Management planning newsletter, May 2019
Download this newsletter (PDF, 1.12 Mb)
In this newsletter
- The changing landscape of the park
- Management challenges and questions
- How you can help shape the draft management plan
Public Open Houses
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
St. Elias Convention Centre
6 to 8 pm
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
5 to 7 pm
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Mt McIntyre Recreation Centre
6 to 8 pm
The 10-year review of the management plan for Kluane National Park and Reserve is underway! Get involved and help shape the future of this national park.
What is a management plan?
It’s a public document that provides the long-term vision and strategic direction for managing a national park. Kluane’s last management plan was signed in 2010. By law, plans must be publicly reviewed and tabled in Parliament every 10 years.
A management plan includes:
- A 15-year vision for the park
- Key strategies to:
- Protect natural and cultural values
- Facilitate outstanding visitor experiences
- Reach and engage audiences locally and at a distance
- Encourage Indigenous reconnection to traditional lands
- A zoning plan and strategic environmental assessment
Have your say!
Your feedback will help shape the draft management plan.
- Attend an open house
- Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write a letter to Box 5495, Haines Junction, YT, Y0B 1L0
- Check the park website for updates parkscanada.ca/kluane
All comments received by June 30, 2019 will be considered in the development of the draft management plan.
The Kluane National Park and Reserve 2020 Management Plan
Who is responsible for the plan?
The Kluane National Park Management Board and Parks Canada lead the development of the park management plan.
The Board has representatives from Kluane First Nation, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Parks Canada and the broader community.
For more information about the Board, visit: www.kluanepmb.ca.
See the 2010 management plan by visiting:
Kluane National Park and Reserve map
The Vision for Kluane National Park and Reserve
The 2010 park vision
This is a living land; this is Dän Keyi.
The ecological integrity of the park is maintained, while showcasing the essence of this land to Canadians and visitors. Cooperative management is shared by Parks Canada, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Kluane First Nation and the Kluane National Park Management Board. Together with our First Nation partners, we engage the people and communities that share Kluane’s landscapes.
Kluane National Park is a vibrant and diverse landscape. The product of a relationship that has existed between land, plants, animals and human beings for thousands of years, it continues to evolve. To stand in the timeless majesty of its mountains, glaciers and valleys is humbling; to witness the beauty and power of grizzly bears, Dall’s sheep, and other wildlife, which fills its vast expanse, instills in us a sense of wonder and renewal; to share this land with our First Nation partners, helps in understanding how people can live in harmony with their natural and physical surroundings.
An easily attainable wilderness experience, with family and friends, or entirely alone, creates a wealth of memories. Kluane provides us with personal challenges that can be found on the summits of its mountains, in the depths of its valleys, and on its powerful rivers. It is truly a breathtaking, world-class wilderness; part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kluane is more than its physical geography of high mountains and rushing rivers, it is a land that embraces the human and cultural significance that helps shape this landscape. The prosperity of its ecosystems depends on the good health of its water, land, plants, animals and people.
We invite you to experience and learn from a living park, walk on the path of modern cooperation and conservation, and discover Kluane.
Q. What elements do you wish to see captured in the updated vision for the park?
The evolving cultural landscape
Today, the Southern Tutchone people continue to maintain a rich culture, and are reconnecting with their traditional lands in and adjacent to the park. Through the land claims, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Kluane First Nation and Parks Canada cooperatively manage the park. White River First Nation has asserted rights within Kluane National Park and Reserve that are recognized by the Government of Canada.
What has changed since the 2010 plan?
The Kluane National Park and Reserve Visitor Centre now sits within Champagne and Aishihik First Nations’ Da Kų Cultural Centre in Haines Junction. Opened in 2012, Parks Canada is honoured to be sharing space in this beautiful cultural facility where visitors can experience Champagne and Aishihik First Nations’ culture and traditions, award-winning digital exhibits, and hands-on activities.
Other initiatives include:
- Completing an agreement with Kluane First Nation for developing cultural interpretation at the newly expanded Thechàl Dhâl Visitor Centre;
- incorporating the Southern Tutchone language in park operations and infrastructure, such as the multilingual highway signs installed in 2017; and
- using traditional knowledge in park management, such as environmental assessment processes and archaeological surveys.
