Parks Canada unveils new PANP plan

Daily Herald Staff

Parks Canada aims to improve Prince Albert National Park’s ecosystem, tourism and Indigenous collaboration — among other areas — with its new management plan.

Catherine McKenna, minister responsible for Parks Canada, recently signed off on the plan and it’s now tabled in Parliament.

“The Government is committed to preserving our natural and cultural heritage, expanding the system of protected places and contributing to the recovery of species-at-risk,” McKenna wrote in her foreword

The plan shows the threatened Sturgeon River bison population is on the rise. The number of adult bison range from 320 to 430, according to the management plan, up from its low count of 250 in 2012.

Since 2009, the park’s grasslands ecological indicator increased from poor to fair. Through the use of controlled burn, restoration and invasive plant controls, the plan hopes to increase PANP’s grasslands by five per cent.

The park aims to also increase targeted marketing to grow the number of visitors from Saskatchewan’s big cities and urban regions.

Indigenous populations in and near the park will be consulted on various aspects of improving the park.

Parks Canada said they will work on forming educational programs with Indigenous Elders that provide meaningful experiences for visitors, create recruitment programs to employ Indigenous people at the park and consult the community on traditional methods of caring for the land.