With a total area of approximately 45,000 square kilometers, Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest national park in Canada, straddling the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories. This vast protected area is a World Heritage Site and spans one of the world’s largest inland deltas (the Athabasca-Peace River Delta), an immense wilderness of parched salt flats and a wild landscape dotted with lakes and swamps. It is a habitat for numerous, now rare species of wildlife, including wood buffalo and whooping cranes.
The park was established in 1922 with the aim of saving the last free-ranging herds of wood buffalo from extinction. Today, thousands of these animals graze the park, along with moose, black bears, caribou, beavers and a wide variety of smaller mammals. Huge flocks of migratory birds visit the Athabasca-Peace River Delta on their annual pilgrimage south. Every year, whooping cranes come from Texas to breed and raise their young. Wood Buffalo National Park is one of the last, if not the last refuge for this extremely rare species of crane, which is now in dire need of protection. Near the rapids of the Slave River, white pelicans breed and feed from the park’s many lakes.
Official site: https://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nt/woodbuffalo/index.aspx
Fort Smith evolved from a one-time tenant trading post on the Mackenzie River route, to a multicultural community in the far north of Canada. From 1911 to 1967 it was the administrative capital of the Northwest Territories, a role later taken over by Yellowknife. A number of NWT government departments are still located in Fort Smith, and the city’s schools and training centers have a national reputation. The Northern Life Museum in Fort Smith focuses on the region’s human history, and has an Aboriginal cultural center. Exhibits include everyday First Nations and Inuit artifacts and crafts, photographs and other documents relating to the pioneering days and early settlers, and detailed crafts.