3. A New Approach: Made in BC



The Province has committed to a new long-term, comprehensive, science-based approach to protect and preserve caribou populations – the Caribou Recovery Program. The Province has put aside $50 million over five years to get this program established.

Two ministries will jointly lead delivery of the program: the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ECCS) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD). But, success depends on the participation of many other provincial agencies and the federal  government.

There will be significant changes in regulations, leadership, program design and measurement, data management and accessibility. We will deepen the science to better understand this species and our affect on the herds and their habitats.

There will be closer relationships with First Nations that reflect the government’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We will pursue partnerships with affected sectors, communities, partners and federal agencies.

The mission of the program is to transform caribou management through a comprehensive, collaborative and accountable provincial program.

121 responses to “3. A New Approach: Made in BC

    User avatar
    [-] Sally

    I would also suggest common sense. Killing one species to protect another doesn’t work. It’s about protecting the habitat folks. The habitat. The one we are constantly degrading. And cutting down.

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    [-] Michelle

    Was the recovery of the caribou considered when the immediate (as opposed to phased) ban on the non-indigenous hunting of grizzly bears was made? I am opposed to trophy hunting but pro-science and can't help but wonder if the predator-prey consequences were considered.

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    [-] Lee

    It was “discovered” 38 years ago that reducing the wolf population resulted in caribou population recovery.
    Nothing else worked.
    The only reason caribou are dying out is we are letting it happen.
    Predation is the only “thing” that kills caribou ard reduces the population.
    Politics will finally kill off the remaining caribou, because it is good politics to ignore the solution and go pick on some group like snowmobiles.
    The only remaining stable populations of Mountain Caribou are near mountains where snowmobiles are still allowed to travel. The government science teams and their enviro friends all hate that fact. Partly because the facts confuse the politicians they try to control, and because the millions of dollars wasted on snowmobile closures is an embarrassment with no caribou recovery to show for the all the ban. Many stories and reports were wrote claiming banning snowmobiles would save the caribou, so what will those people say now?
    It was good politics to focus on targeting snowmobiles, but in the end it is politics that will kill of the last caribou.
    Good management would be to drop the snowmobile ban and save that money, reduce the wolf population and keep it down, but all that is bad politics, so I don’t see the caribou lasting much longer in the wild.

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    [-] dale

    Original 2007 Provincial Recovery Plan was never fully implemented; most pertinently – predator control, which is proven to be the leading cause of caribou mortality.

    Reccomend to follow through on commitments made in 2007 Provincial Recovery Plan, before drafting a new one..

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    [-] Dale

    Jasper National Park used to have a Caribou herd which has now been extirpated. They had all the protected land they could ever ask for yet the herd is now extinct… Think about that fact.

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    [-] Alexander

    The Caribou is so inextricably Canadian that it is on the quarter. Caribou recovery is not going to happen with a single change in policy or actions.

    First, high quality habitat is critical to caribou recovery. Caribou eat a lot of lichen which occurs mainly on old growth trees or alpine rocks. Caribou do not do well in freshly logged forests which can take a centuries to regrow to support lichen.

    Second, provincial biologists know what needs to be done. They need the funding, support, and authority to implement and enforce plans to recover the caribou. This should not be politicized. Give the people who are already employed the means to do what they know needs doing.

    Third, road closures, predator management, and other emergency measures need to continue until the declines are reversed and the numbers are increasing. Predator management and road closures alone will not save the caribou, but they are regrettable, but necessary tools to stop the crash why habitat can regrow.

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    [-] Bryce

    While many British Columbians have an interest in what is going on in the range of our caribou, it seems that for decades, the only voices that have been heard have been those of industry, & recreational organisations/groups. For decades biologists, including those working for government have known that habitat destruction has been the main driving force for the loss of our caribou numbers. While every year more science is collected about the details of just what is going on, the underlying cause keeps coming back to loss of habitat. We have now reached a tipping point for many of the provinces herds. It's now time to start acting on all those decades of hard work done by many scientists & begin fixing the problem. Hard decisions need to be made, & some groups will not like those decisions, but if we don't act now, there will be no caribou left to protect.

