The Info List - Wood Buffalo National Park

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Wood Buffalo National Park
Buffalo National Park
is the largest National Park of Canada
at 44,807 km2 (17,300 sq mi). It is located in northeastern Alberta
and the southern Northwest Territories. Larger in area than Switzerland,[1] it is the second-largest national park in the world.[2] The park was established in 1922 to protect the world's largest herd of free roaming wood bison, currently estimated at more than 5,000. It is one of two known nesting sites of whooping cranes. The park ranges in elevation from 183 m (600 ft) at the Little Buffalo River to 945 m (3,100 ft) in the Caribou Mountains. The park headquarters is located in Fort Smith, with a smaller satellite office in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. The park contains one of the world's largest fresh water deltas, the Peace-Athabasca Delta, formed by the Peace, Athabasca and Birch Rivers. It is also known for its karst sinkholes in the north-eastern section of the park. Alberta's largest springs (by volume, with an estimated discharge rate of eight cubic meters per second), Neon Lake Springs, are located in the Jackfish River drainage.[3] Wood Buffalo is located directly north of the Athabasca Oil Sands. This area was designated a UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
in 1983 for the biological diversity of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the world's largest freshwater deltas, as well as the population of wild bison.[4] On June 28, 2013, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
designated Wood Buffalo National Park
Buffalo National Park
as Canada's newest and the world's largest dark-sky preserve. Parks Canada
claims that the designation will help preserve nighttime ecology for the park’s large populations of bats, night hawks and owls, as well as providing opportunities for visitors to experience the northern lights.[5] The Wood Buffalo National Park had planned to celebrate the new designation with a Dark Sky Festival on August 23–25, 2013, featuring camping, astronomical presentations, a planetarium experience, and night sky viewing opportunities.