Two archaeological surveys were conducted in different areas of the park with involvement from Kluane First Nation and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, resulting in 35 archaeological sites being identified and added to the inventory. Over 1,500 artifacts have been added to the archaeological collection since 2008.
More progress can be made on including Indigenous languages in interpretive and other content related to the park. Greater use of traditional knowledge in park management can be achieved. The park as a focus of reconnection to traditional territories continues to be explored by the First Nation communities and Parks Canada.
Q. How can the park's cultural resources be protected for future generations?
The evolving natural landscape
What has changed since the 2010 plan?
We now know more about the park ecosystems than ever before. Since the last management plan (2010), monitoring has been modernized to include fifteen aspects of Kluane’s freshwater, forests and tundra. From wood frogs to lake trout, forest structure to water quality, we are tracking nature’s dynamic dance in this remote wilderness.
Changes in the park are occurring at unprecedented rates. The mean annual temperature in the area has increased by 4° C since 1945. In the last 50 years the area of the park covered by glaciers has decreased by 19%. Over 230 small glaciers have disappeared. In 2016, the retreat of the Kaskawulsh Glacier diverted the waters of the Äʼą̈y Chü down the Kaskawulsh River to a different ocean, causing large landscape changes in both river valleys and beyond Kluane’s boundaries.
More changes are predicted – longer fire seasons, more rain-on-snow events, increases in lake temperatures and longer periods of open water. We are working to better understand the complex connection of climate change to:
- shrinking glaciers and downstream impacts;
- declining numbers of kokanee salmon; and
- widespread outbreak of spruce bark beetle and slower than expected recovery of spruce.
One way that managers can help species adapt to climate change is to minimize non-climatic pressures, such as human disturbance of bears. A landscape management approach is being considered, which will better protect Kluane’s abundant population of grizzlies. This approach, already implemented in many other parks, assesses human disturbance within a watershed. When disturbance nears a threshold which negatively impacts grizzly bears, park managers will limit human activity in that area.
Q. How can the park's natural resources be protected for future generations?
The evolving recreation and tourism landscape
What has changed since the 2010 plan?
Several changes in visitor patterns are evident. The number of visitors from organized tours has dropped, while the numbers of independent visitors have increased. Kathleen Lake Campground numbers have doubled; in 2018, Parks Canada added five oTENTiks (walled camping shelters) to the campground, to accommodate a wider range of visitors. Observations suggest that new recreational activities such as mountain biking and pack rafting are increasing.
Backcountry use throughout the park has almost doubled. In some areas, such as the Äʼą̈y Chü / Slim's River West trail, use may be starting to negatively affect the environment and visitors’ sense of solitude.
Since 2015, Kluane First Nation, the Kluane Community Development Limited Partnership and Parks Canada have been working on the concept of an eco-lodge to be owned and operated by the First Nation. The proposed location is near Bighorn Lake, in the park, within Kluane First Nation’s traditional territory (see map). The concept being explored includes a fly-in, backcountry facility that would offer visitors a chance to hike, view wildlife, and learn first-hand about Indigenous culture.
Similarly, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations is exploring development of an eco-lodge on their settlement lands that are adjacent to the park’s boundaries on Kathleen Lake. They have expressed interest in working with Parks Canada to evaluate recreational activities and infrastructure to facilitate guest experiences within the park.
Exploring these economic opportunities with both First Nations is part of implementing the Kluane First Nation Final Agreement and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement, which speak to enabling business and employment opportunities associated with the development and operation of the park.
Q. How should different visitor experiences in Kluane be best supported?
For current zoning details, see the 2010 management plan at:
Zoning changes to better reflect current and proposed uses, as well as to implement conservation strategies such as bear management, are being contemplated as part of this management plan review.
Q. What factors would you like to see considered in Kluane National Park and Reserve’s zoning?
Planning process timeline
Following this round of consultation, Parks Canada and the Kluane National Park and Reserve Management Board will be developing the draft plan. All comments received by June 30, 2019, will be considered in the development of the draft management plan.
Consultation on the draft plan will happen in 2020.
See you at the open houses!
For more information
Yukon Y0B 1L0