Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Kluane First Nation, and Parks Canada are teaming up to restore forest ecosystems in Kluane National Park and Reserve.
Early this month, Brendan Hanley, member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, the minister of Environment and Climate Change and minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced a federal investment of CA$2.5 million over five years for the project.
According to a press release, the project will help plan long-term steps to restore and increase the resilience of the park’s forests while revitalizing Southern Tutchone traditions and culture.
“The Government of Canada is protecting national parks in Canada, restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems, and contributing to the recovery of species at risk,” Parks Canada stated in a press release.
“Collaborating with numerous Indigenous groups across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places.”
Research is also underway to advance a greater understanding of the history of fire in Kluane National Park and Reserve, looking at both human-caused and natural-caused wildfires throughout the forested areas.
Parks Canada aims to restore fire to Kluane National Park and Reserve by 2025, sharing leadership of this project with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Kluane First Nation, and using an approach informed by Western and First Nations’ knowledge systems.
Final decisions on restoring fire to the park, such as selecting sites and actions, for prescribed fire, will be carried out based on the shared goals of all partners.