Annual management plan implementation update 2018
Quttinirpaaq National Park
The Quttinirpaaq National Park Management Plan identifies the long-term strategic direction and management goals for Quttinirpaaq National Park (QNP). The plan is consistent with the Nunavut Agreement, the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for Auyuittuq, Quttinirpaaq and Sirmilik National Parks, and Parks Canada’s mandate to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.
This 2018 update is PCA’s annual progress report on the implementation of the management plan for partners, stakeholders, and the public.
- Priority 1: To manage the use of Quttinirpaaq in order to protect and maintain its ecological integrity, cultural resources and arctic wilderness experiences
- Priority 2: To describe and understand park ecosystems through science and Inuit traditional knowledge and through the stories and knowledge of the people who have a long connection to the area, and to incorporate this information in heritage presentations
- Priority 3: To improve site-specific ecological integrity through Environmental Management System measures, local clean-ups, and site remediation
- Priority 4: To identify the state of Inuit archaeological sites and historical artifacts in the park by monitoring representative and unique sites
- Priority 5: To communicate the results of an active research and monitoring program, emphasizing global environmental change, in order to make Quttinirpaaq relevant to Canadians
- Priority 6: To build awareness, understanding and support of Quttinirpaaq with Canadians, visitors, and the residents of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay through innovation in heritage presentation
- Priority 7: To increase the community tourism capacity of and the tourism benefits for Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay in partnership with others
- Priority 8: To continue to manage Quttinirpaaq cooperatively
- Priority 9: To aim to have a representative level of Inuit employment in the Nunavut Field Unit of Parks Canada by 2020
- Priority 10: To initiate, maintain, and nurture key partnerships for science, cultural resources management, logistics, tourism and marketing, and education
- Priority 11: To develop a suite of indicators and targets for the management of Quttinirpaaq
- Conclusion — Next steps
Priority 1: To manage the use of Quttinirpaaq in order to protect and maintain its ecological integrity, cultural resources and arctic wilderness experiences.
- The cultural resource management advisor improved the cultural resource monitoring protocols for Blister Creek and Kettle Lake cultural sites.
- Park staff completed a comprehensive assessment of the condition of the Fort Conger huts in July. The results will be used to develop recommendations for short and long-term conservation measures for Fort Conger.
- The Fort Conger photographic monitoring protocols were improved.
Priority 2: To describe and understand park ecosystems through science and Inuit traditional knowledge and through the stories and knowledge of the people who have a long connection to the area, and to incorporate this information in heritage presentations.
- Ongoing monitoring programs for freshwater and tundra ecosystems continued in 2018. In preparation for potential construction work on the dam at the Tanquary Fiord reservoir, a nesting bird survey was conducted in the area surrounding the reservoir to provide a baseline for potential mitigation measures.
- Quttinirpaaq Joint Park Management Committee (JPMC) reviewed and advised on research and collection permit applications. Ten permits were active in 2018.
- A study of the change in thickness and extent of the Bowman Glacier was completed by University of Ottawa glaciologists. The results show the glacier no longer feeds May Creek –Tanquary Fiord’s water source. This information was presented in Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay to discuss the impacts of climate change on the park.
Priority 3: To improve site-specific ecological integrity through Environmental Management System measures, local clean-ups, and site remediation.
- Fuel caching practices at all field camps were improved, through work with the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP), including limiting cache sizes, developing spill protocols and requiring use of fuel berms.
- Completed a 5-year detailed survey of the Fort Conger site, including mapping the bank edge with differential Global Positioning System; sampling marine water and sediments; and reviewing site conditions, as outlined in the Fort Conger Remediation and Risk Management Plan.
- Park staff worked collaboratively with DND as they carried out an assessment of abandoned sites of (possible) military origin, particularly fuel caches, which could pose a threat to the environment. DND-related items were removed from the park and the existing DND fuel cache at Tanquary Fiord was brought in line with current environmental standards. Soil samples were taken at several sites, including around the Lake Hazen barrel shed, for further assessment of potential contamination.
Priority 4: To identify the state of Inuit archaeological sites and historical artifacts in the park by monitoring representative and unique sites.
- Photo monitoring protocols for Fort Conger, Kettle Lake and Blister Creek archeological sites were updated for 2019.
- Baseline data was collected on the three Peary Huts at Fort Conger to develop a monitoring program and protocol for each building.
- Completed the annual erosion monitoring and five year contamination sampling at Fort Conger.
- Park staff identified the “Muskox Wall” as a potential site at risk. JPMC members visited the site and provided input on its purpose. An assessment of the site was completed.
Priority 5: To communicate the results of an active research and monitoring program, emphasizing global environmental change, in order to make Quttinirpaaq relevant to Canadians.
