AWA Letter: 2021 Waterton Lakes National Park Draft Management Plan
July 7, 2021
July 7, 2021
Superintendent Salman Rasheed,
Waterton Lakes Field Unit,
2021 Waterton Lakes National Park Draft Management Plan
Dear Superintendent Rasheed,
Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback on the Draft 2021 Waterton Lakes National Park Management Plan. AWA, founded in 1965, works throughout Alberta towards more representative and connected protection of the unique and vital landscapes that are the source of our clean water, clean air and wildlife habitat. With over 7,500 members and supporters in Alberta, across Canada and around the world AWA remains committed to ensuring protection of wildlife and wild places in Alberta for all Canadians.
We support the draft management plan and appreciate that Parks Canada integrated many of the conservation values AWA raised during the initial phase of consultation. Critical to the plan is the ongoing emphasis on ecological integrity as the primary management objective of the park and that measurable targets are in place to support this. We appreciate the recognition that there should be limits to visitation and parks infrastructure and that a Visitor Use Management (VUM) strategy will be developed by 2025. We also support the ongoing work to research the effects of wildfire, manage invasive species, reintroduce bison, encourage visitor stewardship and reduce the amount of personal vehicle use.
Integrating Indigenous knowledge, language and traditional use into park management is important to advancing reconciliation within Canada’s protected areas. AWA supports the steps taken to strengthen relationships with local Indigenous communities, including the Indigenous advisory committee for Waterton Lakes, Siksikaitsiitapi cultural orientation for staff, and the integration of Blackfoot greetings and place names into the park.
The plan recognizes Waterton’s role within the larger Crown of the Continent ecosystem and its importance for connectivity, species at risk, and headwaters protection. Working with regional partners is critical to the success of the park in conserving wilderness in the southwest corner of Alberta.
We look forward to the implementation of this plan and ongoing opportunities to participate in park management planning.
ALBERTA WILDERNESS ASSOCIATION
Devon Earl, Conservation Specialist
PDF Version: AWA: 2021 Waterton Lakes Draft Management Plan