Canadians vote Nahanni as one of Canada's seven wonders



    OTTAWA, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Nahanni National Park Reserve in the
Northwest Territories was voted one of the top choices by Canadians in CBC's
"Seven Wonders of Canada" contest which ended yesterday. Although Nahanni
narrowly missed being on the final list of seven selected by the judging panel
on June 7th, more than 64,000 Canadians voted for Nahanni as the top Canadian
wonder in the weeks leading up to the contest close, ranking it fourth most
popular.
    "The public rightly recognizes Nahanni, an iconic Boreal wilderness site,
as the wonder that it truly is. But they should know that this natural
treasure is threatened by mining developments. We hope the CBC vote provides
an added incentive for the federal government to act soon to ensure the
Nahanni stays as majestic as it is today, forever, by expanding the existing
national park reserve to protect the entire South Nahanni watershed," says
Alison Woodley, CPAWS' Northern Conservation Specialist.
    CPAWS has been leading a public campaign since 2003 to protect the entire
South Nahanni Watershed, one of the world's most spectacular Boreal wilderness
treasures, in an expanded national park reserve. While the government has
committed to expanding the park, the decision about the where the new
boundaries will go has not been made.
    Meanwhile, potentially threatening mining developments are proceeding.
Last month, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board issued a land use permit
to Canadian Zinc Corporation, the junior mining company that owns the proposed
Prairie Creek mine north of the current park, to reconstruct a 170km winter
road through the heart of the Nahanni wilderness area which authorities have
identified for protection within the expanded national park reserve.
    The local Dehcho First Nations have passed a unanimous leadership
resolution calling for protection of the entire South Nahanni Watershed, which
lies within their traditional territory, including the Nahanni karstlands.
    Nine of the top ten CBC nominees were natural wonders and parks. "This
sends a clear message that our natural heritage truly identifies us as
Canadians. We trust governments are hearing this and ensuring that
conservation of our wilderness is a high priority for them," adds Woodley.




For further information:

For further information: Jill Sturdy, (613) 569 7226 x232,
jsturdy@cpaws.org; www.cpaws.org/nahanni; For more information about CBC's
"Seven Wonders of Canada" contest visit www.cbc.ca

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CANADIAN PARKS AND WILDERNESS SOCIETY

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