Canada to create giant new northern national park

The Northern Lights appear in the sky over the woods in Canada's Northwest Territories in this picture taken February 14, 2008. REUTERS/Cameron French

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will create a giant new national park covering some 1.9 million acres along one of the country’s most spectacular northern rivers, Environment Minister John Baird said on Monday.

The Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve will cover the watershed of the South Nahanni river in the Northwest Territories.

It will be adjacent to the larger Nahanni National Park Reserve, which the government said last year it would expand.

“With this historic agreement announced today, we are once again taking action to protect Canada’s North for future generations,” Baird said in a statement.

Naats’ihch’oh, which means “stands like a porcupine” in the language of the local Dene aboriginal people, is an important habitat for grizzly bear, Dall’s sheep and woodland caribou.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum