A bull bison on one of Wood Buffalo National Park's main roads. Photo: Louis Bockner/Sierra Club BC.

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest national park, covering 44,807 square kilometres of northeastern Alberta and stretching into the Northwest Territories. The park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

In 2017, UNESCO monitors visited the park at the invitation of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, resulting in a report that the park is under threat from unbridled oilsands development, dams on the Peace River in British Columbia and lack of cumulative impact studies on the Peace-Athabasca delta.

Wood Buffalo National Park map

Map of threats to Wood Buffalo National Park from UNESCO report.

UNESCO made 17 recommendations to improve the park’s environmental health. Otherwise, Wood Buffalo National Park may end up on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

In early June 2018, The Narwhal sent reporter Judith Lavoie to Wood Buffalo National Park to report on the future of the park and its people. She produced a three-part series, accompanied by photographs by Louis Bockner.

On June 26, 2018, the Canadian government announced it will dedicate $27.5 million in funding over five years to support the development of an action plan to secure the future of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.

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