The Honourable Jim Prentice, Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, has made a number of important recent announcements regarding the protection of Canada’s Boreal forest.
In June 2009, Parliament expanded Nahanni National Park Reserve to of 30,000 square kilometres, more than six times its previous size, making it one of Canada’s greatest conservation achievements in a generation. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nahanni National Park Reserve is located in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories, in the traditional territory of the Dehcho First Nations. Parks Canada and the Dehcho First Nations have worked together over many years to better protect the Greater Nahanni Ecosystem. The expansion secures important ecosystem values, lands of great cultural value to First Nations, and new opportunities for visitors to experience a magnificent northern wilderness.
In February 2010, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced their commitment to establish a new national park reserve in the Mealy Mountains of Labrador. Once formally established, it will be the largest national park in eastern Canada. The provincial government also announced its intent to establish an adjacent waterway provincial park in the Eagle River. Together these areas will protect over 13,000 sq km of boreal ecosystems and wildlife - caribou, wolves, black bear, marten and fox-, along with landscapes of great cultural significance to Innu, Inuit, Métis and other people in the region. Consultations with Aboriginal groups will continue throughout the establishment process. This national park reserve will provide outstanding opportunities to appreciate and enjoy this landscape, including through canoeing, backcountry camping, and hiking.