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Nahanni timeline

Timeline of Nahanni Forever campaign and park expansion: Over many decades there have been unprecedented levels of public support expressed for protecting the South Nahanni watershed

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Establishment of Nahanni National Park Reserve (4,766 km2)



Recognition of Nahanni National Park Reserve and Karstlands as first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Formal recognition of need to expand park in Nahanni NPRManagement Plan.



South NahanniRiver designated CanadianHeritageRiver.



Dehcho First Nations propose protection of entire South Nahanni Watershed.



Government of Canada Action Plan for National Parks includes expansion of Nahanni NPR.



Parks Canada and Dehcho First Nations sign Memorandum of Understanding to work together towards park expansion.


2003 Interim protection for part of South Nahanni watershed as part of Dehcho/Canada self-governance negotiations.

Parks Canada/Dehcho form Nahanni Expansion Working Group (NEWG) to study and recommend a final boundary for the expanded park.  Entire watershed and Nahanni karstlands identified as the area of interest.



The 8th World Wilderness Congress passed a resolution urging Canada to protect the entire South Nahanni Watershed because of its globally significant values.



CPAWS Nahanni Forever tour crosses Canada, stopping in 18 cities from coast to coast to coast, with special guests Dehcho Grand Chief Herb Norwegian, scientists, musicians, celebrities and conservationists.

Jul, 2006

UNESCO World Heritage Committee recommends that Canada protect the entire South Nahanni Watershed in order to protect the globally significant values of the Nahanni World Heritage Site;


Jan, 2007

Federal Environment Minister Baird commits to advancing protection of a suite of sites in the NWT, including Nahanni.


Aug, 2007

Prime Minister Harper and Environment Minister Baird commit to massive expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve and announce temporary protection of Dehchoportionof watershed until Oct. 31, 2008, to allow expansion process to be completed.

Nov, 2007

Public consultations held on proposed expanded boundaries of Nahanni. Overwhelming public support expressed for protecting entire watershed.


Nov, 2007 – Apr, 2008 Environment Minister Baird announces interim protection of 7,600 sq. km. Nahanni Headwaters (Sahtu region) for creation of Nááts’ihch’oh National Park.
Sep, 2008

Final boundaries announced for Nahanni National Park Reserve, permanently protecting 93% of the Dehcho part of the South Nahanni watershed and Nahanni karstlands.


Apr, 2009

Nahanni National Park Reserve was designated a Wilderness Area. This means Nahanni now has the highest level of protection available to a national park.


Jun, 2009

Prime Minister announces permanent protection for a massively expanded Nahanni National Park Reserve

Dec, 2009

Dehcho First Nations honoured with a Boreal award on their leadership in Boreal conservation. CPAWS nominated the Dehcho for their vision and determination to protect the South Nahanni watershed.


Apr, 2010

Over 1,600 Canadians participated in public consultations on the proposed Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve, with over 96% expressing support for creating Nááts’ihch’ohNPR, and the vast majority preferring the option of protecting the entire South Nahanni River watershed.


Nov, 2011

CPAWS, Parks Canada and the Dehcho First Nations receive prestigious Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s Gold Metal for Nahanni NPR expansion.


Aug, 2012

Prime Minister announces new Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve in Nahanni Headwaters but CPAWS is concerned boundary is too small to protect wildlife.


May, 2014

Legislation tabled in Parliament to establish Nááts’ihch’ohNPR in Nahanni Headwaters. CPAWS expresses disappointment for boundary that does not reflect the extensive scientific evidence or widespread public support for protecting the entire Nahanni headwaters.



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