Firth River between Margaret
Lake and Nunaluk Spit.
- Campsite monitoring is conducted in the spring and in the fall every year.
- The monitoring focuses on campsites that are not affected by seasonal spring
flooding. These campsites are generally located upstream and downstream of
the canyon section of the river. Campsites in the canyon section of the river
that receive frequent use by large groups are also monitored.
- Spring monitoring occurs before the first visitor trip. This monitoring
is conducted to identify wildlife threats or concerns, such as wildlife carcasses
near the site and active nest or den sites in the area.
- Fall monitoring is conducted to identify impacts resulting from human use
of campsites during the summer. This involves comparing the composition and
density of the vegetation at the campsite with the surrounding area, determining
the presence and extent of bare soil, bank erosion, trails and root exposure
caused by human use of the site, identifying damage to vegetation in the surrounding
area and removing any waste or garbage left by people.
- Photo monitoring points were established and photos taken at every campsite.
These photos help with monitoring vegetation cover, and other changes to the
campsite. Daubermire squares are used for measuring plant cover in areas that
have been impacted the most.
- A campsite reporting program began in 2000, asking park visitors which
campsites they used. This information is used by Parks Canada to identify
which campsites are likely to be most impacted by human use.
Campsites were monitored in the spring from June 12 - 23, 2003 and
in the fall from August 21 to September 12, 2003.
Camping at Eagle Nest campsite on the Firth River,
Ivvavik National Park.
© Parks Canada
- Cut firewood was found at the Crooked Creek campsite and 2 campsites were
found to have distinct trails starting to form above the high water level.
Years of Data