Caribou Recovery Timeline – ATVBC Quad Riders ATV Association of BC

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In 2007 the BC Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Plan (MCRIP) is established to halt the decline of caribou within 7 years.

In April 2017 the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) filed suit against Minister McKenna, Environment Canada. In the “Why CPAWS is suing the Federal Govt” article CPAWS details Accountability as follows:

  • Provinces and territories are primarily responsible for protecting species and critical habitat on their own lands, while the federal government is primarily responsible for protecting critical habitat on areas under federal jurisdiction.
  • However, the federal government can encourage provinces and territories to protect critical habitat on non-federal lands by providing funding. They can also sign conservation agreements with these governments, as well as other actors who want to contribute to protecting habitat. As a final recourse, if critical habitat is not effectively protected, the federal minister can recommend that the federal government impose a “safety net” tool to protect critical habitat for 5 years, while the province or territory puts appropriate protections in place.

In 2017/2018 Environmentalists deliver 3 petitions to Federal Government for Emergency Order to protect caribou including:

  • Valhalla Wilderness Society Petition prepared by University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre delivered to Catherine McKenna on Dec 14, 2017
  • Joint Statement May 1, 2018 by Alberta Wilderness Association, David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ontario Nature, Wilderness Committee, Wildlands League
  • Ecojustice letter dated November 16, 2018 on behalf of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Greenpeace Canada and Wildsight

April 20, 2018 Environment Canada conducted Imminent Threat Analysis

April 30, 2018 Environment Canada issues first report under section 63 of the Species at Risk Act. The report is meant to identify where critical habitat remains unprotected on non-federal lands as well as the steps being take to protect the critical habitat. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/critical-habitat-reports/woodland-caribou-boreal-population-2018.html

May 4, 2018 Environment Minister’s determination that caribou is facing imminent threats to its recovery is made public

May 2018 Environment Canada settles court case launched by environmental group and agrees to track and report unprotected critical habitat for species at risk on non-federal lands, and promises to update that report 180 days as required under the Species at Risk Act. Environment Canada also promised to issue a broader report on how its protecting the habitat of 150 threatened species, that report is due June 2019 and will be updated every 180 days.

The Globe and Mail article in May 2018 quotes Y2Y as stating “this is the day we’ve been waiting for” and that they Y2Y group wants an immediate moratorium on industrial activity in southern mountain caribou critical habitat, meaning no more logging, road-building, unsustainable recreation, oil and gas development or mining in areas the federal govt has declared to be critical to the recovery of the 10 smallest herds.

Nov 2018 Environmental groups in Ontario calling on federal govt to issue a “safety net order” to protect critical habitat for 5 years, while the province or territory puts appropriate protections in place.

Dec 21, 2018 the Federal Govt releases their second report on the boreal caribou critical habitat that remains unprotected as per SARA.

CPAWS current call to Take Action quotes 150,000+ caribou supporters

BRITISH COLUMBIA EFFORTS

In Nov 2017 Province of BC announces Draft S.11 Conservation Agreement, the Province of BC is also negotiating a Caribou Recovery Partnership Agreement with the federal government and West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations. The Partnership Agreement will contain conservation and recovery measures specific to the recovery of the Central Group (South Peace area) of Southern Mountain Caribou, which has created the current issue in the Peace River District, as the partnership agreement is being developed without local community or stakeholder engagement.

The Peace River Regional District brought forward resolution B116 at the 2018 UBCM Convention, which was endorsed by UBCM, requesting that the provincial govt enters into consultation with the affected communities and that community health and viability be given high priority.

Local groups such as the Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery have been formed and seeking support for requests to provincial govt to meet with all stakeholders. The Concerned Citizens group was formed by the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce and business owners in Dawson Creek. They requested letters of support, which they have received from local groups. They have initiated a petition which has over 19,000 signatures, their goal is 25,000.

See ATVBC caribou resource page for further related info. https://atvbc.ca/challenges-to-ongoing-access-to-riding-areas/?fbclid=IwAR0LVI4DeEa3L4DRDKNSBRMZckhSt0Ft9hRKrex7jkNf3Z0K1fSYh8fs-P8

Janice Baker

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