What we heard: Quttinirpaaq National Park management plan consultation report

Quttinirpaaq National Park

1.0 Introduction

This report provides an overview of the formal consultation process conducted between summer 2022 and winter 2023 on the Quttinirpaaq National Park Draft Management Plan. It provides a summary of feedback shared with the Park Planning Team and how that input ultimately influenced the final product.

2.0 Background

The Canada National Parks Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act require Parks Canada to prepare a management plan for each national park and to review it every 10 years. Management plans are developed through consultation with Indigenous peoples, partners, stakeholders, and the public, and they serve as the key accountability document to all Canadians regarding the management of sites administered by Parks Canada.

Importantly, in Parks Canada’s Nunavut Field Unit (NFU), management plans also support decision-making to achieve measurable results in the implementation of the Nunavut Agreement and relevant Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreements - in the case of Quttinirpaaq National Park, the specific agreement is the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for Auyuittuq, Quttinirpaaq and Sirmilik National Parks (the Baffin IIBA). The Baffin IIBA requires that management plans be developed by a Park Planning Team consisting of an equal number of members appointed by Parks Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA). Through this process, the Park Planning Team sets out context, vision, strategies, objectives, and targets for the park based on findings of the “state of” assessment and scoping submission.

2.1 About Quttinirpaaq National Park

Located on northern Ellesmere Island, Quttinirpaaq National Park is Canada’s northernmost national park, representing the Eastern High Arctic Natural Region in Canada’s National Park System Plan. Initially established as a National Park Reserve in 1988, Quttinirpaaq National Park protects 37,775km2, and is the country’s second largest national park. Quttinirpaaq’s landscape is dominated by glaciers and mountains and includes a variety of uniquely adapted ecosystems, resulting in the protection of substantial biodiversity. Together, Parks Canada and Inuit are managing Quttinirpaaq National Park through the Joint Park Management Committee as outlined in the Nunavut Agreement and the Baffin IIBA.

Resolute Bay / Qausuittuq

“the place with no dawn”

Population: 183 (2021 Census)

Resolute is one of Canada’s northernmost inhabited communities (second only to Grise Fiord). Located on Cornwallis Island, the population is 83% Inuit and 65.6% Inuktitut-speaking. The average age is 27.8.

Grise Fiord / Ausuittuq

“the place that never thaws”

Population: 144 (2021 Census)

Located on Ellesmere Island, Grise Fiord is the northernmost inhabited community in Canada. The population is 93% Inuit and 77.5% Inuktitut-speaking. The average age is 30.9.

3.0 Consultation and engagement process

The State of the Park Assessment and the Scoping submission - the first steps of the management planning process - were completed in 2018 and 2019 respectively. These documents provide a foundation of key issues and opportunities to be addressed in the new management plan. In order to facilitate meaningful opportunities to contribute to the development of the new management plan for Quttinirpaaq National Park, the Park Planning Team developed an engagement plan to solicit input from Inuit - especially from the adjacent communities of Resolute and Grise Fiord - government partners, stakeholders, and the general public. The engagement plan outlined two key phases, as described in the sections below.

3.1 Phase I: Development of the Draft Management Plan (Fall 2018-Winter 2019)

During the development of the draft management plan, the Park Planning Team undertook early engagement exercises to discuss key vision elements, themes, and shared interests for Quttinirpaaq’s new management plan. This engagement consisted primarily of in-person meetings with key Inuit stakeholders in the communities of Resolute and Grise Fiord (e.g., Hamlet Councils, local Hunters and Trappers Associations, Elders, and business owners), and individual meetings with other government departments in-person or virtually. Examples of the shared interests that were raised in these meetings and their connection(s) to the draft management plan is outlined below in Table 1.

