Park Ranger Program

Park Ranger Program 2021

The Moose Lake Reserves are culturally significant to the Fort McKay First Nation community, for traditional land-use practices and enjoyment.

With the increased access to the Moose Lake area, Fort McKay community members noticed an increase in environmental impacts, accidents, land disturbance, vandalism, and illegal activity from individuals accessing the area. Fort McKay First Nation leadership requested a community program be developed to protect the area, complete with park rangers and infrastructure to support the program’s mandate.

Cabins were established at Moose Lake and Namur Lake to support extended wilderness patrols of the Moose Lake Reserve lands.

Patrol routes were established to observe and protect Fort McKay First Nation’s valuable resources and interests in the area.

These routes support unhindered travel from the area known as Moose Lake to the Southern end of the Reserve located at Namur Lake (Buffalo Lake).

Program Mandate

The Park Ranger program helps protect the Moose Lake Reserves and supports Fort McKay First Nation members who practice their Treaty Rights on those lands. Park Rangers help by:

  • Patrol and assistance to road users.
  • Providing a constant presence on the Moose Lake Reserves.
  • Registering and reporting occurrences and incidents, creating a database of crucial information that can be used to direct future actions for traditional land use studies.
  • Engaging with the community, and educating users to ensure that they understand the applicable legislation surrounding reserve lands.
  • Conducting regular patrols to collect information related to trespassing and any illegal activity in the area.
  • Assisting in human/wildlife conflict situations, and providing information to mitigate future wildlife conflicts.
  • Assisting in emergency situations, and providing a level of comfort to community members so they can enjoy their time on reserve lands.
Meet the Park Rangers

Joe Grandjambe and Andrew Bouchier became the first Park Rangers in 2016. These established Fort McKay community members brought their experience and knowledge of the Fort McKay Reserve Lands and its traditional uses to their new roles. In 2019/2020 Junior Poulin joined the team. Nick Laurent, Hayden Wilson, and James McIsaac are the newest Park Rangers to join the team. Gerald Gladue has also recently joined as the Moose Lake Attendant. The Park Rangers work in teams of 2 to support the program through their weekly shifts, which allows for a consistent presence on the land.

 

 

A Day in the Life of a Park Ranger
  • Manage the natural habitat using traditionally known habitat conservation and restoration techniques.
  • Support community-based monitoring activities.
  • Conduct wildlife management patrols to minimize risks in Fort McKay.
  • Document garbage from land users, personal cabins, community cabins, and arrange for its removal.
  • Assist FMFN members needing support while at Moose Lake.
  • Record observations and enforce Fort McKay by-laws or report incidents outside of FMFN’s jurisdiction.
  • Investigate damage and vandalism complaints at Moose Lake/Buffalo Lake.
  • Respond to and report on emergency situations.
  • Work with the RCMP and Fish and Wildlife officers to prevent poaching and trespass.
Traditions, Training, and Safety

Park Rangers are guided by Fort McKay First Nation traditions and practices, Fort McKay First Nation policies and procedures, and provincial and national safety standards.

WHMIS, wilderness and remote first aid, snowmobile operations, trailer operations, ATV operations, Canadian firearms safety, trapping, transportation of dangerous goods, wildlife awareness, Bylaw Officer, and Peace Officer are just some of the training areas that help prepare the Park Rangers for duty and help keep them safe on the land.

Questions about Park Ranger Program?

Craig Randell
Park Ranger Lead
Responsible for coordinating Park Ranger duties and daily activities.
780.742.5664

Contact a Park Ranger
780.598.9644
prfprogram@fortmckay.com