The integrity of ecosystems in Parks Canada places is to be maintained with minimal interference to natural processes. However, active management may be required when the natural structure or function of an ecosystem has been seriously altered and intervention is necessary to restore or maintain ecological integrity. Active management in Parks Canada places might involve a wide variety of activities - for example, restricting activities to protect sensitive ecosystems, restoring wildlife corridors, reintroducing species at risk, removing invasive species, conducting prescribed fires and managing hyper-abundant wildlife populations.

The focus in Elk Island National Park is on four primary active management activities: wildlife management, vegetation management, fire management, and disturbed area rehabilitation. Ecological monitoring is used to determine what factors are threatening the health of the parks ecosystems and to guide the planning of, and ensure the success of, active management projects.