Government is now conducting a series of public engagement sessions in many centres across the province to gather public feedback on two draft caribou recovery agreements. However, the May 3rd deadline for comments provides little time for reviewing the agreements and providing feedback.
BC Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Allocations Committee Chair Gerry Paille, along with other stakeholders, has been calling for an extension of the public input period. Paille said he was invited to participate in a stakeholder meeting on March 20, but declined because he would have been required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The BCWF does not believe there was adequate and transparent public engagement, and as a result, there was a lot of speculation about the agreements. The confidential stakeholder meeting was held just days before the proposed agreements were released for public comment.
The BCWF supports efforts to recover endangered caribou species, but more time is needed to assess the impacts of the agreements and provide comments on southern mountain caribou recovery. The plan not only needs to address long-term viability of the caribou, but also needs to consider access for hunting and angling, recreation, and resource extraction while incorporating the input of First Nations, stakeholders, and various levels of government.
Take action by visiting the online engagement site here.
Talk to your MLA about extending the process of putting the caribou recovery plan into action!