This land is our place : property owners’ relationships with the land in the greater park ecosystem of St. Lawrence Islands National Park
St. Lawrence Islands National Park (SLINP) is one of Canada’s smallest national parks. In order to secure a future for biodiversity, Parks Canada must therefore work beyond the park’s boundaries to engage area residents in conservation on private lands. Despite an increasing understanding of the distribution of species and habitat in the region surrounding SLINP, Parks Canada still has limited insight into the landowners upon whom conservation efforts depend. This study employed interviews with owners of large (>50 acre) parcels in areas of interest for conservation and a hermeneutic methodology to explore the dimensions of landowners’ relationships to the land. Findings suggest that landowners may adopt a land ethic when their values and connection to the land are threatened, but that their management actions are constrained by competing interests. Management recommendations are provided to assist Parks Canada in working with landowners towards a shared vision of conservation for the region.