Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik October 19, 2016 - 10:00 am

Quebec, Nunavik welcome region’s fourth park

Ulittaniujalik is province's second largest park at over 5,000 square kilometres

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Quebec and Nunavik leaders inaugurate the new Ulittaniujalik park Oct. 14, with Ulittaniujalik or Pyramid Mountain as the backdrop. At more than 5,000 square kilometres, the new park is Quebec's second largest. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KRG)
Quebec and Nunavik leaders inaugurate the new Ulittaniujalik park Oct. 14, with Ulittaniujalik or Pyramid Mountain as the backdrop. At more than 5,000 square kilometres, the new park is Quebec's second largest. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KRG)

It’s been many years in the making, but Nunavik’s fourth park, Parc national Ulittaniujalik, is now official.

Regional and provincial leaders travelled to Ulittaniujalik, located about 100 kilometres south of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Oct. 14 to inaugurate the new provincial park.

Ulittaniujalik translates roughly to “one that bears a high-water mark,” a reference to the 1,500-foot pyramid shaped mountain and park centrepiece, Mont Pyramid, with visible lines left by a glacial lake that once covered the region.

Covering 5,293 square km of the George River plateau, Ulittaniujalik is Quebec’s second largest park, after Tursujuq.

“For more than a decade, the Kativik Regional Government has been working with communities and the Québec government to establishing a network of parks in the region,” said Jennifer Munick, chair of the KRG, which oversees the region’s parks.

“Ulittaniujalik is the latest step in this process.”

The park serves as an important caribou calving ground for the George River herd, which has seen a significant decline in recent years.

“Wildlife is an essential part of the Inuit way of life,” Munick said in an Oct. 14 release. “Parks and protected areas ensure protection for wildlife and their habitats from development.”

Along with the park’s official creation Oct. 14, Quebec announced $4 million towards park infrastructure, including an interpretation centre planned for Kuujjuaq.

In Nunavik, the park is best known as the long-time home of Pyramid Mountain outfitting camp, one of the region’s first, established by the late Bob May Sr. in the 1950s.

Now run by May’s son, the site includes log cabins and a natural airstrip for Twin Otters to land.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Quebec chapter, which once criticized the park’s hard-to-pronounce Inuktitut name, welcomed the creation of the park, Quebec’s 28th.

The organization also reminded the provincial government of its goal to protect 20 per cent of the region above Quebec’s 49th parallel, as laid out in its Plan Nord.

With only 10.8 per cent of that territory carved out as protected areas, the province has nearly 100,000 square km still to go to meet its target by 2020, CPAWS said in an Oct. 14 release.

Nunavik has three other established parks, including Pingualuit, created in 2004, Kuururjuaq, created in 2009 and Tursujuq, created in 2013.

The KRG has identified and is working towards two other park projects, Cap Wolstenholme along Nunavik’s northernmost tip and close to the community of Ivujivik, and Baie-aux-Feuilles on Ungava Bay near Tasiujaq.

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