Table 1. Shared interests expressed in Phase I engagement meetings that informed the development of the draft management plan.
Shared interestExamplesDraft management plan connection
More people from Resolute and Grise Fiord involved
  • Create more jobs in the park for community members (and consider shorter contracts)
  • Complete spring training in Resolute and/or Grise Fiord instead of Iqaluit
  • Emphasize youth engagement and employment, visit schools
  • Provide more opportunities for community members to visit park
See Objectives 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.
Better communication between Parks Canada and communities
  • Centralize posting of job ads
  • Create informational/promotional material to promote the park
  • Consider creating a community liaison position in adjacent communities
  • Reevaluate the way in which job ads are written to be more inclusive/less intimidating (e.g., reduce use of jargon, use more photos, etc.)
  • Improve communications with adjacent communities about research conducted in the park (esp. about climate change)
See Objective 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.4, 3.1.
Better benefits from visitors
  • Grise Fiord often feels left out of benefits from visitors
  • Continue to explore town tour ideas with Hamlet staff in both communities
  • Provide more in-community support to develop tourism opportunities (e.g., visitor center, coordinator position, etc.)
  • Partner with hotels to provide promotional materials/info to visitors
  • Notify communities when visitors are scheduled to travel so they can prepare (e.g., to sell things, offer a tour)
See Objectives 1.2, 2.1, 2.2.
Work in partnership with other:
  1. parks
  2. organizations
  • Discuss future opportunities to work in greater collaboration with all Parks Canada sites in the region (e.g., employment, project coordination)
  • Coordinate and work in partnership with other organizations in the region, who all share similar challenges and goals
See Objectives 2.1 2.2, 2.3 (Key Strategy #2 - Working Together).
Facilities in Resolute and Grise Fiord
  • Consider establishing visitor centre(s)
  • Consider establishing an office in Grise Fiord (there is one already in Resolute)
See Key Strategy #2 - Working Together.

3.2 Phase II: Consultation on the Draft Management Plan (Summer 2022-Winter 2023)

The formal consultation exercises conducted in 2022 and early 2023 sought to confirm the success to which the above shared interests were incorporated into the draft management plan for Quttinirpaaq National Park.

The general consultation approach was approved in principle by the Quttinirpaaq Joint Park Management Committee through the Scoping submission in 2018:

Representatives of the PPT will conduct in-person public consultations in the two adjacent communities. The PPT will use an open house approach for broad reach into the two adjacent communities. In addition, the draft plan will be placed on the Quttinirpaaq web page, the Consulting with Canadians website, and circulated to a mail list, for comment. Canadians-at-large will be invited to comment on the draft plan online. Upon conclusion of consultation, a public “what we heard” newsletter will be circulated.

In accordance with the above framework, the Park Planning Team developed consultation materials and a detailed strategy for engagement. Some highlights are listed below:

  • consultation was undertaken mainly through face-to-face stakeholder meetings and open house presentations
    • these sessions included a presentation on management planning and the development of the draft management plan and an overview of the draft management plan vision, key strategies and objectives, and zoning
    • these meetings occurred in both Resolute (June 21-23 and July 11-14, 2022) and Grise Fiord (November 7-9, 2022)
    • other targeted government department and agencies were engaged primarily through virtual discussion in Winter 2023
  • in Resolute, as consultations took place during the summer, the Park Planning Team hosted a community barbeque in partnership with the Quttinirpaaq Joint Park Management Committee
  • in Grise Fiord, in addition to face-to-face meetings, a radio broadcast was presented on the community radio to generate awareness of the project and to promote an upcoming open house event
    • the radio in Resolute has been experiencing on-going technical difficulties, so a radio broadcast was not possible
  • in both communities, print flyers with detailed background information about the management planning process, where to access the online comment card, and upcoming in-community open house meetings were distributed into local mailboxes where possible or were otherwise left for easy access at the local post office
    • flyers advertising the open house meeting details were also displayed at various high-traffic locations in communities (e.g., Co-op store, Hamlet offices, hotel, etc.) throughout the week leading up to each event
  • written materials were sent to any stakeholders for comment if face-to-face meetings could not be arranged

4.0 Who we heard from

The below sections give an overview of the estimated number and type of stakeholders who were consulted throughout the formal consultation period.

