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Impact and benefit plan signed to expand Tuktut Nogait National Park o...

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    ... From: CNW Portfolio System To: Portfolio E-Mail Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 10:03 AM Subject: Impact and benefit plan signed to expand Tuktut Nogait
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2005
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: CNW Portfolio System
      To: Portfolio E-Mail
      Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 10:03 AM
      Subject: Impact and benefit plan signed to expand Tuktut Nogait National Park o...



      CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail





      PARKS CANADA


      Transmitted by CNW Group on : August 1, 2005 13:00
      Impact and benefit plan signed to expand Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada

      DELINE, Aug. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of
      the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Mr. Raymond
      Taniton, President of the Deline Land Corporation and representing the Sahtu
      Dene and Métis of the Sahtu Settlement Area, today signed an impact and
      benefit plan that will add an additional 1,850 km2 to the southern regions of
      Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada. The plan was also signed by the
      Honourable Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Minister of State for Northern Development
      and Member of Parliament for Western Arctic, and Chief Walter Bayah of the
      Deline First Nation.
      "With this agreement, we have taken an important step toward the
      completion of Tuktut Nogait National Park," said Minister Dion. "By expanding
      the park into the Sahtu Settlement Area, we are providing additional
      protection to the habitat of the Bluenose caribou herd, which is so important
      to the Sahtu Dene and Métis people, creating local economic opportunities that
      will contribute to the vitality of Aboriginal communities in the region, and
      protecting this unique natural region of Canada for all Canadians."
      "The agreement we signed today supports the environmental objectives of
      our Northern Strategy and creates new economic opportunities for the Sahtu
      Dene and Métis," said Minister Blondin-Andrew. "It also offers a new
      opportunity for local Aboriginal communities to be involved in the management
      of the park."
      "Today we have ensured that the calving grounds of the Bluenose caribou
      herd, which have played an important role in the lives of our people for
      thousands of years, will be protected" said Mr. Taniton. "This is a special
      day and a special place for the people of the Sahtu region, a place that will
      be protected for the next generation of our people."
      "Our ancestors' left their imprints on the land many years ago and today
      we are here to acknowledge them and celebrate our future," said Chief Bayha.
      Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada was established by Parliament in
      1998 as a result of an agreement that was signed in 1996 by the Government of
      Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit Regional
      Corporation and the Inuvialuit Game Council. Approximately 16,340 km2 of the
      Tundra Hills Natural Region of the national park system were protected through
      the agreement, which also provided for the future expansion of the park into
      the Sahtu Settlement Area to the south and into Nunavut to the east.
      The park's primarily arctic tundra and barren lands are currently home to
      rich populations of caribou, musk oxen, grizzly bears, wolves, red foxes,
      wolverines, arctic ground squirrels, and collared lemmings, as well as to
      migratory birds, including peregrine falcons and golden eagles, and to fish
      such as arctic char, grayling and lake trout. It is also the site of the
      undisturbed remains of an ancient shoreline.
      There are more than 360 archaeological sites found in Tuktut Nogait
      National Park, including ancient tent rings and caches. Its rugged arctic
      landscape, rolling uplands, deep canyons, clear rivers and spectacular
      waterfalls offer stunning views, and unique opportunities to experience
      nature. From late June to the end of July, brightly coloured wild flowers
      abound.
      Negotiations toward the expansion of the park into the Sahtu Settlement
      Area were initiated in 2000 at the request of the Sahtu Lands Corporation.
      With the agreement and the addition of Sahtu Settlement Area lands to the
      park, it will now protect the tablelands of the Hornaday River Plateau and
      areas of spruce forest, as well as offer further protection to the headwaters
      of the river and to the calving grounds of the Bluenose caribou herd.
      The agreement also contains provisions to enhance and support local
      employment and businesses, and to foster collaboration between the local
      community and Parks Canada in the operation and management of the lands added
      to Tuktut Nogait National Park. As well as encouraging the integration of
      traditional ecological knowledge into future park planning and decision-
      making, the agreement ensures the continuation of Sahtu Dene and Métis
      traditional wildlife and plant harvesting activities within the addition.
      "Aboriginal people have been living here for millennia," said Minister
      Dion. "Their unique knowledge of these lands, and of how to use them in a
      sustainable way is invaluable. Their understanding of the changes that have
      occurred in the north due to climate change, pollution and other stressors,
      and their traditional knowledge, can help us to protect the ecological health
      of the park and to present its story to Canadians. Today is about
      collaboration, and working together toward shared goals."
      Another key aspect of the agreement are its provisions to foster greater
      understanding and respect for the Sahtu Dene and Métis's culture and heritage,
      as well as for the region's cultural resources. The Sahtu Settlement Area is
      home to three national historic sites of Canada, including Sahoyué-Sehdacho -
      which are of great spiritual and historical significance to the Sahtu Dene -
      as well as the Déline Fishery and Franklin's Fort.
      The addition of lands in the Sahtu Settlement Area to Tuktut Nogait
      National Park of Canada was part of the Government of Canada's 2002 Action
      Plan to Protect Canada's Natural Heritage. This plan commits the Government to
      establish 10 new national parks of Canada and five new national marine
      conservation areas of Canada by the end of 2008, as well as to expand three
      existing national parks. Tuktut Nogait is the first national park to be
      expanded under the plan, which also led to the establishment of Gulf Islands
      National Park Reserve of Canada and Ukkusiksalik National Park of Canada in
      2003.



      -30-

      /For further information: André Lamarre, Director of Communications,
      Office of the Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Josianne Jalbert,
      Media Relations Office, Parks Canada, (819) 994-3024; (Also available on the
      Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under What's new.)/

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