Provincial Caribou Recovery Engagement Opportunity

Posted by on

Province of BC seeks feedback on the Draft Section 11 Agreement and Draft Partnership Agreement

The Caribou is a tough creature and is a symbol of the ability to thrive in the great white north. It is also one of Canada’s most threatened species. British Columbia is home to the woodland caribou, Rangifer tarandus caribou. The herds found in its mountainous mature forests are an important part of the natural food chain and the rich biodiversity of the province. Unfortunately, within the past couple of decades, the caribou population in BC has plummeted from 40,000 to about 15,000 individuals, province wide. There are currently 54 herds (16 Mountain, 32 Northern, and 6 Boreal). All 6 of the Boreal and 23 of the Southern herds are decreasing.

Caribou have many threats including; industrial development, climate change, predation, habitat loss, and human activity. Roads, trails, and seismic lines create new routes that make it easy for predators like wolves to reach caribou herds. Forestry, mining and recreational activities often disturb the caribou and cause them to leave their preferred habitats for less desirable sites. Climate change brings more challenges, as extreme or unusual weather events and other changes alter the caribou behaviours, habitats and ecosystems in subtle ways we are still striving to understand.

All of these stressors can add up and threaten to overwhelm both the struggling and healthy herds of caribou. Our increasing intrusions into the caribou’s habitats now require us to try to repair those disturbed habitats, alter our activities and take other measures to help the caribou herds recover.

The Government of British Columbia is committed to a long-term, comprehensive, and science-based approach to caribou recovery; including, but not limited to western science and Indigenous traditional knowledge. Through modernizing changes to regulations, leadership, data management and accessibility, the Province hopes to deepen our understanding of the woodland caribou and our effects on herds.

At various meetings and through different conversations we have had with community members, we know that Caribou are important to Métis in BC. If you are interested in learning more about Caribou, Engagement opportunities, and the Recovery plan please visit:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-conservation/caribou

To review the Draft Section 11 Agreement and Draft Partnership Agreements, please visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/caribou/section11agreement/

Ways to Participate in the BC engagements:

There are several ways to participate:

  • Print a copy of the feedback form and return it to the address below. PDF version of feedback form.

Mail to:
Caribou Recovery Program
PO Box 9546
STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9C5

  • Attend a meeting. No RSVP is required.

Meetings:

  • Williams Lake – Monday, April 8, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, 525 Proctor Street
  • Prince George – Tuesday, April 9, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Prince George Civic Centre, 800 Canada Games Way
  • Mackenzie – Wednesday, April 10, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Mackenzie Recreation Centre, 400 Skeena Drive
  • Quesnel – Thursday, April 11, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Quesnel & District Seniors’ Centre, 461 Carson Avenue

Meetings are currently being scheduled in other communities. Once dates and locations are confirmed, the schedule will be updated.

How can my contribution to the Provincial discussions make a difference?

All feedback received will be compiled into a “what we heard” document (by the Province of BC) that will be made publicly available and all input will help inform all parties’ decision-making regarding the finalization and signing of the agreements.

(If you have any questions at all please contact Leona Shaw, lshaw@mnbc.ca)