1 History

1.1 Before the park 1.2 As a national park

2 Climate 3 Wildlife 4 Transportation 5 Gallery 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] Before the park[edit] Main articles: Peace River country
Peace River country
and Athabasca Country This region has been inhabited by human cultures since the end of the last ice age. Aboriginal peoples in this region have followed variations on the subarctic lifeway, based around hunting, fishing, and gathering. Situated at the junction of three major rivers used as canoe routes for trade — the Athabasca, Peace and the Slave Rivers — the region that later became the national park was well travelled for millennia. In recorded times, the Dane-zaa
(historically called the "Beaver tribe"), the Chipewyan people, the South Slavey
( Dene Tha'), and Woods Cree people are known to have inhabited, and sometimes quarrelled over, the region. The Dane-zaa, Chipewyan, and South Slavey
speak (or spoke) languages from the Northern Athabaskan family which is also common in the regions to the north and west of the park, and call themselves the "Dene" collectively. The Cree, by contrast, are an Algonquian people
Algonquian people
and are thought to have migrated here from the east within the timeframe of recorded history. Sometime after 1781 when a smallpox epidemic decimated the region, the two groups made a peace treaty at Peace Point
Peace Point
through a ceremonial pipe ceremony. This is the origin of the name of the Peace River
Peace River
which flows through the region: the river became the boundary with the Dane-zaa
to the North and the Cree to the South.[citation needed] Explorer Peter Pond
Peter Pond
is believed to have passed through the region in 1785, likely the first European to do so, followed by Alexander Mackenzie three years later. In 1788 fur trading posts were established at Fort Chipewyan
Fort Chipewyan
just east of the current boundaries of the park and Fort Vermilion just to the west. And the Peace River, which had long been used by the First Nations as a trade route, also now also added to the growing network of canoe routes used in the North American fur trade. From the fur trade, the Métis people emerged as another major group in the region. Canada
purchased the Hudson's Bay Company's claim to the region in 1896. Agriculture was never developed in this part of Western Canada, unlike to the south; thus hunting and trapping remained the dominant industry in this region well into the twentieth century, and are still vital to many of its inhabitants. Following the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondike Gold Rush
of 1897, however, the Canadian governments was keen to extinguish Aboriginal title
Aboriginal title
to the land, so that any mineral wealth found in the future could be exploited despite any objections from First Nations. This led to the signing of Treaty 8
Treaty 8
on 21 June 1899. The land then passed into the hand of the federal government as "Crown land". As a national park[edit] See also: History of bison conservation in Canada Established in 1922, the park was created on Crown land acquired the territory of Treaty 8
Treaty 8
between Canada
and the local First Nations. The park itself completely surrounds several Indian reserves such as Peace Point and ?Ejere K'elni Kue (also called Hay Camp). Between 1925 and 1928, over 6,000 plains bison were introduced to the park, where they hybridized with the local wood bison, as well as introducing bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis diseases into the herd. Parks officials have since that time attempted to undo this damage with successive culls of diseased animals. In 1957, however, a disease-free, wood bison herd of 200 was discovered near Nyarling river in Wood Buffalo National Park. In 1965, 23 of these bison were relocated to the south side of Elk Island National Park
Elk Island National Park
and 300 remain there today as the most genetically pure wood bison remaining. Between 1951 and 1967, four thousand bison were killed and 2,000,000 pounds (910,000 kg) of meat were sold from a special abattoir built at Hay Camp. These smaller culls did not eradicate the diseases, however, and in 1990 a plan was announced to cull the entire herd and restock it with undiseased animals from Elk Island National Park. This plan was abandoned due to a negative public reaction to the announcement.[6] Since that time, wolves, the bison's main predator, have recovered in numbers due to a reduction in control efforts (mostly poisoning), reducing the size of the herd.[citation needed] In 1983, a 21-year lease was granted to Canadian Forest Products Ltd. to log a 50,000 hectare area of Wood Buffalo National Park. A lawsuit was filed by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society against Parks Canada
for violating the National Parks Act. Before the trial commenced in 1992, Parks Canada
acquiesced and recognized that the lease was invalid and unauthorized by the provisions of the Act.[7] Climate[edit] In the park, summers are very short, but days are long.[8] Temperatures range between 10 to 30 °C (50.0 to 86.0 °F) during this season.[8] On average, summers are characterized by warm and dry days although in some years, it can have cool and wet days.[8] The mean high in July is 22.5 °C (72.5 °F) while the mean low is 9.5 °C (49.1 °F).[8] Fall tends to have cool, windy and dry days in which the first snowfall usually occurs in October.[8] Winters are cold with temperatures that can drop below −40 °C (−40.0 °F) in January and February, the coldest months.[8] The mean high in January is −21.7 °C (−7.1 °F) while the mean low is −31.8 °C (−25.2 °F).[8] In spring, temperatures gradually warm up as the days become longer.[8] Wildlife[edit] Wood Buffalo National Park
Buffalo National Park
contains a large variety of wildlife species, such as moose, bison, great grey owls, black bears, hawks, spotted owls, wolf packs, lynxes, beavers, snowy owls, marmots, bald eagles, martens, wolverines, peregrine falcons, whooping cranes, snowshoe hares, sandhill cranes, ruffed grouses, and the world's northernmost population of red-sided garter snakes, which form communal dens within the park. Wood Buffalo Park contains the only natural nesting habitat for the endangered whooping crane. Known as Whooping Crane Summer Range, it is classified as a Ramsar site. It was identified through the International Biological Program. The range is a complex of contiguous water bodies, primarily lakes and various wetlands, such as marshes and bogs, but also includes streams and ponds. In 2007, the world's largest beaver dam – about 850-metre (2,790 ft) in length – was discovered in the park using satellite imagery;[9][10][11] The dam, located at 58°16.3′N 112°15.1′W / 58.2717°N 112.2517°W / 58.2717; -112.2517,[12] about 200 kilometres (120 mi) from Fort Chipewyan, had only been sighted by satellite and fixed-wing aircraft until July 2014.[13][14] Transportation[edit] Year-round access is available to Fort Smith by road on the Mackenzie Highway, which connects to Highway 5 near Hay River, Northwest Territories. Commercial flights are available to Fort Smith and Fort Chipewyan from Edmonton.[15] Winter access is also available using winter and ice roads from Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray
through Fort Chipewyan. Gallery[edit]

