Last year the federal Minister of Environment (EC) announced that Mountain Caribou are facing “imminent threat to recovery” because of habitat loss, and said that IMMEDIATE new habitat protection is urgently required. Unfortunately, negotiations between BC, the EC and some First Nations have already taken one whole year. The result is two government-to-government draft agreements: 1) a proposed “Partnership Agreement” between BC, Canada and two First Nations for the management of South Peace herds; and 2) a proposed “Section 11 Agreement” (named for Section 11 of the Species at Risk Act) for all the herds. The government is now seeking public comments on these two draft Agreements. The draft Partnership Agreement is approved by VWS and other environmental groups. The draft Section 11 Agreement is opposed by VWS and various other environmental groups. It includes the “Southern Group” (a.k.a. “Deep-snow Caribou”) of the Interior Wetbelt. This draft agreement would put the Deep-snow Caribou in much danger, because it proposes to take two more years of public process just to consider new protection. Meanwhile BC’s unsustainable logging and rampant oil and gas development will be decimating the habitat under consideration. Four herds have been lost since 2014. A well-organized industry misinformation campaign is telling people that saving more habitat for caribou will destroy their jobs and communities. To outweigh these falsehoods, it is going to take every possible person who cares about BC’s wildlife to write a letter to the government. If you care — act now!
See the government documents here. Fill out the government’s online comment form here. Click here to see VWS’s map showing how much habitat of the Deep-snow Caribou has been logged. Click here for VWS’s full 13-page submission to government. Many people prefer to write a letter rather than use the government’s comment form. Click “more” to see VWS’s key points for letter writing, plus email addresses to ensure your letter is received by government by May 31.