Table 2. Number, type of stakeholders consulted in Resolute (June 21-23; July 11-14, 2022).
Stakeholder group Type of consultation Estimated number of individuals
Quttinirpaaq Joint Park Management Committee meeting* In-person 3
One-on-one with the Mayor of Resolute In-person 1
Delegation to Hamlet Council meeting* In-person 5
Community Open House* In-person 10
Community BBQ* In-person 40
Hunters and Trappers Association** Email & in-person opportunistic conversations ?
*Indicates events that were open to the general public.
**HTA was invited to participate in the stakeholder meeting with the Mayor of Resolute Bay, but unfortunately, none were able to attend on the day of the event. Other efforts both in person and virtually via phone/email were made to arrange a meeting with no success. Opportunistic conversations with members were held at the community BBQ, and a virtual copy of the consultation materials was provided via email to the HTA Manager for distribution to Directors.
Table 3. Number, type of stakeholders consulted in Grise Fiord (November 7-9, 2022).
Stakeholder group Type of consultation Estimated number of individuals
Invited stakeholder meeting (Hamlet Council, Hunter and Trappers Association, etc.) In-person 9
Open House* In-person 12
Hamlet Lobby display* In-person 5 + various passive connections
Grise Fiord community radio* In-person ?
Pancake breakfast at local school (with Royal Canadian Mounted Police) In-person ?
*Indicates events that were open to the general public.

In addition to community consultations, the PPT reached out to key government departments and stakeholders with involvement or interest in Quttinirpaaq National Park virtually or via email, including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Department of National Defence, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of Nunavut, and the Inuit Heritage Trust.

Online consultation was open from June through to December 2022 through the Consulting with Canadians webpage, directing the public to the Parks Canada webpage. Here, information was provided on the development of the draft management plan along with an overview of Parks Canada’s management planning process (see Table 4 for details on the virtual reach of these online resources). Visitors to the site were invited to either fill out a comment card with specific questions about the plan or directly email their input to Parks Canada staff. Five written submissions were received. A link was shared on the Parks Canada social media pages and local Facebook groups in Resolute and Grise Fiord in English, French, and Inuktitut.

Table 4. Summary of online participation and engagement.
Type of engagement Reach
Visits to online “landing page” about the project posted on Parks Canada Quttinirpaaq webpage 874 (194 IN, 612 EN, 68 FR)
Visits to online draft management plan 384 (12 IN, 344 EN, 28 FR)
Visits to online comment card 378 (84 IN, 228 EN, 66 FR)
Facebooks posts (on the Parks Canada, Nunavut page and local community groups) 5449 (2231 IN, 3654 EN, 95 FR)
TOTAL 7,085

5.0 What we heard

Feedback from the Phase II consultation activities indicated that participants were generally very supportive of the proposed vision elements and the three key strategies identified in the draft management plan. The three key strategies that were developed for this management plan include the following:

Key strategy #1 — Honouring shared commitments

Ensuring that Parks Canada’s obligations in the Nunavut Agreement and the Baffin IIBA with respect to Quttinirpaaq National Park are being met and respected.

Key strategy #2 — Working together

Aligning conservation efforts in the region to more effectively work together in addressing both shared goals and shared challenges.

Key strategy #3 — Learning from people and land

Strengthening people’s connections to and understanding of Quttinirpaaq National Park using both science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.

No substantive issues were raised in consultations. Table A1 in Appendix A provides a detailed overview of all the comments that were received or heard in conversations during the Phase II consultation activities.

The majority of edits made to the plan as a result were editorial or minor in nature, namely to provide greater clarity to the reader. For example:


Additional information on the meaning and purpose of each specific zone was added in the zoning section of the management plan (see Section 7.0 Zoning). This was mainly in response to several questions, especially from community members, about the meaning of zoning and the restrictions of each specific zone. While providing information about zoning, staff were clear to emphasize that zoning restrictions do not and will never apply to Inuit exercising rights-based activities in Quttinirpaaq or any of the Parks Canada sites in Nunavut. Nevertheless, it is important that the concept is well understood in order for Inuit and Parks Canada to effectively work together in protecting the lands within Quttinirpaaq, and also to promote the dissemination of accurate information to any Quttinirpaaq visitors who may be passing through Resolute and/or Grise Fiord.

Lake Hazen/Tasaliuk Basin Management Area

Further to the above, many comments received from consultation related specifically to the new special management area designation and shift from Zone I to Zone II in the Lake Hazen/Tasaliuk Basin Area. Language has been edited to emphasize that this change has been proposed in order to better consider opportunities for controlled research and small-scale visitation while continuing to ensure consistent and appropriate protection for such a special place. Objective 1 recognizes that future changes to the zoning of this area may be required if evidence shows negative impacts on the ecological and cultural resources of the area.