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    [-] Bryce

    All i have to say is PLEASE listen to the biologists both government & non government when considering what needs to be done to protect these herds of caribou. It's one thing to pay lip service to what these people are saying needs to be done, it's another thing all together to act on it!! For too long, the mighty dollar has been the driving force behind policy. It's time to put our environment first & find ways to utilize the resources in our environment without destroying it. Many industry groups would argue they are not currently destroying the environment. I would argue that we wouldn't be having this conversation if that were the case.

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    [-] Bryce

    There is already plenty of science on this species. Much of what has already been put forward to save this species has never been implemented. Stop delaying what really needs to be done, & commit to action!!

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    [-] Bryce

    We need to learn from those who have lived off the land for thousands of years without destroying it. It's in every British Columbians interest to listen to what first nations groups have to say when decisions are being made with regards to the environment.

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    [-] Sherry

    Killing wolves is what they have been doing for decades and it's a big fail. Killing more wolves and then having other factors reduce them to functional extinction like the caribou is insanity. Human activity needs to be controlled. Currently there is a proposal to develop heli skiing and biking in the Purcells where one caribou herd is down to 4. The fact that this activity is even considered shows the lack of responsible stewardship. Control human activity before another species is lost.

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    [-] Russ

    More than enough habitat has been protected to sustain the herds (at least in the Southern portion of the province). That is part of the solution and it’s done. All I hear about is habitat protection from those who have ulterior motives. The fact is you can’t manage solely for something like caribou and also manage for wildfire protection, forestry, recreation and other species. They start to conflict one another. These animals were on the southern fringe of their range in the South. The climate is changing; they are going to recede North, its inevitable. We simply can’t afford to commit every inch of ground to protected area. Then also spend hordes of money trying to battle mother nature and not let it burn. Yes harvesting may temporarily degrade habitat (much like a fire). Do it responsibly and you can support a green economy, minimize fire potential and manage for Caribou. All of it doesn’t matter unless you take predator control seriously. Also the only way to keep the wolf population down is to kill off most of the deer, moose and other alternate prey as well, not something many are willing to sacrifice. Finally you end up with no recreation, forestry, minimal wildlife, economy, etc. It’s a large price to pay to watch the inevitable happen anyways.

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    [-] Gregory

    A concomitant short-term, emergency action strategy is also required as the current decline in caribou herd population numbers and ongoing habitat fragmentation/loss clearly jeopardises any long-term goal. The action is to stop all land conversion within a conservative estimate of critical caribou habitat.

    User avatar
    [-] Gregory

    I agree that ongoing scientific research and monitoring is required to track any progress, however, we do not, can not wait under the false pretence that we do not know enough to act clearly and decisively now.

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    [-] Gregory

    Suggest changing "closer relationships with First Nations" to " meaningful and full collaboration with First Nations".

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    [-] Gregory

    Suggest editing adding a time measure, a milestone, recognizing the critical state of caribou in BC and mandating a fast response; "The mission of the program is to [rapidly] transform….".

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    [-] Lee

    The problem with"managing" a species like caribou is they wander. I find them in farmer fields by Houston, on the highway to Wells and on 26 East past Purden. The caribou walk right past habitat that we know is good for them, and head out for the weirdest places.
    Obviously there is no shortage of good to excellent habitat, the problem is getting the caribou to stay there. Places like George Mountain are loaded with the correct lichens, but the caribou either left or the wolves got the last of them. So now what? Are we supposed to save George Mountain in case someone wants to tie a caribou up to a tree there? That is not a reasonable caribou recovery strategy.
    Caribou wander is get used to it, they go anywhere their noses happen to point, and they are not smart.
    To save the caribou from themselves the public is going to have to understand that things that kill caribou have to be controlled. Wolves and cats are the number one killers, so reduce those predator populations to save the caribou.
    Don't worry about backroad access, no one travels fast enough to kill a caribou on those dirt roads. However, if main highways in BC were closed when the caribou are moving around, that might save a few animals. The three main highways leading out of Hope into the interior of the province should have rotating closures of a week at a time to help save the caribou from disturbance and road kills. Everyone should do there part in saving the caribou.

