Elk Island National Park needs your voice!

March 3, 2023
By: admin

A Guide: Elk Island National Park Draft Management Plan

Elk Island National Park has released their draft Management Plan for the next 10 years. They are seeking feedback from all of us who care about our National Parks! On the Parks Canada website, the public engagement period will close March 17th, 2023.  
 
There are two ways you can have your voice heard: you can send a letter using our template AND you can complete the Parks Canada survey here. Any way you choose to speak up for Elk Island National Park is impactful, thank you for taking action!

There are some key comments we want Parks Canada to hear:  

  • The park is small and needs to expand 
  • Any proposed National Urban Park in the Edmonton region should prioritize connecting to Elk Island National Park. 
  • The Park needs more resources for species at risk monitoring and habitat improvement and generally for improved protection of ecological conditions in the park. 
  • The connectivity between the two blocks of the park and with the surrounding area needs to be improved  

Elk Island: Representative of Alberta’s Parkland Region

Though small, Elk Island National Park is an incredibly important protected area in terms of ecological impact! It protects the endangered Aspen Parklands ecotype. It is also very important in terms of connectivity and as part of an ecological corridor along the North Saskatchewan River and is home to several species at risk. It has played a huge role in conservation of bison in North America and around the world! We are very lucky to have such an important and interesting ecological treasure so close to Edmonton! Let’s remind Parks Canada, at a national level, of the ecological importance of this park!

photo: Janice Hurlburt
photo: Janice Hurlburt
photo: CPAWS Staff
photo: CPAWS Staff

Elk Island needs additional supports from Parks Canada

  • The park is small and needs to expand. Any opportunity that Parks Canada has to acquire land surrounding the park must be jumped on immediately. To do this, there must be funds earmarked for expansion, so that Parks Canada is ready to purchase when opportunities arise. 
  • Any proposed National Urban Park in the Edmonton region should prioritize connecting to Elk Island National Park. Ideally the Astotin Creek watershed would be protected as part of Elk Island or as part of the National Urban Park. Read more about the National Urban Park intiative for the Edmonton region.  
  • The Park needs more resources for species at risk monitoring and habitat improvement and generally for improved protection of ecological conditions in the park. 
  • Park visitation has skyrocketed in recent years. Yay for loving our local National Park! But let’s not love it to death! The Park needs more resources and a well-thought-out plan to manage visitation. 
  • The Park is the only National Park in the country that is fully fenced. This is to keep the bison in, but that has consequences for movement of many other species as well. The connectivity between the two blocks of the park and with the surrounding area needs to be improved over time through increased permeability of the fence and wildlife crossings for Highway 16.

    The public engagement period will close March 17th please consider sending your letter or filling out the Parks Canada survey before the deadline!

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