This is most visible in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, which is both disproportionately valuable and vulnerable. Fort Smith N.T. 1.7, Dubé, M.G., and Wilson, J.E. 1.1. Science of the Total Environment. Today, another major dam is under construction and there are plans for additional dams, including possibly on the Slave River. (2019). Fish quantity, quality and habitat are trending down (Parks Canada, 2019). Over time, fire management has evolved to follow natural patterns to the degree possible besides asset protection. With a C$50 M annual funding commitment under the Oil Sands Monitoring Program Regulation, the OSM program provides significant contributions towards the actions in this plan where the actions are in-scope for the program. Night Sky. Understand [] History [] Landscape [] Climate []. (2020). Parks Canada, Environment Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, NWT, British Columbia, Manitoba. In December 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) renewed commitments by the governments of Alberta and Canada to monitor oil sands development. [online] Available at: Overview of the site's Conservation Outlook, The complete Conservation Outlook Assessment for this site, with more details on values, threats, protection and management, The source of information for the Conservation Outlook Assessment, Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site, Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values, Assessment of the current state and trend of other important biodiversity values, © Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. At the same time, it is clear that it would be beneficial to move to a more sophisticated boundary configuration in anticipation of intensifying land and resource use around the national park. Larger in area than Switzerland, it is the second-largest national park in the world. High latitudes and wetlands are known to be disproportionately affected by climate change. Environmental Health Perspectives 119(3): 126-131. Assessment and Status Report on the Plains Bison Bison bison bison and the Wood Bison Bison bison athabascae in Canada. Peace-Athabasca Delta Hydro-Ecology Assimilation policies and other factors, including access restrictions on harvest through regulation in the national park, have induced important changes to traditional ways of life. Peace-Athabasca Delta Vegetation Monitoring The coastal marshes of the Gulf Coast of Texas in and near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge are the only winter range of the flock. (2020). doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803555-9.00006-2. Whilst recent monitoring efforts (e.g. Recovery Strategy for the Whooping Crane in Canada While it is not agreed what exactly constitutes the delta, it is widely accepted that roughly 80% of it is located within WBNP (Timoney, 2013). (2001). As part of Canada's system of national parks and national historic sites, Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada is our country's largest national park and one of the largest in the world. Nevertheless, the tourism potential is above the current visitor numbers and visitation is actively promoted. Spatial and temporal patterns in trace element deposition to lakes in the Athabasca oil sands region (Alberta, Canada). Ottawa, ON. 27pp. [online]. Phone: 780-697-3662 Proc. We visited Wood Buffalo National Park in mid-August. Hydroecological responses of the Athabasca Delta, Canada, to changes in river flow and climate during the 20th century. As of June 1st, Wood Buffalo National Park began a gradual reopening of some outdoor areas, facilities and services. Climate Change, Flow Regulation and Land-use Effects on the Hydrology of the Peace-Athabasca-Slave system; findings from the Northern Rivers Ecosystem Initiative (NREI). The Mackenzie River Basin Board’s 2012 Issues Update: Oil sands development, hydroelectric development and climate change in the Mackenzie River Basin. Aquatic and terrestrial microhabitats will be sampled for both macro-organisms (such as benthic macroinvertebrates) and micro-organisms using standard collection techniques. 15pp. (2017). Submitted to: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The Narwhal. Spanish Falls, Alabama. Experienced scientists express concern about leakage from and breaches of tailings ponds (see Jaeger et al. The WBNP Game Regulations dated 1978 are acknowledged as being outdated and revision is pending (Parks Canada, 2009). International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Overall assessment of protection and management, Assessing the current state and trend of values, Compilation of active conservation projects, https://www.aer.ca/providing-information/news-and-resources…, http://www.cec.org/wp-content/uploads/wpallimport/files/17-…, https://cpawsnab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CPAWS_Guide…, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135309, https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nt/woodbuffalo/decouvrir-disc…, https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/surveys-and-data/Pop…, https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-susp…, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-energy-regu…, 2020 Conservation Outlook Assessment (EN), 2017 Conservation Outlook Assessment (EN), 2014 Conservation Outlook Assessment (EN), Parks Canada – Wood Buffalo National Park. PAD Marsh bird monitoring Objective: to ensure the recovery of Wood Bison, a threatened species in Canada It is clear that such concerns are therefore beyond the direct control of site management, i.e. (2019). NWT, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Objective: to document the number of nesting pairs and the number of fledged chicks each year. The Bennett Dam, in particular, has been implicated in an array of hydrological and ecological impacts to the Peace River and downstream ecosystems in Wood