Ukkusiksalik National Park is a new national park, established August 12, 2014. There are currently some facilities in place to support the park operations needed for visitor use, natural and cultural resource monitoring, research, etc. The former Government of Nunavut wildlife cabin in Douglas Harbour recently collapsed due to high winds. A naturalist lodge (Sila Lodge) no longer operates in the park area. Parks Canada held contracts with the lodge to serve as a base of operations for a few years, however contract payment issues, insurance and OSH concerns exist to operationally use the site. It will be several years before a long term set up can be established. In the interim, a Temporary Operational Camp will be established to support a variety of activities and projects within the boundaries of the national park, while providing a working area of safety for staff and users, especially from both Polar bears and grizzly bears. The duration of this project will only be for 3 years and accessed during the operating season (April/May and July/August). April/May – team of 2-4 staff. July/August – team of 6-12 staff.
Justification of the project:
• Provide a safe camp area for staff, visitors, and community members who are accessing the area for operational, visitation, or emergency purposes. This is key due to the high number of Polar bears frequenting the area.
• The camp will consist of hard sided shelters (maximum 2) and a surrounding electric bear fence.
• The project will assist with meeting objectives set out in the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for Ukkusiksalik National Park. Some of these objectives include determining areas for visitors to access, areas of importance to Inuit, training and development of staff, public safety, and management plan development.
Activities associated with this project:
• Construction of a temporary camp (maximum camp size).
o Construction of 2 wooden platform (16’X16’) on wood blocks directly on the tundra,
o Construction of 2 portable pre-fabricated fibreglass/hard plastic dome shelter (14’ diameter), which sits on top of the wood platform, and
o Installing a high tensile portable bear fence (100’x100’ enclosure) around the shelter.
• There will also be a number of tent and canvas shelters erected for weeks at a time during each operational season within the fenced enclosure.
• Method of transportation
o Aircraft access (fixed wing and helicopter) to and from the temporary camp location. When picking the location an important factor is choosing an area that is suitable to land aircraft safely.
o Exploratory hiking – day trips to multi-day trips from the camp location.
• Fuel caching of approximately 5 drums of aviation fuel during each operational season to support projects and activities within the national park.
• A portable generator will be used to power hand tools, computers, equipment.
Some efforts were made in the past to search for potential areas to set up a base of operations. The main criteria used in the search were access (by fixed winged aircraft, snowmobile, and boat with safe harbor), presence of drinking water, and avoid critical wildlife habitat/conflict (ie - islands are known for presence of bears). Few areas can satisfy all criteria but some potential remains between Douglas Harbour and Bennett Bay.
After 3 operating seasons, Parks Canada will determine if the area is suitable for a permanent operational base camp, an emergency type shelter for visitors and user groups, or no structures at all. With the national park being in its infancy stage, areas for suitable operational camps, or structures, is unknown and this type of project will help determine those areas and fill in those knowledge gaps.
Assessment Phase / Activity
- Application screening started 2017-06-16
- Technical advisor assigned 2017-06-26
- Commenting period 2017-07-14
- Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2017-07-18
- Board voting 2017-07-31
- SDR Issued 2017-07-31
- NOI Issued 2017-07-31
- Application screening completed 2017-07-31
- Project Proposal (16)
- Public Notice (5)
- Comment Submissions (1)
- Screening Decision Report (5)
- Conformity Determination (1)
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