Tidy tundra

Cleaning up caribou habitat in Qausuittuq National ParkFootnote *

What’s the issue?

Fuel barrels collected on the tundra with a helicopter nearby.
Fuel barrels in Peary caribou habitat that were removed as part of the clean-up operation.

Parks Canada made an important commitment to protect the endangered Peary caribou and its habitat when it established Qausuittuq National Park in 2015. The legacy of oil and gas exploration that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s – long before the park was established – left behind lots of industrial trash. The waste includes hundreds of fuel barrels, some empty and others full, and an estimated 244 square meters of debris. More than just an eyesore, the waste is seen by the Innuit community of Resolute as detrimental to Peary caribou and their habitat. In collaboration with Inuit partners, staff at Qausuittuq National Park aim to tidy up the tundra to benefit caribou and the ecosystem alike.

What’s our approach?

  • Consult with the Inuit community of Resolute and the Resolute Bay Hunter and Trappers Organization to build a strong partnership and base of support for clean-up activities.
  • Remove 190 empty fuel barrels using air support from seven locations.

What’s been accomplished?

  • Built partnerships and a strong base of support within the community.
  • Removed 194 empty fuel barrels with assistance from community members (2017).
  • Discovered a previously unrecorded abandoned surveyor camp that requires additional clean-up work.

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