Buffalo National Park. Wood Buffalo National Park is in the northern prairie region of Canada. COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Whooping Crane Grus americana in Canada. (2019), for example, did not detect enrichment of metal concentrations in Athabasca delta sediment cores dated to pre-industrial times (pre-1920's) compared to present day and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in the Peace-Athabasca Delta are in healthy condition and show no sign of cumulative effects from oil sands operations (Culp et al. Fire Frequency and Extent Monitoring Water isotope & metaI contaminant monitoring protocol development. Logging is known to be a major driver of landscape change across much of Canada's boreal forest region (COSEWIC, 2013, 2002). In 2017, a Federal-Provincial-Territorial Coordinating Committee was established to work across jurisdictions to develop the Action Plan to protect Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site. Accessed 17 November 2016. That's in addition to $27.5 million announced earlier, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Monday. It’s one of the biggest parks on the planet and home to free-ranging buffalo. It was established in 1922 to protect the last remaining herds of bison … Shrestha, N. K., Du, X., & Wang, J. Accessed 05 December 2016. Accessed 05 December 2017. At the global level, the World Heritage site stores significant amounts of carbon due to its sheer scale. Objective: to monitor the long-range transport and trans-boundary transport of air-borne contaminants, including those emitted from the oil sands development area. Temporary water control structures feasibility study Owl survey Wood Buffalo National Park: Science and Conservation: Wood Bison. Parks Canada Submits Plan To Save Wood Buffalo National Park’s Heritage Status A UNESCO report in 2019 concluded that the park’s “outstanding universal value” was at risk because of climate change, upstream hydroelectric developments and resource extraction. Manage. 12(12). Cold Regions Science and Technology 108: 49-58. Edmonton, AB. Enviiron Res Lett. Even the coordination between the national park and sub-national level protected areas, some of which are contiguous to the property, appears to be minimal. May 21, 2020. Protecting Ecological Integrity with Canada’s National Parks. Forest Insects and Diseases First Nations and Métis plausibly associate the changed water regime with increasingly difficult access to the delta and a severe decline of muskrat populations, which are of vital ecological and livelihood importance. See Oil Sands Monitoring Program Technical Report Series, e.g. in prep) to historic Landsat imagery to backcast trends in invasive thistle marsh from 1984 to 2019. An Urgent Call to rehabilitate a Global Treasure. Unlike most other threats, one major concern is that climate change is likely to induce severe systemic change which would affect all conservation values of the national park, as well as traditional natural resource use. The management system, in the conventional protected area management sense, is functional. (2018). Climate Change and Canada’s National Park System: A Screening Level Assessment. Acid Lakes Survey You have the option to access the summary, or the detailed assessment. (2020). At 44,802 sq.km., this is the largest NP in North America and bigger than Switzerland. Beltaos, S. (2017). Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the money will help answer some the concerns expressed by the United Nations about Wood Buffalo National Park. Given the significance of climate change-related effects on the OUV, the Wood Buffalo Action Plan recognizes the need for a collaboratively developed Integrated Research and Monitoring Program. Ottawa, Canada. Oil Sands Monitoring Program technical report series no. The 44,000-square-kilometre park is Canada’s largest national park and home to one of the largest free-roaming wood bison herds in the world. Flow regulation by the construction of the W.A.C. Rosenberg, K.V., Dokter, A.M., Blancher, P.J., Sauer, J.R., Smith, A.C., Smith, P.A., Stanton, J.C., Panjabi, A., Helft, L., Parr, M., Marra, P.P. Bennett Dam in the 1960s has led to decreased summer flows and increased winter flows on the Peace River. Overcast. The 44,000-square-kilometre park is home to one of the largest free-roaming wood bison herds in the world. The privileged overall situation is increasingly compromised by clear evidence of deterioration of the Peace-Athabasca Delta from anthropogenic, one of the most extraordinary areas within the property, from anthropogenic causes outside the property. These effects interact with climate change to create a complex network of cumulative impacts at a range of spatial and temporal scales whose effects on the property are difficult to elucidate. 45(1), pp.71–75. 4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(15), 8539-8545. 1.4.. 64 p. Gibson, J. F., Shokralla, S., Curry, C., Baird, D. J., Monk, W. A., King, I., & Hajibabaei, M. (2015). National Wood Bison Recovery Strategy April 2005. The longer term effectiveness will therefore to a large degree depend on the capacity to be involved in and influence decision-making beyond the park boundaries. Visitation to the park is approximately 4,000 people per year and is primarily to the park's established day use and camping areas. West, K.M., Peru, L., Grapentine, J.M.E. Freshwater biodiversity is undoubtedly influenced by changing water flow and quality as a result of ever increasing industrial development along the Peace and Athabasca Rivers. (2006). 