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    [-] Peter

    I hope you are NOT intending to spend more money on the south Selkirk and south Purcell animals. I use the word animals because they are no longer enough animals left to ever constitute a viable herd. With so few animals there is not enough genetic diversity for them to come back and efforts to augment these "herds" have been unsuccessful since the 1970's. I regret to see these animals disappear in these areas, but I am sure when you consult biologists, you will understand there is nothing more we can do.

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    [-] Douglas

    Please take immediate action to eliminate snowmobiling activity in any areas where caribou occur. It's well known that this activity causes direct disturbance of caribou and, by creating packed snow trails from the valley floor into the alpine, provides predator access into areas where caribou were formerly safe from predators. Current restrictions on snowmobiles are far too limited in scale. Most snowmobilers in the Columbias and Purcells are from out-of-province (Alberta) anyway; why are we compromising the security of threatened caribou herds for out-of-province motorized recreation? I am less familiar with impacts of heliskiing, helihiking, and ski touring, but these activities should also be examined.

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    [-] Danny

    We have tried over and over again to save the dwindling herds. In some areas full habitat protection, bans on backcountry access, limiting or eliminating resource exploration and still these herds are continuing to drop in numbers. Even in some of the most isolated areas we have seen herds shrink where human access is so low (such as parks that require a lake crossing or extreme terrain that there would never be any human conflict with the animals). We conveniently forget that there are natural forces at work here that we still do not fully understand like predator-prey and movement of other species into caribou habitat such as deer, moose and elk. Those big ungulates bring the predators like grizzly and wolves. We have conflicting wildlife management strategies all across the province. Grizzly bear habitat adjacent to Caribou habitat; it’s a joke (bringing the buffet next to the table). In these scenarios, we need to pick one that is more important than the other and focus on that species. You can’t have the whole cake here folks; its how nature always works, it makes room for other species to evolve and take over. Like the Elk populations growing across the province. I think this whole public review process is just there to satisfy a “check-box” that the government and their staff require for following their own rules. There is no reasonable caribou strategy from the BC government or the federal government that would not impact another species or be in conflict with it. BC gov banned grizzly bear hunting with a totally healthy population (and I am not saying I am for hunting any bears), but refused to see how this species impacts other species. Furthermore we are worried about our Moose population going down so we further reduce hunting on that species. A good example of strong moose populations is Newfoundland. Hundreds of thousands of moose which have established with the lack of predators (by the way, historically there were no moose in NFLD). The bottom line, we don’t know what we are doing at all government levels and we are wasting tax payer dollars on all levels to save a species. What’s are some of the possible solutions? One: If there is no caribou do not waste time protecting habitat for a species that will not return. Two: in areas of multiple wildlife objectives, you MUST choose Caribou over the predators and competing species; Caribou do not have a chance otherwise. Three: public need a better understanding of the interaction between predator-prey scenarios and what it means if we do one vs another. All too often we focus on the one species at the sake of another. Four: there is the unknown of wildfire impacts and how it brings in other species (i.e. Elk love newly burned over areas as there is plenty of fresh growth and cover for them after a few years). Five: ask the right questions and do the research and monitoring according. All too often we do research without knowing why and what we are trying figure out. It’s easy to focus on one species. But I think for Caribou we need a multi-level look at all the factors that affect them and we should start by looking at herds that are isolated from humans and how their numbers have changed with impacts from other species, wildfires, climate and other stress factors.

