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CPAWS welcomes today’s announcement of new parks for Mealy Mountains, Labrador


Happy Valley-Goose Bay – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society welcomes the announcements today by the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland-Labrador that they will establish a new national park reserve and an adjacent provincial waterways park in the pristine Boreal wilderness area of Labrador’s Mealy Mountains.

This area, which has long been treasured by Aboriginal people, shelters spectacular wilderness, along with a threatened woodland caribou herd, moose, black bear, osprey, bald eagles and a species of special concern, the eastern population of the harlequin duck. It is also a prime destination for salmon anglers.

“We are very pleased that the governments of both Canada and Newfoundland are moving ahead now to permanently protect these important ecological areas in our province,” says CPAWS- Newfoundland-Labrador chapter coordinator Suzanne Dooley, who attended the announcement today in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

“CPAWS has long advocated for faster action to complete Canada’s national parks system, and this marks a welcome step forward,” adds the organization’s national executive director, Eric Hebert-Daly.

“We are also pleased that the federal government has indicated it will accommodate traditional uses by local Aboriginal peoples in the new national park reserve for activities including hunting, trapping and gathering of traditional foods,” adds Dooley.

Today\'s announcement by the Government of Canada to move ahead with the establishment of the Mealy Mountains National Park, encompassing 10,700 km2, and by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to designate 3,000 km2 of the adjacent lEagle River watershed for inclusion in a new waterway provincial park, will create a total protected area of nearly 14,000 km2 in central Labrador. It will become the largest protected area in Eastern Canada, and nearly double the total area protected within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

CPAWS is Canada’s voice for wilderness. Since 1963, our organization has played a lead role in creating over two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas. Our vision is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water. CPAWS is also a founding member of the Boreal Leadership Council which supports protection of at least half of Canada’s Boreal forest. 

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For more background on today’s announcement, view Parks Canada’s release at www.pc.gc.ca (under Media Room)

NL Department of Environment and Conservation
Melony O.Neill
moneill@gov.nl.ca or (709)729-2575

For interviews, contact:

Suzanne Dooley, CPAWS Newfoundland-Labrador Chapter, (cell) (709) 682-9194

or Ellen Adelberg, CPAWS Communications Director, (613) 569-7226 ext. 234