Connection with youth

Building and supporting further connections to the park, particularly for Inuit in adjacent communities, is an important theme embedded throughout the draft plan, and was a comment echoed throughout consultation conversations. Connecting and engaging with youth was especially highlighted as an audience that should be targeted, and minor edits have been made to the draft plan where appropriate to further highlight this priority (e.g., Target 3.1.1: “One outreach activity showcasing a story based on an understanding of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and science of Quttinirpaaq is available for staff to share and present within two years, with a priority on youth audiences where possible”).

International value

The immense international value of research conducted in Quttinirpaaq National Park - particularly studying the impacts of climate change - was highlighted by the research community in consultation exercises. Minor edits emphasizing the global importance of the park have been added where appropriate in balance with highlighting the local importance to adjacent communities.


All maps have been reformatted to meet updated Parks Canada cartographic guidelines. Further, the zoning and inset maps (Map 3 in draft management plan), which previously existed as two separate figures, have been combined into one for clarity and ease of reference.

The Park Planning Team received many general questions and comments throughout the consultation process. While many were outside the scope of a management plan, they were recorded and are valued for the insight they offer into the interests and concerns of adjacent communities. Wherever possible, Parks Canada staff answered questions in real time to community members, which was an excellent relationship-building opportunity through knowledge sharing. Below are some examples of the types of questions and comments received in consultation meetings that were general in nature and/or outside the scope of a management plan. They are organized broadly by category.

The role and responsibilities of Parks Canada, the Quttinirpaaq JPMC, and the general management planning process

What is a management plan and what does it do? What does the JPMC do? What do Parks Canada staff do in the park? What is zoning and what does each zone mean? What are some major hiking routes in the park?

Job opportunities with Parks Canada

Will there be jobs? How can we make them more attractive to Inuit in adjacent communities?

Cultural sites and ecological landscapes protected within Quttinirpaaq

Has Arctic Char been found in Lake Hazen? What do you know about the numbers and locations of wolf dens in the park?

Park accessibility and promotion

How do people get to the park? What does it cost? Find ways to get more people up there and aware of its importance!

6.0 Conclusion

The new shared vision developed through this process will guide the management of Quttinirpaaq National Park for the next 10 years, as Parks Canada and Inuit work together to implement the key strategies, objectives, and targets. The management plan is not an end in and of itself, and Parks Canada will continue to maintain an open dialogue on its implementation to ensure that it remains relevant and meaningful.

Appendix A: What we heard key themes

Table A1: Detailed overview of feedback received during consultation exercises and how they were (or were not) incorporated into the draft management plan for Quttinirpaaq National Park.
What we heard Comments / Connection to the draft management plan
Access to Quttinirpaaq
Get more people into the park/aware of its importance, especially from the adjacent communities Quttinirpaaq National Park is a very special place, and sharing its value and importance with all Canadians, especially Inuit in Resolute and Grise Fiord, is a priority emphasized throughout the 2020 Draft Management Plan (see in particular objective 1.3 and 2.2, and the vision).
How do people get to the park? Is there a visitor charter available? How is it arranged? What does it cost?

Questions and comments related specifically to park access arose in every in-community consultation activity, and they came from all types of audiences. While these types of logistical questions are beyond the scope of a park management plan, they do highlight a strong interest in the park and the importance of developing innovative ways to connect Quttinirpaaq to Canadians, which have been highlighted throughout the plan (see Objectives 1.3 and 2.2 in particular).

More information about planning a visit to Quttinirpaaq National Park can be found on the Parks Canada website here: https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/nu/quttinirpaaq/visit. Contact staff directly for further guidance when planning a trip.

Park promotion and outreach

Locally (Resolute and Grise Fiord)

Increase advertising of the park to the tourism industry, increase benefits to the communities from visitors.

See Key Strategy #2, especially Objective 2.2.

