Nfld. & Labrador

Labrador gets new national park

The federal government will announce the establishment of the Mealy Mountain National Park in Labrador on Friday.

Federal and provincial government officials said Friday that they will establish a new National Park in Labrador.

Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice and Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Minister Charlene Johnson were in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in central Labrador, Feb. 5 to talk about Mealy Mountain National Park.

The park will protect roughly 10,700 square kilometres, between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the Labrador coast, which will make it the largest national park in eastern Canada.

"This part of Labrador is not only of ecological significance, it is also of great cultural importance," said Prentice, in a government news release Friday. "We are committed to moving forward in a way that recognizes and respects the traditional connections people have with the land."

The area has traditionally been used by First Nations people in Labrador.

Johnson said Newfoundland and Labrador will try to establish a waterway provincial park to protect the Eagle River, adjacent to the proposed national park reserve. Together, these areas will protect over 13,000 square kilometres.

Prentice said federal and provincial governments are now committed to negotiating a federal-provincial land transfer agreement.