Northwest Territories Nahanni National Park Threatens Hunting Areas


Published: July - 2009

In the Northwest Territories, plans to expand Nahanni National Park has lead to a firestorm of controversy and worry. As I wrote this in mid-June, The National News was reporting that the Government of Canada intends to expand the park by a factor of six. The proposed boundaries will significantly impact if not eliminate several of the major hunting outfits in the NWT. At press time, Jim Lancaster of Nahanni Butte Outfitters said a 10-year transition period had been proposed for commercial operations located in the area to be encompassed by the park's expansion. If that is so, then hunters with trips booked into the area in the near future should not have to worry about their hunts.

Whether or not the proposed expansion is a "done deal" is anyone's guess, however, because nobody seems to know. The preservationist factions were busting with glee on the evening news, and a native leader from the north took advantage of the news opportunity to announce that the park expansion will now make room for a proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline that has been held up by land claims and negotiations for decades. There are even mines that may continue to operate in the new park, and traditional harvest will probably be permitted by indigenous people called the Deh Cho, who primarily live in communities to the east along the Mackenzie River. Sources at the Government of the NWT have assured me that the details are a long way from being written in stone, however. I'll have more on this story as it develops.

........(continued)

 
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