Within the past 7 days the federal and provincial governments published documents that may result in Alberta’s Woodland Caribou going down for the count. These documents include the proposed federal Recovery Strategy for Woodland Caribou, Boreal population and the Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP).
So what do the Recovery Strategy and LARP do for Woodland Caribou? As press releases from both the Pembina Institute and the Alberta Wilderness Association point out, the documents do little to change how we approach managing caribou and their habitats in Alberta. The most recent iteration of the LARP removes conservation areas previously identified by a regional advisory committee that would cover some caribou herds, and both the provincial and federal governments sidestep the issue of substantively dealing with habitat alteration. In terms of substantive actions that look to protect caribou today, the approach taken in the documents can be split into two categories: shoot wolves and plan to do something more sometime in the future (with lots of words like “coordination”, “knowledge”, “monitoring” and “education”).
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