Minister Announces Management Plan for Sahtu Region Territorial Park
by admin ~ February 16th, 2007
A new territorial park for CANOL Heritage Trail and Dodo Canyon promises protection for cultural heritage and new tourism opportunities for Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories. First proposed as part of the Sahtu Dene and Metis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement in 1994, NWT Minister Brendan Bell recently tabled a Management Plan for the Doi T’oh Territorial Park and CANOL Heritage Trail. The management plan was created in partnership with Sahtu Aboriginal land corporations. The CANOL Heritage Trail follows an access road that was used for the transport of heavy machinery during the construction of the Alaska Highway. It was also used extensively by the US Army during WWII as a land-based access route to Alaska, and for a hastily built oil pipeline to Norman Wells. It is now one of the most challenging hikes in Canada, and passes through a remote and scenic region in the heart of the Mackenzie Mountains and Carcajou River basin. Territorial park designation does not exclude the area from future subsurface mineral exploration or mineral claims. According to the press release: “The next steps in the creation of the proposed Doi T’oh Territorial Park and CANOL Heritage Trail will include: the formal transfer of Crown parklands from Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT); the designation of the park in Territorial Park legislation; and the establishment of a new claimant corporation to develop, operate and manage the new park.” Access to the park will likely begin at Norman Wells, where there is currently a museum dedicated to the CANOL pipeline and road.