Want Wood Buffalo National Park put on UNESCO 'in danger' list

The First Nations' petition to UNESCO calls for greater government regulation and further studies into the proposed impact of industrial activity on the ecology of the park.

The Mikisew Cree First Nation is asking a United Nations organization to put Wood Buffalo National Park on its list of endangered world heritage sites, CBC Canada North reports.

The national park that spans the Alberta-N.W.T. border is home to one of the largest inland freshwater deltas in the world, one of the reasons why UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1983. The delta is formed by the Peace and Athabasca rivers. 

Mikisew Cree First Nation Chief Steve Courtoreille says the Bennett Dam has had catastrophic effects on the ecosystem since its construction in the late 1960's. He says the water levels throughout the delta fell, lakes dried up and the previously abundant muskrat, once central to his peoples' way of life, virtually disappeared from the area.