Legal Protection Statement for the Critical Habitat of Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal population, in Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada

This statement describes how the critical habitat of the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal population, is legally protected on federal land and water within Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada (NPRC). It is made by the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency pursuant to paragraph 58(5)(b) of the Species at Risk Act S.C. 2002, c. 29 (SARA). All sections referenced in this statement are reproduced in full in the attached Appendix 1.

The critical habitat of Woodland Caribou, Boreal population, was identified in the Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal population, in Canada, as posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry in October 2012. The recovery strategy should be consulted for a detailed description of critical habitat, including its location and biophysical attributes, and examples of activities likely to destroy it.

Nahanni NPRC is a National Park Reserve listed on Schedule 2 to the Canada National Parks Act (CNPA), S.C. 2000, c. 32, which applies to park reserves (sections 2[1] and 39). Pursuant to subsection 6(4) of the Parks Canada Agency Act (PCAA), the Parks Canada Agency is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the CNPA.

The CNPA provides legal protection against the destruction of critical habitat through several provisions:

  • s.8(2) of the CNPA states that maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of parks; and
  • s.2(1) of the CNPA defines “ecological integrity” as “... a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes”, which therefore includes species at risk, and their habitat; and
  • s. 10 of the National Parks General Regulations, SOR/78-213, prohibits removing, defacing, damaging, or destruction of any flora or natural objects except in accordance with a permit issued under the General Regulations and within the confines of s. 8(2) of the CNPA.

The protection measures listed above provide protection against destruction of critical habitat that may result from the activities likely to destroy as described in section 7.3 of the recovery strategy.

Appendix 1

SPECIES AT RISK ACT, S.C. 2002, c. 29

Section 58. (5) Within 180 days after the recovery strategy or action plan that identified the critical habitat is included in the public registry, the competent minister must, after consultation with every other competent minister, with respect to all of the critical habitat or any portion of the critical habitat that is not in a place referred to in subsection (2),

  1. make the order referred to in subsection (4) if the critical habitat or any portion of the critical habitat is not legally protected by provisions in, or measures under, this or any other Act of Parliament, including agreements under section 11; or
  2. if the competent minister does not make the order, he or she must include in the public registry a statement setting out how the critical habitat or portions of it, as the case may be, are legally protected.

CANADA NATIONAL PARKS ACT, S.C. 2000, c. 32

Section 2. (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act.

“park reserve”
means a national park reserve of Canada named and described in Schedule 2.
“ecological integrity”
means “... a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes”

Section 8. (2) Maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of parks.

Section 39. Subject to sections 40 and 41, this Act applies to a park reserve as if it were a park.

PARKS CANADA AGENCY ACT, 1988, c. 31

Section 6. (4) The Agency is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Acts listed in Part 1 of the schedule and any regulations made under those Acts and the regulations listed in Part 2 of the schedule.

NATIONAL PARKS GENERAL REGULATIONS (SOR/78-213)

Section 10. No person shall remove, deface, damage or destroy any flora or natural objects in a Park except in accordance with a permit issued under subsection 11(1) or 12(1).