Share information about the park with communities, especially via visual mediums (i.e., videos, pictures, etc.): “We are still learning about our [Ellesmere] island as well”

Community members in Resolute and particularly in Grise Fiord emphasized the importance of regularly sharing updates and information about the work being conducted within the park. Despite being the closest communities to the park geographically, there is still a significant distance to Quttinirpaaq (approx. 900 km from Resolute), and few community members have visited Quttinirpaaq. As one member of the Grise Fiord Hamlet Council noted, “we are still learning about our [Ellesmere] island as well”; any chance to share photos, videos, and general updates about what is going on in the park should be actioned.

Various objectives throughout the new management plan highlight the importance of building more connections between Quttinirpaaq and the adjacent communities (see Objective 1.3 in particular). Based on this feedback, Parks Canada staff ensured that there were photos of Quttinirpaaq and work conducted by the on display at the Grise Fiord public open house meeting.

Nationally and internationally

Strengthen connections between the park and all Canadians (e.g., not just the currently emphasized research community)

See Objective 3.1, which outlines targets for public outreach tools and programs to communicate the values of Quttinirpaaq to “all Canadians and beyond”.
Emphasize Quttinirpaaq’s truly global significance The importance of the scientific data collected from Quttinirpaaq is highlighted throughout the document for its role in advancing a global understanding of climate change. Further, Target 3.1.5 demonstrates a commitment to recognize the value of Quttinirpaaq on a global scale by preparing a nomination for inscription on the list of World Heritage Sites. Minor edits to the language in the vision more explicitly include reference to the park’s global significance.

Youth engagement

Increase youth engagement and/or find new ways to engage youth in Quttinirpaaq planning, management, and operations (e.g., get into schools as much as possible, consider land camps with youth, Elders, researchers, and Parks Canada staff)

In-community capacity building for Inuit in adjacent communities, and providing more opportunities for youth involvement, is highlighted throughout the key strategies, especially Objective 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 (see especially Target 1.3.4).

Target 3.1.1 was edited (in red) in response to feedback: “One outreach activity showcasing a story based on an understanding of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and science of Quttinirpaaq is available for staff to share and present within two years, with a priority on youth audiences where possible”.

Benefits for communities
Can communities benefit from the Polar Shelf Continental Program (PCSP) activities (e.g., equipment and knowledge sharing)? This question is outside the scope of Parks Canada, however with Key Strategy #2, Parks Canada is seeking to work more closely with both other federal partners and communities to support shared goals. Exploratory conversations have already occurred and will continue during the lifecycle of this management plan.
Are there jobs available in Quttinirpaaq? How can we make them more attractive to Inuit? While a specific staffing plan is outside the scope of the management plan, Inuit employment has always been a priority for Quttinirpaaq and the entire Nunavut Field Unit. This management plan aims to expand available opportunities for Inuit employment, capacity-building, and increased economic benefits (see Objective 1.2 in particular). Parks Canada intends to not only provide employment opportunities, but also ongoing training and mentoring to promote the long-term success of Inuit candidates.
Building relationships/Working together
Strengthen inter-departmental partnerships and develop connections across government projects where applicable See Key Strategy #2, especially Objectives 2.3 and 2.4. Parks Canada recognizes that working effectively and maximizing resource efficiency in a land claims context means working together, and this is reflected in the new management plan.
Connections with Greenland (e.g., partner with Greenland on indigenous-led projects, cross border initiatives, etc.) See, in particular, Target 2.3.3: “Seek opportunities to support the re-establishment of historical human ties to Greenland”. The type and scope of these opportunities will be explored throughout the lifespan of this new management plan.
Connections to Tuvaijuittuq See Target 2.3.5, in particular: “Work with Tuvaijuittuq (High Arctic Basin) and regional conservation initiatives as appropriate”. Wherever possible, collaborating and coordinating with partners in the management of protected sites on a regional level is an important objective of this new plan.
Multilateral communication (see Key Strategy #2) The language around “two-way communication” has been edited to “multilateral communication” where appropriate to further highlight the importance of working together with multiple partners.
Historical/Cultural significance of Quttinirpaaq
Add explicit mention about the culture and history of the park (esp. Key Strategy #3 and Vision) Minor editorial changes have been made where appropriate to draw further connections to the cultural heritage aspects of Quttinirpaaq.
What type of in-park solar technology is in use, and could that be made accessible to communities? A general question that is outside the scope of a management plan. Parks Canada staff provided information about solar technology used at camp in Quttinirpaaq.
Clear up old radio towers Radio microwave towers and stations are the responsibility of the Department of National Defence, who make frequent helicopter visits to the sites during the summer season for maintenance. Currently, there is a multi-year project underway to clean up an old radio tower on Mt. Arthur.
Safety and protection for humans and wildlife should always be the priority Safety and protection are a priority for Parks Canada, and guide all planning, management, and operations in Quttinirpaaq National Park.
Consider impact of cruise ships on marine wildlife

