The following is a summary of the preliminary management plan that has been developed to date. It presents an overview of the current state of the park, including the issues, opportunities and challenges it faces, as well as a proposed management approach with key strategies, objectives and measurable targets.
Management plan review
We are pleased to inform you that Parks Canada has undertaken the review of its Management Plan for Kouchibouguac National Park. Once finalized, this official document will guide the Agency’s decisions and actions in protecting, presenting and operating the site over the next ten years.
Engagement and consultation with Indigenous partners, stakeholders and the public are a priority at Parks Canada and constitute an integral part of the Agency’s management plan renewal process. Public participation and consultation are essential tools that enable you to provide your comments and contribute to the orientations that will guide the future management of the park.
To reflect the advice of public health experts, the consultations conducted by Kouchibouguac National Park’s team will primarily take place virtually through web-based technology to limit the spread of COVID‑19 and ensure the health and safety of Canadians, visitors and staff members.
Data collected during the public consultation period will remain confidential and will be reviewed and considered during the development of the final management plan. Once approved by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and tabled in Parliament, the Kouchibouguac National Park Management Plan will ensure Parks Canada’s accountability to Canadians by outlining how park management will achieve measurable results.
- Spanning an area of 238 km², Kouchibouguac National Park is a representative example of the Maritime Plain natural region. It contains eight different ecosystems and protects an area frequented by over 15 species protected under the Species at Risk Act.
- The park is located on unceded Mi’gmaq territory and the park’s name is rooted in the Mi’gmaq word Pijeboogwek, or Pigipogoek which means “river that flows and grows into the forest”.
- Immediately before its creation, the territory which now forms Kouchibouguac National Park was home to 1‑200 people, in 228 households and seven villages.
- Kouchibouguac National Park was created in 1969, and since then it has been a major economic driver for the south-eastern region of New Brunswick.
- Operated year round, the park offers 350 campsites, 60 km of bicycle paths and 35 km of walking trails in the summer and, in the winter, 45 km of trails for cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing.
- The sandy beaches make it a popular destination. The park had more than 240‑000 visitors in the 2018–2019 season, an increase of 29% over the previous season.
- The park also presents traces of a rich human and cultural history, with more than 30 known archaeological sites, primarily Indigenous (Mi’gmaq).
- Since 2010, more than $43 Millions has been invested in the park’s infrastructure and visitor facilities.
State of the park and current opportunities and challenges
A review of the implementation of the 2010 Kouchibouguac National Park Management Plan (PDF - 4.85 MB) as well as an assessment of the current state of the park (2017) revealed that Kouchibouguac has been performing well in terms of maintaining ecological integrity, external relations and visitor appreciation of its programs and services. The main achievements associated with the objectives in the 2010 plan include:
- The development and installation of the exhibit on former residents in the Visitor Centre (2012);
- The development of new interpretation programs on Indigenous culture with Mi’gmaq partners (2010 - 2018); and
- The complete reconstruction of Highway 117 and its bridges (2015 - 2018).
The park now faces a number of opportunities and challenges worth considering in the development of the new Management Plan. Some of those include:
- Improvement of relations with Indigenous partners which involves continued, active engagement to seek mutually beneficial opportunities as well as raising awareness of Indigenous culture and values among the public, park employees and visitors.
- The deterioration of park infrastructure and facilities, including some secondary access roads and service buildings intended for visitors.
- The inventory of cultural resources present in the park is still incomplete, which poses a challenge in the development of plans to conserve and present them.
- The ecological integrity of the marine and coastal areas that are under significant pressures, such as invasive species, recreational fishing and climate change, requires continued environmental monitoring.
Creating a shared vision - A proposal
A long-term vision, which is both inspiring and achievable, constitutes a crucial part of the new management plan as it describes the aspirations for Kouchibouguac National Park for the years to come. Here is what we propose:
Kouchibouguac National Park has become a reference point for the advancement of scientific and Mi’gmaq Indigenous knowledge, and climate change adaptation in Atlantic Canada. Because of its sustainable resource management approaches, its various ecosystems are in good health, functional and resilient. More specifically, its Acadian forest and its estuaries are protected and managed so that species and ecological processes therein can be restored and preserved.
Kouchibouguac National Park is also known as a vibrant place that Canadians, both locals and tourists, can enjoy throughout the four seasons. Its winter trails and paths have become as highly prized as its sandy beaches and dunes in the summer.
The park’s leadership in innovation is reflected in the services it offers to visitors, in its programming of activities and experiences, and in the sustainable management of its assets and infrastructure. The park is a trailblazer in these areas and is often cited as an example nationally.