2018 Whitefish Camp – Final Report. Thistle marsh backcasting and monitoring (remote sensing) Gatineau, QC. An environmental assessment provided to UNESCO says oilsands activity, climate change and hydro development are fundamentally changing the environment of Wood Buffalo National Park … Olsen, R. (1992). The stations are designed to continuously monitor basic water quality parameters such as pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature, as well as additional parameters that may be linked to industrial activities in the region. Additional federal legislation that applies to the park includes the Impact Assessment Act (2020), the Fisheries Act (1985), the Migratory Birds Convention Act (1994) and the Species at Risk Act (2003). Identification of circumstances under which, and protocol for, a strategic release of water from the Bennett Dam reservoir, could enhance ice jam flood event in the PAD Chapter in Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation. The report documenting the 2016 reactive monitoring mission contains a useful overview of the discussion. International recovery plan for the whooping crane. Enhanced Wetland Classification mapping (Ducks Unlimited Canada) Whilst the CMC, formed in 2014, is an important tool for exchaning information with Parks Canada and Indigneous partners, there appears to still be limited Indigenous collaboration on management. The natural resources of the productive delta have been and continue to be of major importance for traditional livelihoods of First Nations and Métis. Future water flows and human withdrawals in the Athabasca River. Climate change is listed here as a potential, as well as, current threat because the full range of climate-induced effects is difficult to predict and a high likelihood of potential, unknown threats exist. Schindler, D.W. (2015) Human-Caused Ecological Changes and Threats to the Peace-Athabasca Delta and Wood Buffalo National Park. (2006). Assessing ecosystem health in benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages of the Athabasca River main stem, tributaries and Peace-Athabasca Delta. Hebert, C.E. While the terrestrial biodiversity attracts more prominent attention in Wood Buffalo National Park, it is important to recall that the vast and diverse freshwater systems, including but not limited to the Peace-Athabasca Delta, host an an important and highly productive freshwater biodiversity. Wood frogs are a good species to study because they are widely distributed in the boreal forest and are sensitive to changes in the environment. Oil Sands Monitoring Program Technical Report Series No. The suite of water quality parameters contained within the continuing Oil Sands Monitoring Program are relevant for assessing potential pulp and paper industrial impacts. On July 3, 2019, representatives from around the world gathered in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the 43 rd World Heritage Committee meeting and discussed the fate of Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest national park. Recent Action Plan and monitoring initiatives are salutary but are yet to be fully implemented and financed. Many of the World Heritage values are stable due to the vast scale and remote location of the property. Social change affects the relationship between the landscape and its traditional inhabitants. The 2019 Action Plan puts improving the Cooperative Management Committee with 11 indigenous partners as a first priority. Monitoring for surface water quality was enhanced through the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Program to provide an increase in sampling effort and to expand the number of parameters (Culp et al. Report of the Joint Review Panel – Site C Clean Energy Project. (2011). Similarly, climate change is affecting ice conditions and flows on the Peace River. Report of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada’s National Parks. Glozier, N.E., Donald, D.B. Firewood is traditionally the only source of energy. Currently, Aboriginal and Treaty rights are recognized in park management and Parks Canada is working cooperatively with Indigneous Peoples in park management. More analysis is needed to understand the current status of the wolf-bison population dynamics and the impacts on bison of habitat changes in the PAD. Over many decades, law enforcement inside the national park focused on enforcing the harvesting restrictions, which strained the relationship between park staff and local Indigenous residents. Peace-Athabasca Delta Ecological Monitoring Program (PADEMP). (2020). Snowshoe hare monitoring LiDAR digital terrain modeling Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Sunrise & Sunset. The natural environment and biodiversity of what today constitutes the property, have been shaping indigenous lifestyles and worldviews - while indigenous peoples simultaneously have been shaping the natural environment and biodiversity. The property finds itself in a privileged position due to its large size, still comparatively remote location and the absence of direct pressures along most of its boundaries. It is huge with only one road in order to conserve wildlife and environment. A monitoring system of the oil sands industry is in its infancy, and coordinated management under the 2019 Action Plan is novel. The main challenge is that all key threats are stemming from outside the national park and are thus, to a large degree, beyond the reach and mandate of Parks Canada, the land manager of the federal national park (UNESCO/IUCN, 2016). Pulp and paper mills represent potential point-source stressors to the Peace-Athabasca Delta ecosystem and, if present, would contribute to the cumulative effects from industrial development. Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada). (Cumulative effects and impacts of intensifying development along the Peace and Athabasca River corridors). Indigenous land users in the PAD also report noticeable changes in the quality of surface water in the rivers and lakes of the PAD, and are concerned about contaminant levels in fish, wildlife, and people (Parks Canada, 2019). However, it cannot be overstressed that the major threats to Wood Buffalo National Park neither originate in the park nor can they be solved there. “Researchers from a number of universities across Canada who conducted research at Wood Buffalo National Park have found the changes observed with the Peace Athabasca Delta are consistent with that of a naturally evolving delta with climate change,” Conway wrote in an emailed response to questions from The Narwhal. 