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Wapusk National Park of Canada

Management Plan


Wapusk National Park Management Plan
© Parks Canada

 Wapusk National Park Management Plan (PDF version, 2.5 MB) 

This document presents the management plan for Wapusk National Park of Canada. Its purpose is to provide a framework for the management of the park lands and resources to maintain ecological integrity and ensure the protection and presentation of cultural resources. This plan will guide the provision of appropriate visitor activities and lay the foundation for the development of future opportunities for visitors.

The management plan was developed through the management board of Wapusk National Park of Canada. The plan is founded on science and traditional knowledge. It has as its basis the experience, knowledge, and aspirations of the region's land managers, researchers, hunters, trappers, and Aboriginal people, thereby representing the voices of the keepers of the land. The plan was strengthened through a public review, with public presentations made in Churchill, York Factory First Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Thompson, Gillam, and Winnipeg.

Wapusk represents and protects for all time a part of the Hudson-James Lowlands natural region of Canada. The park and adjacent lands are nationally and internationally recognized for their biological diversity. Wapusk is Cree for "white bear" – the park's most sought-after species. The park protects one of the largest concentrations of polar bear maternity dens in the world and is home to the longest-running research program on polar bears. Wapusk will continue to play a valuable role in polar bear conservation, as a setting for continuing research and for monitoring of the effects of climate change.

Wapusk's remoteness will limit the number of its visitors. However, the park will be presented at the Visitor Reception Centre and through the efforts of Churchill's commercial tour operators. Partnerships and co-operative programs will be a key part of the presentation of Wapusk.Visitors will be challenged by the environment and experience the rigours faced by the First Nations people and Hudson Bay Company employees of the past. They will receive a warm welcome and will come to share in the pride that the local residents and the First Nations have for the park.

This management plan directs key activities, including visitor opportunities, partnerships, and heritage presentations. Without compromising ecological integrity, opportunities will be developed for visitors to experience the park in safety. Parks Canada will meet its commitment to a greater inclusion of Aboriginal people in economic tourism opportunities in the park. This management plan highlights the need to build strong partnerships with the scientific community, the Province of Manitoba, the Town of Churchill, First Nations, commercial tour operators, and local residents. The park exists, not as an island, but as part of a regional network of lands and people dedicated to the conservation of Canada's heritage. Heritage presentation is a cornerstone of park management. Resource conservation will be achieved through communications with park visitors and local residents. Programs will be developed to tell the stories of the land and its people.

New visitors will be attracted to Wapusk with the development of visitor opportunities; park presentations; and strong partnerships with other agencies, tour operators, and First Nations. An increased level of services and implementation of Parks Canada's fee structure will increase revenues.

The management plan will be reviewed every five years.

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