The park is also at the forefront in terms of inclusion and human diversity: it represents a gateway to the different cultures of the region and, with its openness, fosters a true climate of reconciliation with both Indigenous and local communities.
Mi’gmaq and local communities are committed to working closely together to protect, promote, and present Kouchibouguac National Park and raise cultural awareness among Canadians.
By fostering participation in recreational activities in a healthy environment offering a range of outdoor opportunities and discoveries, Kouchibouguac National Park contributes to the well-being of its visitors, as well as to the environmental, economic and social vitality of the entire region.
Proposed key strategies
Key strategies explain how Parks Canada intends to achieve the long-term vision for Kouchibouguac national park. The following four key strategies and corresponding objectives are envisioned for the next ten years:
Key strategy 1: A healthy and resilient park
Parks Canada’s mission in Kouchibouguac is to maintain the park’s various ecosystems, both aquatic and terrestrial, in good health, as well as to protect the plant and animal species that live there. This strategy will document the park’s environmental processes using scientific data and Mi’gmaq Indigenous knowledge, while mitigating the impacts of recreational activities on the environment and the effects of climate change. This key strategy will allow improvement of the park’s overall ecological integrity so that all can continue to enjoy and appreciate this exceptional natural environment.
What does success look like?
- The aquatic species that are commercially harvested or caught for recreational purposes are managed effectively and responsibly using recent scientific data and Mi’gmaq Indigenous knowledge.
- Invasive alien species are effectively monitored and controlled, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, and the introduction of new species posing a risk to the ecological integrity is limited.
- The degree of knowledge about the representation and health of the Acadian Forest in the park increases using Mi’gmaq Indigenous knowledge and scientific data.
- The impacts of climate change continue to be documented and taken into consideration in park planning and management decisions.
- Activities related to the monitoring and the recovery of species at risk in Kouchibouguac National Park continue in accordance with the multi-species action plan.
Key strategy 2: Kouchibouguac - A park at the forefront
This strategy focuses on innovation in all components of the national park’s management and operations. Its goal is to meet the new expectations of Canadians and visitors in terms of protected natural spaces and how they are enjoyed, and to address recent trends in recreation, outdoor activities and tourism. This approach is reflected in the park’s current operations where priority is given to new green and energy-efficient technologies.
What does success look like?
- Kouchibouguac National Park is recognized for its eco-friendly operational protocols, appealing visitor experience and management practices.
- Kouchibouguac National Park focuses on the health, wellness, inclusion and diversity of its visitors, collaborators, Indigenous partners and local communities.
- Kouchibouguac National Park is increasingly being recognized as a place of research that contributes to scientific advances.
Key strategy 3: A reflection of engaged communities
This strategy focuses on collaboration and commitment by all the various partners surrounding the park. A common understanding of the park’s issues, knowledge-sharing and mutual respect will enable Kouchibouguac National Park to consolidate its operations, expand its offering of services and activities, and continue exercising its role as a major tourism partner in the region. Over time, this strategy will enable park management and residents of the entire surrounding region to look optimistically towards the future. First and foremost, this strategy aims to engage/involve Mi’gmaq partners, former residents and their descendants, local communities and partners such as port authorities and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
What does success look like?
- Kouchibouguac National Park has pursued and improved its relationships with Mi’gmaq partners in a spirit of respect, collaboration and reconciliation.
- Former residents of Kouchibouguac National Park and their descendants help promote the history of the park and former villages.
- Local community involvement and support towards the park improves.
- Kouchibouguac National Park has a strategy for managing its cultural resources developed in collaboration with the Mi’gmaq, former residents and their descendants, and other partners.
- Kouchibouguac National Park continues to support and maintain the Loggiecroft and Cap Saint-Louis wharves as community bases for designated commercial fishing activities.
Key strategy 4: Highly satisfied visitors throughout the year
Visitor satisfaction is at the core of the last strategy. The objective is to offer visitors of Kouchibouguac a broader and enhanced range of year-round experiences and services. Through this strategy, and because of the untapped potential of the territory, the park wishes to position itself as a leading winter destination for outdoor enthusiasts from the region and elsewhere.
What does success look like?
- The level of visitor satisfaction and the range of activities and accommodations are enhanced and increased.
- More visitors enjoy Kouchibouguac National Park every year.
- Park assets and infrastructure are safe, functional and maintained in an acceptable condition.
- Kouchibouguac National Park takes advantage of the Loggiecroft and Cap Saint-Louis wharves to establish safe, ecological, enjoyable and educational activities open to all visitors.
If you would like to receive a hard copy of the survey form by mail, if you wish to make other comments regarding the future of the park or if you have any questions, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 506‑380‑8716.
Download the brochure of the Management Plan Review as a PDF (1.77 MB).