2012). World Heritage Committee (2015). PLoS One. Published under the authority of the federal Minister of the Environment, Government of Canada and the B.C. As the Action Plan remains in its infancy, and the renewed goals towards more active agency of indigenous communities in the governance framework of the site have yet to be realised, this issue remains of serious concern, despite the tangible prospects for improvement shown through the 'Strengthening Indigenous Partnerships with Wood Buffalo National Park' theme in the Action Plan. Caribou were once an important part of the diet for indigenous people in the area. Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge systems that result in negative impact, Identity/social cohesion/ changes in local population and community that result in negative impact, (Loss of traditional lifestyles of First Nations and Métis and reduced traditional interactions with landscape). How: every year the abundance of snowshoe hare pellets is monitored along permanent transects. Recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights has reportedly relaxed such tensions. Field Ornithol. Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre Hours, Fort Smith main office: visitor centre Consideration will be given to atmospheric Hg sampling, PACS, O3, CO and H2S. Culp, J. M., Droppo, I. G., di Cenzo, P. D., Al exander-Trusiak, A., Baird, D.J., Bickerton, G., Belltaos, S., Bonsal, B., Brua, R. B., Chambers, P.A., Dibike, Y., GIozier, N. E., Kirk, J., Levesque, L., McMaster, M., Muir, D., Parrott, J., Peters, D.. L., Pippy, K. &J. W. Roy. Cox, S. (2020). These samples will be sent to a lab for analysis of levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals and napthenic acids. The major economic and political importance of the oil sands puts further limits to conservation effectiveness. Information Brochure. Northern River Basins Study Project Report No. Management Plan. Parks Canada – Wood Buffalo National Park, Government of the NWT, Government of Alberta. Integr. For Indigenous people, this results in reduced food security, an altered sense of place, and inability of future generations to maintain sacred relationships through bison harvest (Parks Canada, 2019) and therefore is of some concern in terms of future management. Ongoing monitoring is required to determine trends in these values in relation to the multiple and interactive threats which cumulatively impact upon them. Objectives: to assess the state of the environment, with a focus on identifying pathways of toxic chemical transfer to wildlife and possible impacts;to measure contaminant levels in fish-eating bird eggs and determine spatial and temporal trends A Review of Literature on Pulp and Paper Mill Effluent Characteristics in the Peace and Athabasca River Basins. This assessment conveys two seemingly contradictory messages. Staff is well-qualified and highly dedicated and cooperates with a broad range of agencies and research institutions. Since the cessation of commercial logging, resource use is restricted to traditional hunting, trapping and fishing by Indigenous Peoples. Nevertheless, major and recent decision-making regarding oil sands and dam construction has often weighed social and economic benefits over conservation concerns. (Air pollution and liquid waste from the pulp and paper industry along the Peace and Athabasca Rivers). The multitude of complex threats and the novelty of a coordinated and coherent management response underpins the decision to rank the overall threats as high. On the one hand, vast areas of Wood Buffalo National Park are in a good state of conservation due to its sheer scale and remoteness. COSEWIC (2013). Objective: to provide an indication of relative abundance of snowshoe hare in the park. Large-scale biomonitoring of remote and threatened ecosystems via high-throughput sequencing. There are also concerns about several diseases, in particular brucellosis and tuberculosis, which infected wood bison as a result of poor management decisions in the past. Genetic analyses of wild bison in Alberta, Canada: implications for recovery and disease management. 2013; Weinhold, 2011). Given the large size of WBNP as a protected boreal forest area, it may have an important role in caribou population maintenance and recovery in future. Fort Smith is the nearest town. A goal of the 2019 Action Plan is to develop an integrated Peace-Athabasca Research and Monitoring Program, using both science-based and indigenous knowledge. Today, it protects an outstanding and representative example of Canada's Northern Boreal Plains. 50p. News Release: Temporarily suspended requirements to resume July 15. The agreement also recognized and affirmed treaty and Aboriginal rights of Indigenous peoples as per section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Finally, it can be argued that indigenous management, including the use of fire, has long been an integral element of the landscape dynamics and that the establishment of the park has interrupted the corresponding interaction between the land and its inhabitants. Keyano College, Environment Canada and Parks Canada – Wood Buffalo National Park. Bison Disease Containment Strategy Recent estimates suggest roughly 5,000 individuals in the Wood Buffalo meta-population in 2016 (Ball et al., 2016), some 60% of the entire Wood Buffalo population in Canada (COSEWIC, 2013). As a result, the ability of Indigenous governments, people, and communities to practice their traditional way of life is being negatively impacted, and desired outcomes for the world heritage values are not being met (Parks Canada, 2019). 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