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Nahanni National Park Reserve

State of the Park Report 2009

The condition of the lands and waters of Nahanni National Park Reserve (NNPR) is of great interest to the local people, Canadians, and Parks Canada. The State of the Park Report provides an assessment of this condition, and as such, is an integral component of Parks Canada’s planning and reporting cycle.

This State of the Park Report, the first for NNPR, incorporates both scientific measurement of ecological integrity and the traditional knowledge of the Dehcho Dene to assess the current state of park ecosystems. Social science approaches are also used to assess the state of cultural resources, external relations and the experiences of visitors to the park reserve.

Perspectives of the Dehcho First Nations, not only on ecological condition, but also in regards to history, culture, and current park management, are an integral part of the assessment. The opinions expressed on ecological condition are generally favourable, although some issues are raised, including water quality and declining caribou populations; mining developments and outfitted big-game hunting are identified as specific concerns. The current park management arrangement is supported, but with certain areas in need of improvement, such as the incorporation of traditional Dene place names, and increasing park presence in the community of Nahanni Butte.

canoe on river.jpg Paddling through First Canyon
© Parks Canada / D Haggarty

Of the five major indicators, or ecosystem types, in NNPR, Forests and Freshwater are assessed as being in Good condition, Alpine Tundra and Glaciers in Fair condition, and Wetlands are not rated at this time

Seven Key Issues are identified in this report:
  • Maintaining Water Quality;
  • Incorporating Traditional Dene Names;
  • Maintaining and Increasing Visitation;
  • Infrastructure Supporting the Visitor Experience;
  • Expanding Outreach Education;
  • Establishing Monitoring Programs;
  • Declining Northern Mountain Caribou Populations.

Results from the State of the Park Report will be instrumental in development of the next Park Management Plan for NNPR. As part of the management planning cycle, this report will help Parks Canada to achieve its goal of ensuring that:

Canadians have a strong sense of connection, through meaningful experiences, to their national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas and these protected places are enjoyed in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations.

Nahanni State of the Park 2009  (PDF - 4,506 Kb)

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