Important Mtn. Caribou Update

Important Caribou update

Please take the time to read this update and share with members or friends that have a background in Wildlife, Species at Risk and/or Caribou.  We need as many eyes on this as possible to assist in formulating a response.

Caribou has been one of the lead priorities at the BCSF for many years but since last spring the urgency has been felt.  As I have mentioned in previous updates, the Federal Government is in the process of assessing the recovery efforts of the Provincial Government.  To do this they focussed in on Tumbler Ridge to do an assessment last spring as part of a new mining application.  The BC Government responded with an action plan for this herd almost immediately but since then, have worked with the Federal Government to implement a ground breaking Section 11 Partnership.

What is a Section 11 conservation agreement?

Excerpt from Environment Canada Website

Section 11 of the Species at Risk Act enables a federal minister to enter into an agreement with any other government in Canada, organization, or person to benefit a species at risk or enhance its survival in the wild. These agreements must provide for the taking of conservation measures and any other measures consistent with the Species at Risk Act, including measures with respect to

  • monitoring the status of a species
  • developing and implementing recovery strategies, action plans, and management plans
  • protecting the species’ habitat, including its critical habitat
  • undertaking research projects in support of recovery efforts for the species

The agreement between Canada and British Columbia describes how the parties will work together to support the survival and recovery of southern mountain caribou, starting with the population known as the Central Group.

You can read the full release here

Draft Section 11 Agreement is open for comment

So far this agreement is a draft document and has been posted for a 30-day comment period.  This closes on January 5th, 2018.

We are asking that all clubs that have knowledge or expertise within your club to please review the draft they are proposing. 

The intent is to ensure the actions they are proposing will in fact help them reach the objectives.  That the decisions are based on solid science and with the goal of recovering caribou.  That all other political objectives are removed.  This is ground breaking and is intended to be the template to be used in all of BC if considered successful. You can find a copy of the draft plan and submit comments directly to Government on this page.

Also, please send your thoughts and or feedback to me at office@bcsf.org so that I can include them in my larger response being drafted from the BCSF.

I am attending all update conference calls and am assured that there will be a public consultation period.  So far the calls have been very generalized and refer everyone back to this draft to submit comments or questions.  I believe that once this draft has moved to implementation that the consult will just be to inform of actions that will be taken.

So please take the time to share this, submit comments and assist the BCSF with our response.  We have many talented people within our ridership that have been working on this file for a long time.  We need that expertise now and it is important to submit comments so we can ensure that this document results in a successful recovery strategy.

Thanks

Donegal Wilson, Executive Director