Location and extent

Wood bison
Wood bison
(Bison bison athabascae)


American white pelicans at Rapids of the Drowned (Slave River)

Beaver lodge

Pine Lake

See also[edit]

Geography of Canada

List of mountains in Alberta Buffalo National Park List of National Parks of Canada List of Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
parks List of parks in Alberta List of trails in Alberta List of waterfalls of Alberta National Parks of Canada


^ "World's largest beaver dam". Parks Canada–Wood Buffalo National Park. Retrieved 12 January 2016.  ^ Johnston, Karl. "Heaven Below Me – Exploring Wood Buffalo National Park from the Air". Let's Be Wild. Retrieved 16 November 2012.  ^ Rollins, John (2004). Caves Of The Canadian Rockies And Columbia Mountains. Surrey, Canada: Rocky Mountain Books. ISBN 978-0-92110-294-6. Retrieved 25 May 2015.  ^ "Wood Buffalo National Park: Statement of Significance". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 18 December 2014.  ^ Thompson, Deborah (2 August 2013). "RASC Designates Wood Buffalo National Park as a New Dark Sky Preserve" (Press release). Toronto, Canada. Retrieved 3 August 2013.  ^ Sandlos, John (2013). "Northern bison sanctuary or big ranch? Wood Buffalo National Park". Arcadia Project. Environment & Society Portal. ISSN 2199-3408. Retrieved 25 May 2015.  ^ Boyd, David R. (2004). Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy. Vancouver: UBC Press, University of British Columbia. ISBN 0-7748-1048-3.  ^ a b c d e f g h "Wood Buffalo National Park
Buffalo National Park
Weather". Parks Canada. Retrieved August 22, 2015.  ^ Kleiss, Karen (6 May 2010). "Giant beaver pond visible from space". The Vancouver Sun. Canwest News Service. Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2014.  ^ Comte, Michel; Lemieux, Jacques (5 May 2010). "World's biggest beaver dam discovered in northern Canada". Yahoo!. L’Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 9 May 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2014.  ^ "Largest Beaver Dam Seen From Space". Discovery News. L’Agence France-Presse. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2015.  ^ Thie, Jean. "Exploring Beaver Habitat and Distribution with Google Earth: The Longest Beaver Dam in the World". EcoInformatics International. Retrieved 18 September 2014.  ^ Lilwall, Scott (19 September 2014). "U.S. Explorer Reaches World's Largest Beaver Dam: Adventurer Bushwacks Through Dense Northeast Alberta
Boreal Forest". CBC New Canada. CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved 14 May 2016.  ^ Klinkenberg, Marty (18 September 2014). "U.S. Explorer Reaches World's Largest Beaver Dam: Adventurer Bushwacks Through Dense Northeast Alberta
Boreal Forest". Water Supply Association of B.C. Edmonton
Journal. Retrieved 25 May 2015.  ^ "Wood Buffalo National Park
Buffalo National Park
of Canada
- How to Get There". Parks Canada. Archived from the original on 15 June 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wood Buffalo National Park.

Map Highlighting Park's Boundaries

Official website "Aerial photos of Wood Buffalo National Park", Canadian Geographic Park at UNESCO
World Heritage Site Great Canadian Parks Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada

v t e

Subdivisions of the Northwest Territories

Census divisions

Region 1 Unorganized Region 2 Unorganized Region 3 Unorganized Region 4 Unorganized Region 5 Unorganized Region 6 Unorganized

Former census divisions

Fort Smith Inuvik

Dehcho Region


Fort Liard Fort Simpson
Fort Simpson
(regional seat)


Jean Marie River Nahanni Butte Sambaa K'e Wrigley



Aklavik Fort McPherson Inuvik
(regional seat) Paulatuk Sachs Harbour Tsiigehtchic Tuktoyaktuk Ulukhaktok

