Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve (proposed)
|Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve (proposed)|
|Location|| Northwest Territories
|Area||14,000 km2 (5,400 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Parks Canada|
Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve (from Dene, meaning land of our ancestors; also East Arm of Great Slave Lake) is a proposed National Park Reserve located on the northern edge of the boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It covers an area of approximately 33,000 square kilometres (12,741 sq mi).
The area is subject to an interim land withdrawal until 2012, by which "no new mining claims or oil and gas rights will be issued for the area". However, existing industrial and commercial activities will be allowed to continue, as will the construction of any facility associated with Talstom Dam. Designation as a national park would prevent the expansion of uranium and diamond mines located just north of the park's boundaries, and protects caribou and pelt animals such as "lynx, wolf, red fox, wolverine, martin, moose and black bear". It features red granite cliffs, as well as "a spectacular array of peninsulas, canyons and waterfalls as the forests give way to northern tundra". Various migratory bird species also stage and nest in the area, including ducks and songbirds.
Consideration for the creation a national park in the region was withdrawn in 1970 under the Territorial Lands Act, but in 2001 the Lutsel K’e (previously Snowdrift) Dene First Nations band re-considered the proposal. Consultations for a feasibility study proceeded from 2002 to 2004, which drew the inclusion of the Métis Nation in the process. By 2005, the Lutsel K’e produced a Band Council Resolution "supporting consideration of a national park as part of a broader protection initiative for their traditional territory", in cooperation with other Akaitcho First Nations. In 2006, the Environment Minister Rona Ambrose signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lutsel K’e which expanded the area for consideration for the national park. Originally expected to be designated in 2009, the approval was fast-tracked by the federal government, which allocated $3 million for a final feasibility study for the areas to be protected by the national park, and a further 62,000 square kilometres (23,938 sq mi) of adjacent land.
By 2014, the government of the Northwest Territories had taken administrative control of the 33,690–square kilometer park study area, and by the next year initiated a "matrix of protected area designations" that included a scaled-down National Park Reserve of 14,000 square kilometers. Public consultations on the smaller reserve's proposed boundary are ongoing in 2016. Meantime, the federal government's 2016 budget named the Thaidene Nene proposal in its allocation of funds to help realize it, as well as national park system units.
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- [http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/np-pn/cnpn-cnnp/thaidene-nene/chrono.aspx Proposed Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve, Chronology, Parks Canada, 2015
- Budget 2016, Chapter 4-A Clean Growth Economy, Providing Free Access and Expanding the National Park System, Government of Canada, 2016