CPAWS-NL Celebrates the establishment of The Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories

CPAWS-NL Celebrates a New National Park in the Northwest Territories, and Asks "Where's Labrador's Mealy Mountains National Park?"

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's Newfoundland and Labrador chapter (CPAWS-NL) invites everyone to come out to the Duke of Duckworth on July 9th to commemorate the establishment of The Nahanni National Park in the Northwest Territories. This is also a time to ask about the establishment of Labrador’s Mealy Mountains National Park.

"It's wonderful to have such an amazing piece of land protected in the Northwest Territories, for all generations of Canadians," says Julie Huntington, CPAWS-NL Executive Director, "but what I want to know, is what's happening with Mealy Mountains National Park, right here in Newfoundland and Labrador?"

The new Nahanni National Park contains Virginia Falls, a waterfall twice the height of Niagara Falls. This expanded national park was established by the Canadian government and The Dehcho First Nations and covers around 30,000 square kilometres of protected area (about six times more than the previous amount). The protection of such an ecologically diverse region highlights Canada’s global environmental leadership. CPAWS is proud of our role in aiding in this project and we would also like to thank and congratulate the federal government, the Dehcho First Nations, Parks Canada and the Nahanni Butte Dene Band for making this day possible.

This event will also serve to raise awareness of the importance of the establishment of Mealy Mountains in Labrador as a protected area. There are ample mining and forestry opportunities in the surrounding areas of Mealy Mountain, therefore, the establishment of this park as a protected area would ensure a home for various wildlife; as well as a portion of untouched land for the Labrador Innu and the Labrador Métis, who have a strong attachment to the land and have sustained themselves off the resources of this region for many years.

"The people of central Labrador have been asking for this area to be protected for thirty years now," says Huntington. "Last year the Steering Committee made up of stakeholders from the region came to a consensus. We understand that Minister Johnson is making this a priority, and so, we’re hoping that we can soon celebrate a new national park in Labrador."

Interested people who want to celebrate Nahanni, and discuss the future of Mealy Mountains National Park, are invited to join CPAWS-NL at the Duke of Duckworth on Thursday, July 9th at 8:00 pm.