National Wildlife Areas in the Northwest Territories
What is a National Wildlife Area?
- A National Wildlife Area (NWA) is a type of protected area. NWAs are
established for the purposes of conservation and research on wildlife of
national importance (including migratory birds, species at risk and others)
and their habitat. NWAs also protect important cultural areas for Aboriginal
people in the Northwest Territories.
- NWAs are established and managed under the Canada Wildlife Act,
administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service on behalf of the Minister
of the Environment.
- The establishment and management of NWAs respect Aboriginal rights
How is a National Wildlife Area created in the Northwest Territories?
- The identification of candidate NWAs follows the Northwest Territories
Protected Areas Strategy eight-step process.
- Local Aboriginal organizations (community and regional level) have
an important role throughout the protected areas strategy process, including
recommending the final boundary and submitting the request to establish the
area as an NWA to the Minister of the Environment.
- A federal cabinet decision is required to create an NWA.
- The legislative process to establish an NWA includes publication in the
Canada Gazette and listing in Schedule I of the Wildlife Area Regulations.
What activities are allowed or prohibited in a National Wildlife Area?
- Each NWA will have a management plan that provides details
on how the area will be managed.
- Aboriginal harvesting rights, including hunting and trapping,
are respected within an NWA.
- Specific activities considered harmful to species and/or their habitats
- Prohibited activities can be permitted, if, in Environment Canada's opinion,
those activities do not "interfere with the conservation of wildlife," the
activity is consistent with the purpose for which the NWA was established,
and the activity is consistent with the management plan for the NWA.
- Environment Canada encourages wildlife research and monitoring within an NWA.
Research activities require a permit from Environment Canada.
- Any commercial or industrial activity such as mineral staking is prohibited
within an NWA without a permit from Environment Canada.
- Outfitted hunting may be allowed within an NWA, but requires a permit from
Environment Canada. This permit is in addition to compliance with all other
federal and territorial legislation.
- Sport hunting may be allowed within an NWA, but requires permission from
Environment Canada. Sport hunting may be restricted through the management plan
and is subject to other federal and territorial legislation. Permission to hunt
may be obtained either by a public notice for the area or through individual
permits from Environment Canada.
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