North Slave Region


(regional seat) Gamèti Wekweeti Whatì Yellowknife
(regional seat and capital) (N'Dilo)


Dettah Lutselk'e

Sahtu Region


Deline Fort Good Hope Norman Wells
Norman Wells
(regional seat) Tulita


Colville Lake

South Slave Region


Enterprise Fort Providence Fort Resolution Fort Smith (regional seat) Hay River (regional seat)


Hay River Reserve Kakisa

Weather stations (outside of communities)

Cape Parry Mould Bay Sachs Harbour
Sachs Harbour
Climate Tuktoyaktuk Yellowknife

Mine sites


Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine Project Thor Lake


Cantung Mine Diavik Diamond Mine Ekati Diamond Mine Snap Lake Diamond Mine


Beaulieu Mine Burwash Mine Camlaren Mine Colomac Mine Con Mine Discovery Mine Echo Bay Mines Eldorado Mine Giant Mine Negus Mine Outpost Island Mine Pine Point Mine Ptarmigan and Tom Mine Rayrock Mine Ruth Mine Salmita Mine Thompson-Lundmark Mine Tundra Mine

DEW line and NWS sites

Atkinson Point (BAR-D) Cape Parry (PIN-MAIN) Clinton Point (PIN-1) Horton River (Malloch Hills) (BAR-E) Keats Point (PIN-1BD) Liverpool Bay (BAR-DA1) Nicholson Peninsula (BAR-4) Pearce Point (PIN-A) Storm Hills (BAR-BA3) Tuktoyaktuk
(BAR-3) Tununuk Camp (BAR-C)

Hudson's Bay Company trading posts

Aklavik Fort Good Hope Fort Collinson Fort Liard Fort Franklin Fort McPherson Fort Providence Old Fort Providence Fort Rae Fort Reliance Fort Resolution Fort Simpson Fort Smith Hay River Holman Letty Harbour Rymer Point (Fort Harmon) Trout Lake Tuktoyaktuk Fort Norman Walker Bay Fort Wrigley

Former districts

(1882-1905) Assiniboia (1882-1905) Athabasca (1882-1905) Franklin (1895-1999) Keewatin (1905-1999) Mackenzie (1895-1999) Saskatchewan (1882-1905) Ungava (1895-1920) Yukon (1895-1898)

Category:Northwest Territories Portal:Northwest Territories WikiProject:Canadian Territories

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Subdivisions of Alberta


Regions Census divisions Census agglomerations Municipalities Municipal districts (counties) Specialized municipalities School authorities


Cities Towns Villages Summer villages Hamlets Indian reserves and settlements Metis settlements Ghost towns Designated places

Cities and urban service areas

Airdrie Brooks Calgary Camrose Chestermere Cold Lake Edmonton
(capital) Fort McMurray Fort Saskatchewan Grande Prairie Lacombe Leduc Lethbridge Lloydminster Medicine Hat Red Deer Sherwood Park Spruce Grove St. Albert Wetaskiwin

Rural municipalities

Municipal districts (counties)

Acadia Athabasca Barrhead Beaver Big Lakes Bighorn Birch Hills Bonnyville Brazeau Camrose Cardston Clear Hills Clearwater Cypress Fairview Flagstaff Foothills Forty Mile Grande Prairie Greenview Kneehill Lac La Biche Lac Ste. Anne Lacombe Lamont Leduc Lesser Slave River Lethbridge Minburn Mountain View Newell Northern Lights Northern Sunrise Opportunity Paintearth Parkland Peace Pincher Creek Ponoka Provost Ranchland Red Deer Rocky View Saddle Hills Smoky Lake Smoky River Spirit River St. Paul Starland Stettler Sturgeon Taber Thorhild Two Hills Vermilion River Vulcan Wainwright Warner Westlock Wetaskiwin Wheatland Willow Creek Woodlands Yellowhead

