2010 Management Plan

Vuntut National Park

Executive Summary

Parks Canada is responsible for administering a world-renowned system of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada's goal is to ensure that Canadians have a strong sense of connection through meaningful experiences to these protected places and that these places are enjoyed in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations. This management plan provides strategic direction for achieving that goal for Vuntut National Park of Canada.

Vuntut National Park was established in 1995 as part of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement, to conserve, protect and present to Canadians a portion of the North Yukon Natural Region, to recognize Vuntut Gwitchin history and culture and to protect the traditional and current use of the park by the Vuntut Gwitchin. Together, Parks Canada, the Vuntut Gwitchin Government and the North Yukon Renewable Resources Council cooperatively manage the park. The park's values for protection and celebration include: the northern third of Old Crow Flats, a wetland of international significance; portions of the Porcupine Caribou Herd's spring and fall migration range; the ongoing interdependence of the Vuntut Gwitchin and the land; caribou fences and other archaeological sites; and internationally significant palaeontological sites along the Old Crow River.

The management plan was developed by staff and cooperative management partners, with stakeholder and public involvement. It integrates the three elements of Parks Canada's mandate - the protection of heritage resources, the facilitation of visitor experiences and the provision of public outreach education - into a new park vision and four key strategies. The eleven objectives and fifty-three actions identified in this management plan were developed to improve and monitor the state of Vuntut National Park, achieve the park vision and contribute to Parks Canada's corporate performance expectations.

The following summarizes the four key strategies of this management plan. These strategies address the needs and opportunities of the park and focus efforts and resources towards achieving the park vision.

Experiencing Vuntut Gwitchin Country focuses on providing opportunities to learn about and experience Vuntut National Park, Vuntut Gwitchin history and Vuntut Gwitchin culture. Tourism capacity in the community of Old Crow will be increased through the Vuntut Gwitchin Government's leadership and Parks Canada's assistance, ultimately supporting a range of visitor experiences in the park. The newly developed John Tizya Centre is a focal point for interpretive and outreach efforts for the park and functions as a gateway to Vuntut Gwitchin Traditional Territory, including Vuntut National Park. Parks Canada and the Vuntut Gwitchin Government will work together to expand the interpretive offer at the John Tizya Centre and ensure that it remains a vibrant place of learning for both Old Crow visitors and locals. Increasing Canadian's awareness of Vuntut National Park well beyond its boundaries through public education and outreach is a key part of this strategy.

Looking After the Land and the Animals for the Future focuses on maintaining and improving the ecological integrity of the park. Emphasis will be placed on completing the ecological integrity monitoring program and improving the incorporation of Vuntut Gwitchin Traditional Knowledge. The condition of the park's tundra ecosystem is the highest priority for improvement during this management plan as there was insufficient information to rate this ecosystem in the 2009 State of the Park Report, and the condition and trend of one of the measures, the Porcupine Caribou Herd, were rated as poor and declining. The continuation of established relationships with, for example, the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, North Yukon Renewable Resources Council, Yukon Environment, Canadian Wildlife Service, and various universities, and the building of new ones, are integral to running a comprehensive monitoring program in this remote northern park.

Living and Teaching a Traditional Lifestyle supports the continuance of a strong traditional Vuntut Gwitchin lifestyle, with Elders passing teachings to youth both in the community and out on the land. Vuntut National Park is located within a major cultural and subsistence area of the Vuntut Gwitchin. While the majority of this strategy will be led by the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, Parks Canada's support is fundamental to its success. Vuntut Gwitchin rights within the park are recognized, protected, understood and supported by park staff, visitors and other Canadians. Parks Canada, with the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, will provide land-based experiential learning opportunities such as culture and science camps, for Elders, youth, researchers and staff. These opportunities will bring Traditional Knowledge and science together; assist the Vuntut Gwitchin to carry on traditional activities in their Traditional Territory and foster environmental stewardship.

Your Past Shapes Your Future honours the enduring human presence in Vuntut National Park by protecting and presenting its cultural resources. A Cultural Resource Management Strategy and a Cultural Resource Values Statement will be developed to guide cultural resource management work in the park. Outreach programs such as a curriculumlinked on-line educational resource based on a caribou fence interactive program will be developed. The Old Crow Basin has the greatest concentration of Pleistocene vertebrate fauna in Canada and possibly North America and Parks Canada will work with the Yukon government and Vuntut Gwitchin Government to develop a strategy for the management of palaeontological resources.

Vuntut National Park depends on the cooperation and support of many partners, stakeholders, the non-profit sector and others to achieve the park vision. Vuntut National Park will continue to work on building and maintaining relationships with these groups and individuals.

As a whole, this management plan intends to build stronger and more relevant connections between Vuntut National Park and a wider Canadian audience. It will result in a greater variety of interpretive materials and programs, meaningful visitor experiences, further integration of the park into local community life and an increased public sense of personal connection to Vuntut National Park.

In an effort to make this information available to you in a timely manner, this plan is currently only available in PDF format. Should you require an alternate format or a hard copy please contact us by e-mailing Whitehorse.info@pc.gc.ca.

2010 Vuntut National Park of Canada Management Plan (PDF, 1.57 MB)

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