Thursday, January 09, 2003

Nahanni National Park Reserve needs expansion to protect wildlife
Wildcanada.net Action Alert -- 097
Thursday January 9, 2003

Synopsis

An extraordinary opportunity exists to expand Nahanni National Park Reserve, one
of the world's premier wilderness areas, located in Canada's Northwest
Territories. The Park Reserve and much of its watershed lie within the
traditional territory of the Deh Cho First Nations. The Deh Cho have recently
called on the government of Canada to provide interim protection for their
entire portion of the watershed. Nahanni National Park Reserve currently
protects the waterfalls and canyons, but it leaves out critical wildlife habitat
and most of the watershed. According to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness
Society, long time advocates for an expanded park, the park's boundaries don't
work and need to be fixed. If the whole South Nahanni watershed is protected, it
will result in a roadless wilderness protected area of stunning beauty and
excellent wildlife habitat three times larger than Yellowstone!

Background

The Deh Cho have done their part, now it is time for Canadians and others around
the world who value wilderness to rally to protect Nahanni! There is reluctance
within the Canadian government to protect the entire watershed because of the
perceived mining potential in the area. Interim protection of the watershed is
a crucial step toward long term protection and expansion of Nahanni National
Park Reserve. Nahanni is a World Heritage Site of global significance and
international support is also needed.

In October of this year, Prime Minister Chr├ętien announced the federal
government's intention to expand Nahanni. Now the Department of Indian and
Northern Affairs must hear that Canadians want the entire watershed protected,
to preserve for all time the magnificent wilderness and wildlife of Nahanni
National Park Reserve. The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, as
manager of the lands surrounding Nahanni National Park Reserve has the power to
grant interim protection, and must be persuaded that the Deh Cho First Nations'
position presents an extraordinary opportunity for Canada, and the best land use
within the South Nahanni watershed.

Take Action

Decisions are expected soon. Please write, email, or fax the Minister of Indian
and Northern Affairs today! Ask that he support the Deh Cho First Nations'
resolution by protecting the entire South Nahanni Watershed.

The Hon. Robert Nault, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
Fax: (613) 996-1759
E-mail: Nault.R@parl.gc.ca

For more information, visit the Nahanni web page at
http://www.cpaws.org/nahanni.

Please send a copy of your letter to awoodley@cpaws.org.