Management Plan Progress Report 2018-2019

Pukaskwa National Park

Key Strategy 1: An enduring relationship: Honouring the Anishinaabek and Métis, and their connection to the land known as Pukaskwa

  • Established an Operational Working Group with Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and met quarterly throughout the year to work towards mutually beneficial objectives.
  • Participated in 7 career fairs in local communities, made improvements to staffing processes, and provided career development opportunities to improve representation of employees from the surrounding 13 First Nation communities as Pukaskwa National Park team members.
  • Local First Nations continued to use the park for traditional activities like camping, fishing, medicinal picking and trapping throughout all four seasons.
  • Indigenous language incorporated into Interpretive program names (i.e., Nishnaabeg Gkinoohmaaged) and park publications (i.e. the park Visitor Guide).
  • Collaborated with local Métis communities in series of workshops to identify opportunities for Métis to have their history and culture conveyed through visitor offers and public outreach by Parks Canada places in northern Ontario, including Pukaskwa.

Key Strategy 2: A wilderness sustained: Experiencing Pukaskwa’s wilderness through strengthened ecosystems

  • Knowledge on the condition of ecological integrity in the park improved through the collection of data and assessment for 12 of the 15 monitoring measures.
  • Ensured that key ecosystem processes and species were maintained through the completion of 21 impact assessments on projects and work.
  • Planning for the next 10 years of fire management initiated through the drafting of a Fire Management Plan for the park.
  • Over 100 visitors and experts participated in Pukaskwa National Park’s first Bioblitz, recording 207 species in 24 hours around the Hattie Cove area.
  • Several species at risk Action Plan tasks completed, including an assessment on the front-country dune ecosystem for the ongoing protection of Pitcher’s thistle and the creation of education and outreach materials on bats and peregrine falcon.

Key Strategy 3: A “superior” connection: Making Pukaskwa more relevant to Canadians

  • 27% increase in visitation in 2018 (compared to 2010, the baseline year), exceeding the 10% goal set in the management plan.
  • Installed 5 rustic, roofed accommodation units (oTENTik tents) in Hattie Cove in 2018, with 78% occupancy in the first year of operations.
  • Backcountry and oTENTik site reservations were made available online, making Pukaskwa more accessible to Canadians.
  • Lakehead University students participated in invasive species monitoring and verified no new invasive species were present, helping ensure the ecological integrity of the coastal ecosystem is maintained in its current healthy condition.

Area Management Strategy:  Hattie Cove

  • A renewed Anishinaabe camp in Hattie Cove (officially opened in 2017 after a 4-year revitalization project), continued to provide a place for sharing the rich cultural, spiritual and historical heritage of the Anishinaabe people.
  • Local Anishinaabe artisans shared their skills and cultural knowledge with visitors through Nishnaabeg Gkinoohmaaged, a program that consisted of a series of workshops teaching visitors how to bead, make dream-catchers, and weave baskets.
  • Visitors learned about Annishinaabe culture through story and song from local elders and community members while attending hand drum socials at the fire circle.

Area Management Strategy:  Lake Superior Coast

  • Knowledge of the genetics of woodland caribou that lived in Pukaskwa in the recent past was compared with regional caribou to assess relatedness and identify likely connections between herds, in order to contribute information for recovery initiatives.
  • Backcountry visitation increased by 40% in 2018 as a result of the opening of Mdaabii Miikna, a new, 24 km loop backpacking trail option for visitors.

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