The Mealy Mountains/Akamiuapishkua is one of the last great expanses of wilderness in the province. The proposed national park study area is nearly 21,000 km2 (210,000 ha) and the area encompasses five of Labrador’s ten provincial ecoregions, including coastal barrens, high sub arctic tundra, high boreal forest, mid boreal forest, and string bog.
The mountains rise dramatically from the shores of Lake Melville in Southeastern Labrador. Reaching heights of more than one kilometre, they are an island of arctic tundra surrounded by boreal forests and coastal seascapes. Varying natural landscapes blend in a mosaic of plateaux, marine, coastal plain and deep forests. The Mealy Mountains are home to moose, black bear, red fox, lynx, snowshoe hare, wolf, ravens, grouse, and woodland caribou.
The protection of Mealy Mountains/Akamiuapishkua proposed National Park in Labrador is a great conservation opportunity to protect Canada’s defined Natural Ecoregion 21- the East Coastal Boreal Region. The area borders on the southern edge of Lake Melville/Groswater Bay, extends south to Sandwich Bay, including the Mealy Mountains and the entire drainage of the Eagle River. The area was first identified as a potential national park in the early 1970s, nearly three decades later it is still waiting to achieve park status.
Protection of the Mealy Mountains/ Akamiuapishkua is threatened by potential conflicts with mining and forestry industries and the development of the Trans-Labrador Highway. The Mealy Mountains remains one of the last major roadless wilderness areas in the province, and routing a major highway through it would have devastating effects on the ecological integrity and wilderness tourism potential of the area.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is opting for a smaller park than the one proposed. Issues of concern like timber, mining extraction and hydroelectricity development have been raised among supporters. At the moment there is a mining company researching the Porcupine Strand area for sand dredging for titanium.
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