Today bison are only wild in national parks, state parks, and reserves. This short video showcases Canada's largest UNESCO world heritage site and national park as well as its oldest northern national park. Traditional, subsistence harvesting continues to be an important part of the ecological and cultural identity of Wood Buffalo National Park. [citation needed], In 1983, a 21-year lease was granted to Canadian Forest Products Ltd. to log a 50,000-hectare area of Wood Buffalo National Park. Commercial flights are available to Fort Smith and Fort Chipewyan from Edmonton. Their population is currently estimated at more than 5,000. It is located in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories.Larger in area than Switzerland, it is the second-largest national park in the world. [9], On June 28, 2013, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated Wood Buffalo National Park as Canada's newest and the world's largest dark-sky preserve. Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest national park of Canada at 44,807 km2 (17,300 sq mi). The park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its bison population (the largest in North America) and the largest inland delta. It was established in 1922 to protect the world's largest herd of free-roaming wood bison, currently estimated at more than 5,000. The result of these Supreme Court of Canada decisions is that Parks Canada now recognizes the Treaty 8 Right to harvest in the park and the Asserted Rights of the Métis. Traditional cultural use by Indigenous harvesters preserves and transmits Indigenous culture to future generations and contributes to the sharing and growth of Indigenous ecological knowledge of the land and waters in and around the park. This is the utter madness of colonial borders. [18], Wood Buffalo National Park contains a large variety of wildlife species, such as red fox, bison, moose, great grey owls, black bears, hawks, timber wolves, lynxes, beavers, snowy owls, marmots, bald eagles, martens, wolverines, peregrine falcons, whooping cranes, snowshoe hares, sandhill cranes, ruffed grouses, and the world's northernmost population of red-sided garter snakes, which form communal dens within the park. After park establishment traditional harvesting was considered a “privilege”, not an Aboriginal or Treaty Right, and permits were limited in number. Between 1951 and 1967, 4000 bison were killed and 2,000,000 pounds (910 t) of meat were sold from a special abattoir built at Hay Camp. Straddling the province of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, Canada’s largest park–five times the size of Yellowstone National Park–was established in 1922 to protect the free-roaming buffalo herds. It is also the most ecologically complete and largest example of the Great Plains-Boreal grassland ecosystem of North America. Agriculture was never developed in this part of Western Canada, unlike to the south; thus hunting and trapping remained the dominant industry in this region well into the twentieth century, and are still vital to many of its inhabitants. Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest National Park of Canada at 44,807 km 2 (17,300 sq mi). The park itself completely surrounds several Indian reserves such as Peace Point and ʔejëre K’elnı Kuę́ (also called Hay Camp). Wood Buffalo National Park is at risk of losing its UNESCO Heritage Status. Before the trial commenced in 1992, Parks Canada acquiesced and recognized that the lease was invalid and unauthorized by the provisions of the act. Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest national park of Canada at 44,807 km 2 (17,300 sq mi). WBNP was established in 1922 and was placed on the World Wood Buffalo Park contains the only natural nesting habitat for the endangered whooping crane. In 2007, the world's largest beaver dam – about 850-metre (2,790 ft) in length – was discovered in the park using satellite imagery;[24][25][26] The dam, located at 58°16.3′N 112°15.1′W / 58.2717°N 112.2517°W / 58.2717; -112.2517,[27] about 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Fort Chipewyan, had only been sighted by satellite and fixed-wing aircraft until July 2014. A thorough understanding of traditional and scientific information is critical to protecting the ecological and cultural integrity of Wood Buffalo National Park. Archeological evidence shows that Indigenous people have inhabited the region that is now Wood Buffalo National Park for more than 8000 years, long before fur traders arrived in the early 1700s. HSMBC Plaque Ceremony for Francois Beaulieu II (Died 1872)  - Photo of the descendants of this founding father of the NWT Metis. With longstanding concerns about the deterioration of the park, the Mikisew Cree First Nation formally petitioned the UN body in 2014 to have the site listed as … The 583 km (225 sq mi) park land now comprises the majority of Canadian Forces Base Wainwright. The only places free of bison were along the coasts and deserts. The Government of Canada’s response for the park area was to respect the Métis assertion of Rights. [15], In June 2019, UNESCO expressed concerns about managements of ecological health and indigenous usage especially water decline, and "warned" the park about potential delisting it from the World Heritage List. Gros Beak Lake (Wood Buffalo National Park) 1 Wood Buffalo National Park – This massive park is a UNESCO world heritage site that extends into the Northwest Territories. [18] Fall tends to have cool, windy and dry days in which the first snowfall usually occurs in October. The first Park Warden was Bud Cotton, who served from 1912 through 1940. Discover Wood Buffalo National Park in Improvement District No. [32] Winter access is also available using winter and ice roads from Fort McMurray through Fort Chipewyan. Canada purchased the Hudson's Bay Company's claim to the region in 1870. Sometime after 1781 when a smallpox epidemic decimated the region, the two groups made a peace treaty at Peace Point through a ceremonial pipe ceremony. Between 1925 and 1928, plains mostos were introduced in an effort to increase the number of animals in Wood Buffalo National Park. Wood Buffalo National Park, park in northern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories, Canada, between Athabasca and Great Slave lakes. [5][6][7] It is one of two known nesting sites of whooping cranes. Situated at the junction of three major rivers used as canoe routes for trade — the Athabasca, Peace and the Slave Rivers — the region that later became the national park was well travelled for millennia. Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. A more inclusive approach to harvesting was adopted. Over the years the privileged based system continued to be an issue of concern for local Indigenous people. Year-round access is available to Fort Smith by road on the Mackenzie Highway, which connects to Highway 5 near Hay River, Northwest Territories. Wood Buffalo National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is to receive nearly $60 million over the next three years to consider threats from hydro and oilsands development and climate change. Real change did not happen until two key Supreme Court of Canada cases were concluded: Subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping occurs today in Wood Buffalo National Park, as it has for centuries. At 44,802 sq.km., this is the largest NP in North America and bigger than Switzerland. As part of that decision the court recognized that there was an existing right under Treaty 8 to hunt, fish and trap for personal use within the park. The park headquarters is located in Fort Smith, with a smaller satellite office in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. [18] Winters are cold with temperatures that can drop below −40 °C (−40.0 °F) in January and February, the coldest months. However, given the large area to be taken up as a National Park, eliminating all harvesting was not considered reasonable. There have been nearly 100 years of bison management strate- gies. Outside the park boundary though, anyone who wanted to shoot ejëre east of Highway 35 in Alberta, could. It protects the largest intact boreal forest on earth, contains the largest freshwater inland delta on earth, and is home to a herd of rare wood bison (or "wood buffalo"). History, politics, arts, science & more: the Canadian Encyclopedia is your reference on Canada. 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