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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

Volume 2: Number 3



Vol. 2, No. 3, August - Août, 2000

The Ecological Integrity Panel Report

What Report?

It is a series of recommendations released earlier this spring on improvements that Parks Canada might adopt to ensure that national parks remain Unimpaired for Future Generations . The report is concerned about how we are going to ensure the ecological integrity of each national park like Cape Breton Highlands.

What does ecological integrity mean?

Basically it means the health of the native plants, animals and natural processes in the national park. Each national park has a different grouping of plants and animals that make it unique and we want that uniqueness to continue. We don’t want the composition of plants or animals to change unnaturally or new exotic species to force the disappearance of original or native species. That is why we remove non-native species like purple loosestrife, which can dry up wetlands leaving no home for the plants and animals that normally live there.

So what difference will it make here in Cape Breton?

The first difference is that we will use the term ecological integrity much more frequently. In the past we have talked about national parks as special places that must be protected and presented for this and future generations and we have asked people to leave these areas as you found them, so that others may enjoy them . Our interpreters will talk to visitors and local residents more frequently about ecological integrity and what affects the health of our northern Cape Breton ecosystem.

To help everyone become more comfortable with ecological integrity and what it means, a training course is being developed for all Parks Canada staff across Canada. Each employee contributes to the park’s ecological integrity as we carry out our various tasks and duties under the guidance of our environmental assessments. That’s why we don’t cut and remove brush along our highway ditches during the nesting season of our native birds or why we don’t remove the dead-fall that doesn’t pose a safety hazard from our campgrounds and other facilities. Training will begin next year. Anne O’Neill from the Fortress of Louisbourg NHS is on the team that is reviewing the training course.

We will continue to encourage Canadians to visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park, to enjoy its beauty, to camp and hike and play on its golf course. We have been working on how to manage the golf course so that it doesn’t harm the environment, by reducing the chemicals we use and encouraging natural process. We’ve rebuilt the Skyline Trail to protect the sensitive highland vegetation and we will be making other changes to continue to improve the ecological integrity of the park. Our visitors will also be asked to contribute. This summer we are beginning to educate people with motor homes and trailers on how they can treat their waste water so that they don’t release harmful chemicals when they use our dumping stations.

Parks Canada will be asking the government to increase its budget, and if this request is approved, we will spend it on improving our knowledge of the ecosystem in the parks and ensuring our infrastructure, materials and practices contribute to the ecological integrity of our parks.

What’s next?

As decisions are being contemplated that affect you we will provide opportunities for you to ask questions and provide advice. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, talk to your manager or supervisor. Each of them has a copy of the report and the initial action plan for what Parks Canada is going to do.

Carol Whitfield

Field Unit Superintendent

Congratulations on Official Languages Services

I would like to let everyone know that an audit was undertaken regarding service to the public in both official languages. The Fortress of Louisbourg was one of the places audited. Treasury Board was especially impressed by the equality of services we offered - equal number of tours in both languages for example.

Aviation Day at Alexander Graham Bell

Planning is complete for Aviation Day on Sunday, August 20th when we celebrate Bell’s gigantic passenger carrying kites and Silver Dart with 4-celled tetrahedral kite-making, musical entertainment, tetrahedral party hat making, Al Bernard’s Magic show and more. Visitors will a have a chance to win a gift selection from the Telephone Pioneer Gift Shop and at 3:30 p.m., cake and punch will be served.

Alexander Graham Bell Public School

A special visitor to the site in early July was Miss Kettle who teaches at Alexander Graham Bell Public School in Ajax, Ontario. This school opened on November 4th, 1999 with the theme Canadian Inventors. Since Alexander Graham Bell is considered a pioneer in the world of technology it seemed fitting to make his name the school’s name. With over 600 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8, it focuses on science, math and technology.

Miss Kettle toured the Site and left with new resource material for the main hall showcase and school’s Resource Centre reflecting the character and experimental work of Alexander Graham Bell. The school will especially enjoy the CD-ROMs and stained glass tetrahedral cells.

Did you know....

.....Congratulations to Valery Monahan and husband, Sam Gallagher on the birth of their daughter, Clare. Clare arrived on August 3rd weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces. Mom and baby are just doing wonderfully!!!

....We’re having a Clean-up Day on August 23, 2000.

The objective is to clean your work space and the areas close by. Comfortable dress is the order for the day for anyone not in uniform or costume.

....A staff party is to be held August 19th at 7:00 p.m. at the Park Guest House. You can have a steak and potato for only $5.00. If you’re not hungry, $2.00 will gain you entry for this bash. Get your tickets from Sandra LaRade or Donna MacNeil.


Sincere condolences go out to Jean Wadden, of the Volunteer Association, on the death of her husband, Roddie on August 8, 2000. Our sincere sympathies to Jean’s family and as well to Roddie’s sister, Joan MacKay, an employee of the Fortress.

Points to Ponder

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself!!!! Sam Levenson

If you would like to make a submission to the Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Newsletter, please direct same to Donna MacNeil at 733-3551 or e-mail at

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