Parks Canada makes additional investment in ʔapsčiik t̓ašii multi-use trail in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to protect the environment and cultural heritage
November 14, 2018 Ucluelet, British Columbia Parks Canada Agency
Canadians love nature. The diversity of stunning natural landscapes across our country are preserved and protected by Parks Canada. Our Parks allow us to touch nature in new ways, to see amazing wildlife and stunning vistas, and to understand the natural wonder of our country more deeply. By expanding the trails through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Parks Canada will allow more Canadians to experience the beauty of Vancouver Island.
ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) is a new 25 km multi-use trail located in the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. The trail has long been wished for by local communities and visitors to the park. It will span the length of the park reserve’s Long Beach Unit, as an accessible trail, and it will offer pedestrians and cyclists an alternative to motorized transport.
As stewards of the land, Parks Canada is responsible for ensuring the work on any project supports its obligations to local communities, environment, and cultural heritage. The trail is in the final stages of design and building will begin in the spring. Once complete, ʔapsčiik t̓ašii will offer visitors a safe, sustainable, and accessible trail, all while protecting the ecologically and culturally sensitive environment found in the park reserve.
As part of the project, Parks Canada conducted a number of environmental, engineering, archaeological, and traditional-use studies in order to adapt the trail design to protect sensitive features. Along the route, archeological sites were identified by Indigenous knowledge holders and species-at-risk habitats were identified, leading to redesigns as the trail has developed. As work progresses on ʔapsčiik t̓ašii, Parks Canada continues to gain valuable knowledge about the ecology, cultural heritage, and topography of this area.
Approximately $17 million in additional funding is being invested in ʔapsčiik t̓ašii to allow for these important changes which will strengthen environmental and cultural protection. 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 working to involve local Indigenous communities in the project. Parks Canada is committed to developing a system of national heritage places that recognizes the role of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their traditional use of these special places.
“National parks represent the very best that Canada has to offer, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. I am pleased that ʔapsčiik t̓ašii is moving forward and that it will preserve the rich cultural heritage of the local First Nations. No relationship is more important to the Government of Canada than the one with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The close collaboration with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ is part of our government’s ongoing efforts towards reconciliation. This new trail is a wonderful opportunity to reintroduce visitors to the beauty, history, and culture of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.”
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
In October 2017, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ chose ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) as the official name given to the multi-use trail. The name is Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, and translates to “going in the right direction on the trail.”
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. The second phase of the project will include preparation of the trail bed, in both the southern and northern portions, including laying gravel, installing drainage culverts, and building bridges.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
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