Parks Canada gets set for next phase of trail building in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
October 10, 2017 Ucluelet, British Columbia Parks Canada Agency
National parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer. Parks Canada protects and presents these treasures because they tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples.
The new multi-purpose trail in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will provide an opportunity to celebrate Canada’s rich natural and cultural heritage. Located in the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, the trail will extend approximately 25 km from the southern to the northern boundary of the Long Beach Unit. The trail will enable visitors to explore the wonders of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, whether they are walking or cycling, and also responds to a long-time request from local communities.
Initial work on the trail began in February 2017 with environmental and cultural assessments, and site preparation. The next phase of the work will begin in the spring of 2018. Following Parks Canada's established processes and rigorous standards for ecological protection, work will include preparation of the trail bed, in both the southern and northern portions, including laying gravel, installing drainage culverts and building bridges.
This project is moving forward in partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. Parks Canada is working with both First Nations to identify potential economic benefits, and is actively exploring opportunities for involvement by the local Indigenous communities during the next phase of work. A Request for Information (RFI) will be posted on the Government of Canada’s tendering website (Buy and Sell) to seek the interest from industry in participating in the construction phase of the project, as well as the capacity and availability of local First Nations to be directly involved in the construction of the trail.
Originally announced in Budget 2016, to date, the Government of Canada has invested $17.7 million towards the development of this multi-use trail that will span the length of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, with an additional investment estimated to be $16.3 million planned for the next phase of the project.
In the coming months, the First Nations will provide the trail with a Nuu-chah-nulth name and Nuu-chah-nulth place names to ensure the cultural significance of the area where the trail traverses is acknowledged and appreciated.
Strict development limits are in place to ensure the protection of ecological integrity in Canada’s national parks. Parks Canada has a rigorous development review and environmental assessment process that ensures all new infrastructure projects comply with these limits and that the park’s ecological integrity is maintained. Additionally, any development in national parks is managed through consultation with Indigenous Peoples, information sharing with stakeholders and Canadians, and planning that is informed by science.
The first phase of the project involved extensive environmental, archaeological and engineering studies, the preparation of a Detailed Impact Analysis (otherwise known as an environmental assessment), trail design and planning, and trail building at the northern boundary of the park reserve. Work to clear the southern section of the trail began in August, after the end of the migratory bird nesting period.
Parks Canada Agency
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