P.E.I. national park in peril

The Prince Edward Island National Park is the "most endangered" national park in the country, according to the Canadian Nature Federation (CNF).

A survey published Monday lists the federation's picks for the ten most-threatened national parks in Canada. P.E.I.'s park is number one.

The P.E.I. National Park "has the most visitors per square kilometre of any national park," the survey stated. "The intensive pressure on this park is growing every year."

An official from Parks Canada said the federation's information is nothing new.

"The information quoted by the CNF is currently available in our State of Parks 1997 report," said Nick Lopoukhine, director of Parks Canada's Ecosystems Branch. "Stressors are clearly showing up in a number of our national parks."

He said the federal government has set up a panel of experts to identify problems in Canada's national parks and recommend solutions. Its report is expected early in the new year.

In a related development, Parks Canada is expected to annouce this week its decision on whether to allow a controversial development on federally-owned land just outside Greenwich, a beautiful but environnmentally-sensitive strip of shoreline which is about to become part of the P.E.I. National park.

The CNF said the proposed hotel and interpretive centre would just "add to the ecological damage that makes this lovely spot the most threatened national park in Canada".

Canada's 10 most endangered National Parks

  1. Prince Edward Island National Park
  2. Point Pelee National Park - Ontario
  3. St. Lawrence Islands National Park - Ontario
  4. Fundy National Park - New Brunswick
  5. Elk Island National Park - Alberta
  6. Pacific Rim National Park - British Columbia
  7. Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park Complex - British Columbia
  8. Riding Mountain National Park - Manitoba
  9. Banff National Park - Alberta
  10. Nahanni National Parak - Northwest Territories

    Source: Canadian Nature Federation