The Natural Areas Program is within the Land Management Division of the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources. The Natural Areas Program is responsible for planning, establishing, and managing Newfoundland and Labrador's Wilderness and Ecological Reserves and Canadian Heritage Rivers. Newfoundland and Labrador's Wilderness and Ecological Reserves are created and maintained for five key reasons:
The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act guides the activities of the Natural Areas Program. In addition to the WER Act and associated regulations, the Natural Areas Program is guided by this vision:
To protect, in an unimpaired condition, large wilderness areas, representative areas of all provincial ecoregions, and areas that contain rare natural phenomena, in order to preserve the diversity and distinctiveness of the Province's rich natural heritage and to support an ecologically sustainable future for the benefit of present and future generations.