The geographical reality of Quttinirpaaq National Park means that very few cruise ships are likely to ever visit the area, and impacts will consequently be minimal. Further, it should be noted that the review of cruise ship routes and potential impacts is an issue that exceeds Parks Canada and rather is dealt with on a broader level through the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB).

Although negative impacts marine impacts related to Quttinirpaaq National Park as a result of cruise ships are not anticipated, Parks Canada will respond as needed should there be any concerns that arise.

Emphasize a stronger connection to climate change in the key strategies The scientific importance of the park in studying climate change is highlighted throughout the plan; however, some editorial changes have been made to emphasize this importance further wherever appropriate. For example, in the introductory text to Key Strategy #3: “Quttinirpaaq offers an important and truly unique opportunity to understand Arctic ecosystems and climate change in an environment used but relatively unchanged by human activity and situated close to the North Pole”.
What is the research application approval process? More information on conducting research in national parks, as well as how to apply for a Research and Collection Permit, can be found online here: https://parks.canada.ca/nature/science/recherche-research/permis-permits. Nunavut Field Unit staff can also be contacted directly to provide information and answer questions: rechercheParcsNunavut-NunavutParksResearch@pc.gc.ca.
Prioritize co-led/developed research with Inuit and western researchers See Objective 2.4.
Caribou research (keep community informed, include scat in investigations about the species, etc.) A research strategy for nearby Qausuittuq National Park on Bathurst Island, which will particularly focus on Peary caribou, is currently under development. Connections and applicability to Quttinirpaaq National Park will be explored once prepared. The incorporation of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit into all park-related matters, especially research, is emphasized throughout the draft management plan (see Objective 2.4 in particular).
Consider establishing Lake Hazen as an official High Arctic Observatory Quttinirpaaq is globally recognized for its international significance in studying the impacts of climate change, with three operational bases already established and functioning successfully in different areas of the park, including Lake Hazen. The financial and logistical restrictions on constructing, operating, and maintaining further infrastructure are significant. Additionally, concern has already been expressed regarding the impacts of the current level of human activity in the Lake Hazen Basin.
General questions about Quttinirpaaq, management planning, and Parks Canada
What is a management plan? What does it do? “Will the plan make its way to Parliament?” Information on the management planning process can be found on the Parks Canada Quttinirpaaq webpages: https://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nu/quttinirpaaq/info/plan/apercu-overview.
What is the role of the JPMC? Inuit and Parks Canada manage Quttinirpaaq National Park cooperatively, and the Quttinirpaaq Joint Park Management Committee is the joint Inuit/Government parks planning and management committee established through the IIBA because of Article 8.4.11 of the Nunavut Agreement. Their role is to advise Parks Canada, the Minister responsible for national parks, the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, and other agencies on all matters related to park management. Learn more about how Inuit and Parks Canada work together to manage Quttinirpaaq here: https://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nu/quttinirpaaq/info.
What do Parks Canada staff do in the park? Research and monitoring, wildlife observations, species conservation projects, visitor welcome, orientation, and education sessions, and maintaining infrastructure are a few of the projects completed in the park. More information about Quttinirpaaq and the various activities that occur in the park can be found online here: https://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nu/quttinirpaaq.
What are major hiking routes in the park? More information on activities and experiences available to visitors to Quttinirpaaq is available here: https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/nu/quttinirpaaq/activ. Contact Parks Canada staff to discuss further.
Are drones permitted? Drone use is currently not permitted in Quttinirpaaq National Park, unless special permission is granted through the permitting process. Policy and regulations regarding the use of drones are the responsibility of Transport Canada.
Information about ecology/wildlife in the park (e.g., is there arctic char found in Lake Hazen? What does Parks Canada know about wolf populations and location of dens?) General information about nature and science in Quttinirpaaq can be found online here: https://parks.canada.ca/pn-np/nu/quttinirpaaq/nature.
Don’t cancel the recreational fishing ban! No changes are proposed to the prohibition on recreational fishing in the park through this draft management plan.
What is zoning? What does each zone mean?

