Lutsel K’e, NWT – CPAWS welcomes important progress towards protecting Thaidene Nene
July 29, 2015
CPAWS welcomes important progress towards protecting Thaidene Nene
Lutsel K’e, NWT – Today’s release by the federal government of its proposed boundary for Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve marks a significant next step in finalizing the protection of the magnificent wilderness area around the East Arm of Great Slave Lake that is also the heart of the homeland of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation.
“CPAWS has been collaborating with the people of Lutsel K’e to help protect Thaidene Nene for the past four years, and today we are excited to be present to celebrate the latest advance for this unique and cooperative northern conservation plan. We congratulate the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, other Aboriginal governments and Canada and the Northwest Territories for working quickly and effectively together over the past year to plan for the future of Thaidene Nene. Their efforts have led to proposed boundaries for both territorial and national park that were announced within the past month,” says Erica Janes, Conservation Outreach Coordinator with CPAWS-NWT.
“We are also pleased with the proposal for a large core national park reserve within Thaidene Nene. The national park reserve will anchor the conservation of Thaidene Nene and support growth of a sustainable local economy,“ says CPAWS National Executive Director Eric Hebert-Daly.
The federal government placed a 30,000 km2 study area off limits to development to allow time for planning Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve in 2007. The study area was based on scientific and traditional knowledge of the land and freshwater needed to ensure Thaidene Nene’s healthy wildlife and habitat, and that Lutsel K’e Dene traditions and cultural values will endure forever.
Since that time, with devolution of more powers from the federal government to the GNWT in 2014, both the federal and territorial governments have rolled up their sleeves and worked with the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation to create a “made in the North” conservation plan for Thaidene Nene.
The Government of the Northwest Territories is accepting written comments about the territorial park portions of Thaidene Nene until August 15. Parks Canada will initiate public consultation on the proposed national park reserve in the coming months. CPAWS encourages members of the public to participate in both processes in support of establishing Thaidene Nene as a new type of protected area in the NWT.