The story of Caribou policy in action, or is that inaction

The story of Caribou policy in action, or is that inaction


A recent story of a road being built in the Little Smokey Caribou range reflects the provincial government’s narrative of the demise of a species.  It reflects a disconnect between policy and action, both federally and provincially, and indicates an inability on the part of the government to come to terms with habitat needs of a species.


From the days of a Caribou Woodland Caribou Recovery Team recommending a moratorium on further mineral and timber allocations in caribou ranges in which the moratorium was rejected and the team disbanded, to the reliance on soft federal and provincial policy approaches of today, the story becomes clear:  a proclamation of balancing environmental protection with economic development is revealed as a falsehood and attempts to meaningfully protect habitat are isolated to small portions of the province.  Governments are unwilling or unable to proclaim that, practically speaking, the outcome of the Caribou policies, as implemented, will result in the extirpation of some herds. Short of a display of miraculous adaptability on the Caribou’s part, herds will be gone.


Read “The story of Caribou policy in action, or is that inaction” on the ELC blog.




The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.


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