Improvement districts

4 (Waterton Lakes National Park) 9 (Banff National Park) 12 (Jasper National Park) 13 (Elk Island National Park) 24 (Wood Buffalo National Park) 25 (Willmore Wilderness Park) 349 Kananaskis


2 3 4

Specialized municipalities

Crowsnest Pass, Municipality of Jasper, Municipality of Mackenzie County Strathcona County Wood Buffalo, Regional Municipality of

Category Portal WikiProject

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Protected areas in Alberta

World Heritage Sites

Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks Dinosaur Provincial Park Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park Wood Buffalo National Park

National parks

Banff Elk Island Jasper Waterton Lakes Wood Buffalo

Provincial parks, wildlands & wildernesses

Canmore Nordic Centre Cypress Hills Dry Island Buffalo Jump Fish Creek Hay-Zama Lakes Kananaskis Country Lakeland Vermilion Willmore Wilderness Writing-on-Stone more...

Urban parks

Zoo Devonian Gardens Edmonton
Valley Zoo Edworthy Park Mill Woods Park Muttart Conservatory North Saskatchewan River Valley Nose Hill Oldman River Valley Pearce Estate Wetland Sylvan Lake

Museums & historic sites

Central Railway Museum Atlas Coal Mine Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Center Canadian Tractor Museum Cold Lake Air Force Ellis Bird Farm Fort Calgary Fort Edmonton
Park Fort Victoria Fort Whoop-Up Frank Slide Galt Historic Railway Park Heritage Acres Farm Museum Heritage Park Krause Milling Co. Pioneer Acres Prairie Elevator Museum Remington Carriage Museum Reynolds-Alberta Royal Alberta Royal Tyrrell Scandia Eastern Irrigation District Museum South Peace Centennial Museum Spruce Grove
Spruce Grove
Grain Elevator Museum St. Albert Grain Elevator Park Ukrainian Village Warner elevator row Whyte National historic sites Provincial historic sites

v t e

National Parks of Canada

National Parks

Akami–uapishku-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains† Aulavik Auyuittuq Banff Bruce Peninsula Cape Breton Highlands Elk Island Forillon Fundy Georgian Bay Islands Glacier Grasslands Gros Morne Gulf Islands† Gwaii Haanas and Haida† Ivvavik Jasper Kejimkujik Kluane‡ Kootenay Kouchibouguac La Mauricie Mingan Archipelago† Mount Revelstoke Nááts'ihch'oh† Nahanni† Pacific Rim† Point Pelee Prince Albert Prince Edward Island Pukaskwa Qausuittuq Quttinirpaaq Riding Mountain Rouge Sable Island† Sirmilik Terra Nova Thaidene Nene† Thousand Islands Torngat Mountains Tuktut Nogait Ukkusiksalik Vuntut Wapusk Waterton Lakes Wood Buffalo Yoho

Marine Conservation Areas

Fathom Five Gwaii Haanas and Haida† Lake Superior Lancaster Sound Magdalen Islands Saguenay-St. Lawrence Strait of Georgia†

National Landmarks


Proposed † Reserve ‡ Park and Reserve

Category Portal WikiProject

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World Heritage Sites in Canada


Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks Dinosaur Provincial Park Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Kluane / Wrangell–St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek1 SG̱aang Gwaay Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park1 Wood Buffalo2


Grand-Pré Gros Morne Joggins
Fossil Cliffs L'Anse aux Meadows Miguasha Mistaken Point Old Town Lunenburg Old Quebec Red Bay Rideau Canal


Nahanni Wood Buffalo2

Tentative List

Áísínai'pi Atikaki / Woodland Caribou / Accord First Nations Gwaii Haanas Ivvavik / Vuntut / Herschel Island
Herschel Island
(Qikiqtaruk) Quttinirpaaq The Klondike


Burgess Shale
Burgess Shale
(1981-1984 now part of Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks WHS)

1 Shared with the USA 2 Shared with other region/s

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 146500056 ISNI: 0000 0004 0517 0