Parks Canada’s national park zoning system is an integrated approach to the classification of land and water areas in a national park and designates where particular activities can occur based on the ability to support those uses in those areas. The zoning system has five categories:

  • Zone I - Special Preservation
  • Zone II - Wilderness
  • Zone III - Natural Environment
  • Zone IV - Outdoor Recreation
  • Zone V - Park Services

Only three zones are included within Quttinirpaaq National Park (Zone I, II, and III). The draft plan is consistent with Section 8.2.8 of the Nunavut Agreement, which states that “each National Park in the Nunavut Settlement Area shall contain a predominant proportion of Zone I - Special Preservation and Zone II - Wilderness”. Minor editorial changes have been made to the draft plan to provide additional context on the meaning and significance of each zone used in the park.

Zoning in national parks does not apply to Indigenous access and activities related to the exercise of rights. The focus of zoning is to control visitor use, and Indigenous populations exercising rights-based activities are not considered “visitors” to the park.

Lake Hazen/Tasaliuk Basin Special Management Area

Is this an administrative change or a result of increased traffic to the area? Should the plan include measures to provide warning if increased visitation/use is causing problems?

The change is largely administrative in the sense that it was not prompted by an increased number of visitors to the area. In reality, the area is unlikely to ever host many visitors, but the change in zoning approach recognizes that there are opportunities for visitors to explore this special area in a way that is safe and consistent with Parks Canada zoning in other locations.

Subdivide further to include certain areas that remain Zone I within the Special Management Area?

A measure in Objective 1 notes that re-zoning certain areas to Zone I may be considered should evidence justify the action due to noted negative impacts on ecological and/or cultural values of the area.

Are there any situations where the FUS and JPMC would authorize motorized vehicle use on known critical habitat? Should visitors be allowed to access critical habitat unsupervised?

Peary Caribou

Generally, motorized vehicle uses on known critical habitat is prohibited. However, depending on the type and timing of the activity, it may be permitted if it can be demonstrated via a formal impact assessment that appropriate mitigation measures and/or conditions can be successfully implemented to ensure minimal impact or disturbance. For example, guided snowmobile trips or research activities on the sea ice at Tanquary Fiord, which is a motorized zone (Zone III) and identified as critical habitat for Peary caribou, may be permitted subject to appropriate impact assessment and approval/authorization.

Porsild’s Bryum

Given the very limited number of visitors to the park, at this time, Parks Canada staff have assessed that controlling access/mitigating any potential impacts to Porsild’s Bryum critical habitat (Zone I) in Tanquary Fiord is possible through education and orientation of visitors. Motorized vehicle access is generally not allowed in Zone I areas; however, exceptional circumstances may apply where there is a threat to human life or formal impact assessments can demonstrate that appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented to minimize impact and/or disturbance.

What zones might/could address Peary caribou protection in the park? A recovery strategy for critical terrestrial habitat for Peary Caribou is currently under development. Parks Canada is not the lead authority in the development of this strategy but will work closely with Environment and Climate Change Canada on its ongoing development.
Do rangers need permits to access the park? What about when they are working with the Department of National Defence? In general, if Rangers are working collaboratively with staff from another government department, park visitors, etc. (i.e., anyone who is not a beneficiary of the Nunavut Agreement), a permit must first be acquired. Please contact Parks Canada staff for any questions about permit requirements.
It is important that community members are aware of the zoning of the park While providing information about zoning, staff were clear to emphasize that zoning restrictions do not and will never apply to Inuit exercising rights-based activities in Quttinirpaaq or any of the Parks Canada sites in Nunavut. Nevertheless, it is important that the concept is well understood in order for Inuit and Parks Canada to effectively work together in protecting the lands within Quttinirpaaq. Further, ensuring that zoning is well understood in communities will promote the dissemination of accurate information to any Quttinirpaaq visitors who may be passing through Resolute and/or Grise Fiord.

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