The BC Wildlife Federation is pleased the provincial government is implementing an interim moratorium on new resource development in parts of northeastern British Columbia while committing to protect jobs and support workers as it engages with affected communities and industries on long-term caribou protection strategies. The recovery of caribou is a complex problem facing both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in the region.
It is positive that many of Mr. Lekstrom’s recommendations in his report on caribou recovery are consistent with those made by the BCWF in their written submission on the proposed section 11 and partnership agreements. These include properly funding the implementation of the agreements, transparent and meaningful engagement with local governments and impacted stakeholders, continuing with predator control, completing and acting on the recommendations of a comprehensive socio-economic study and a focus on setting objectives for wildlife and habitat through the technical working group that includes stakeholder participation. The BC Wildlife Federation looks forward to being an active participant in the recovery of the central herds of southern mountain caribou.
The development of a section 11 Conservation Agreement under the Species at Risk Act by the Federal Government, and the consequences of the determination by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada that the caribou faced an imminent threat to recovery, has not been conducted in an open and transparent fashion with all stakeholders. Many of the impacts on caribou are a result of climate change, and we expect that the federal government will step up with funding for caribou recovery in BC. This funding is required to support the process and collaborative activities required to ensure the existence of the mountain caribou and address the social and economic impacts of the communities in the northeast.
The BC Wildlife Federation has been a member of the Caribou Recovery working group since its inception. We believe the federal government is throwing the people of BC under the SARA regulatory bus without meeting their responsibilities and obligation for landscape sustainability in general, and mountain caribou in particular. The federal government appears to stalls the bus for species such as Interior Fraser Steelhead under their authority but not in their interest.
Read the full news release here.