- Field researchers submitted annual field reports and information on resulting publications to PCA and the JPMC; a condition of their research permit is that they also share the reports with the Hamlets.
- The QNP website was updated to include a ‘conservation and research’ section that highlights, in plain language, ongoing ecological integrity monitoring and external researchers’ work, outlining methods and results; this will be updated as required.
Priority 6: To build awareness, understanding and support of Quttinirpaaq with Canadians, visitors, and the residents of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay through innovation in heritage presentation.
- In 2018, new Visitor Information Packages and updated web content was available for visitor and researcher groups.
- A hiking route guide for Tanquary Fiord was drafted in 2018 and is anticipated to be ready for use during the 2020 visitor season.
- The self-guided walking tour of cultural sites at Kettle Lake was re-drafted in 2018. JPMC members toured the site and provided input into tour material during the in-park meeting in 2018.
Priority 7: To increase the community tourism capacity of and the tourism benefits for Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay in partnership with others.
- Park staff and the Visitor Experience manager consulted with the Senior Administrative Officer, Economic Development Officer and community members in Resolute Bay in preparation for hosting a workshop on developing town tours.
- The Partnering Agreement with Blackfeather to deliver high quality visitor experiences through guided excursions and basecamp offers, was renewed for three years. The Partnering Agreement was revised to include specific commitments for Blackfeather to participate in community-based activities identified/supported by Parks Canada to increase economic benefits to the adjacent communities.
Priority 8: To continue to manage Quttinirpaaq cooperatively.
- The JPMC held two face-to-face meetings: June in QNP and November in Resolute Bay. They held 3 teleconferences in 2018. Dates: March 5, 2018, April 6, 2018 and October 15, 2018.
- The review of the Park Management Plan was initiated by the Quttinirpaaq JPMC in early 2018.
- The JPMC reviewed permit applications, and provided advice on research conducted in the park.
- The JPMC was involved with new employee recruitment, the development of interview questions and members were given opportunities to sit on interview panels.
- The JPMC was regularly informed and involved in management discussions; highlights include plans for the 2018 field season, promotional activities, management planning, and infrastructure.
- Two JPMC members represented Quttinirpaaq at a UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List Workshop in Ottawa in November 2018 to understand what it means to be a World Heritage Site, the funding opportunities that might be available to World Heritage Sites, and how to prepare a World Heritage Site nomination in order to be better able to provide advice on this initiative for QNP.
Priority 9: To aim to have a representative level of Inuit employment in the Nunavut Field Unit of Parks Canada by 2020.
- In QNP, 2 of 7 staff were Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement (1 of the 2 resigned their seasonal position part way through the summer to accept year-round employment in another government department).
- Only 1 of 7 QNP specific positions was staffed indeterminately, allowing the opportunity to target Inuit for seasonal and/or indeterminate employment in upcoming seasons.
- Parks Canada tentatively offered an Inuk enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement a seasonal Resource Management Technician II (EG-02) position, on the condition that the employee completed the Environmental Technology Program with Nunavut Arctic College.
- A program was initiated to implement a multi-day training session for the communities of Resolute and Grise Fiord to prepare community members for future short term contracts with Parks Canada. Unfortunately, funding was re-directed.
Priority 10: To initiate, maintain, and nurture key partnerships for science, cultural resources management, logistics, tourism and marketing, and education.
- Parks Canada works in collaboration with PCSP to support operational logistics and facilitate science and research in the High Arctic. An official partnership is in development.
- The freshwater ecosystem ecological monitoring program is conducted in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada annually.
- Park staff work closely with the two main groups of researchers in QNP to maintain infrastructure and fulfill shared research and monitoring needs.
- Parks Canada continues to work with DND to manage the exhibit at Tanquary Fiord and Defence Research Board sites within the park, including the work to reduce the Tanquary Fiord Exhibit.
- The renewed Partnering Agreement with Black Feather ensures high quality visitor experience offers.
Priority 11: To develop a suite of indicators and targets for the management of Quttinirpaaq.
- The Ecological Integrity indicators for tundra and freshwater are defined, with baseline thresholds in place.
Conclusion — Next steps
Over the next year, PCA will focus on:
- Working with the Government of Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation, and the Hamlet’s Economic Development Officer to support Resolute Bay community members in developing community tours.
- Employment training and opportunities.
- Increasing tourism offers with partners.
- Developing a winter orientation package for visitors and other users.
- Developing a monitoring protocol for the “muskox wall” archaeological site to be added to the bi-annual cultural resource monitoring program.
- Finalizing the Kettle Lake Walking Tour brochure.
- Evaluating buildings and structures associated with historical Defence Research Board activities at Tanquary Fiord, Lake Hazen and Ward Hunt Island to determine which constitute cultural resources; designation will guide future management actions.
- Continuing the ecological and cultural resource monitoring and assessments.
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