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Canada’s Humungous New Park

20061016_lake.jpgSoon, travelers will have a vast new national park to explore, in the northern regions of Canada’s tundra and boreal forest, the Environmental News Service reports. The park will cover 13,000 square miles… that’s about the size of the state of Maryland (or 10 Rhode Islands).

Canadian officials and the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation have reached an understanding to establish the park to protect the region from mining and development. The Dene will retain their traditional hunting rights.

The park region will include much of Great Slave Lake, the 10th largest lake in the world, a pristine wilderness teeming with wildlife. I once visited Wood Buffalo National Park, on the south side of the lake, on a college-summer road trip. We watched as two dozen shaggy buffalo emerged from the dense forest to cross the dusty dirt road in the fog, it was a weird sight.