    User avatar
    [-] Nans

    -To date, our government has supported, directly or indirectly, mining, forestry, oil, gas, renewable energy and road building activities at the cost of the health & welfare of caribou and other wildlife and their natural habitats.
    -Its time to change this and factor in the natural habitats of animals living there. Plans & laws need to be designed and put in place to reflect the sovereign rights of wildlife habitats in relation to human intervention.
    -Education is paramount. The fact that our government's only solution is to kill completely innocent, sentient beings deemed inconvenient is unconscionable and a complete failure on both moral, practical levels, not to mention gross fiscal mismanagement.
    -All funding need to be focussed on a compassionate solution. After all, this is Canada we're speaking about!
    =Create stricter laws & incentives to ensure corporate collaboration with natural habitat & wildlife giving sustainable corporations preference.
    -Intelligent monitoring of caribou involving herd & land use planning, their health & reproduction and maternal pens.
    -We can offer an intelligent, humane alternative to this man-made problem!
    -Working Towards a Compassionate World of the 21st century!

    User avatar
    [-] James

    This mission statement is telling. Note that the "mission" is *not* to recover caribou populations. Rather, the "mission" is to "transform caribou management". This document is not much more than another bureaucratic plan to make a plan about planning. If the public service was serious about caribou recovery they would be listening to the scientists and strongly recommending the cabinet take action now to protect all of the critical caribou habitat in the interim … then do some planning if necessary.

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    [-] James

    This paragraph should be deleted – it's just lip service and empty rhetoric. The provincial government is not serious about this. If the government was in any way serious they would be using regulatory tools to protect caribou habitat now.

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    [-] Virginia

    Human activity of all kinds is the problem:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/protected-areas-human-stress-1.4667734
    Curtail the human population in B.C. and give the wildlife…….ALL wildlife…… a chance to survive. How do we go about this? I wish I knew.

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    [-] Michael

    We can song and dance around a host of reasons why the Caribou are slowly going extinct. Nothing will change until human beings stop exploiting the natural habitat of Caribou. The notion that endless economic growth for the benefit of humans, who now number 7.5 plus billion on the planet, is shear madness. Is it any wonder that we are now living through the Sixth Mass Extinction Event. Catastrophic climate change will soon make all attempts to manage any species of life on planet Earth rather a moot point. Stop logging the old growth. In fact stop logging period. We will need the forests to survive. Of course, our stupidity may have already doomed the forests to burn. Thanks for the chance to rant. Cheers….Michael

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    [-] Carolee

    "Transforming a program" is not a mission. The program is a means to end. What is that end? Why is the mission not to prevent extirpation of, and restore population of, Mountain Caribou?

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    [-] Carolee

    Where is the analysis of what went wrong with the previous program? I can't find it, though maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. There is an implication in this provision that science was not used enough or appropriately in the past. Is that why our caribou herds are facing extinction?

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    [-] Tara

    I am strongly opposed to the wolf cull that is planned to protect the caribou – especially in areas where the caribou population is already down to four or so. That doesn't make sense to do a cull. We need to find more effective, long term solutions like protecting habitat from development. Government biologists who are experts in this area should receive more funding to implement comprehensive science-based plans. I do agree that unfortunately some species are at the brink for a multitude of reasons and won't be able to be saved.

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    [-] Lee

    I wonder about the comments I see on here regarding saving/protecting the Habitat, and thinking this will save/increase caribou numbers?
    I have watched the governments, NGO and their servants over the decades fasten on the habitat idea/opportunity without hesitation or thought. The facts are in and the observations are clear, habitat is not what the caribou lack. The popular and ever expanding habitat protection policy has failed to make the sheep lay down with the lion, or the caribou lay down with the wolves, bears and cats. Totally protected habitats are losing their caribou faster than areas surrounded by logging and snowmobile areas. Habitat protection is obviously a red herring, so why is the government so focused on "habitat protection"?
    The only obvious answer is, the caribou population crash is an excuse to regulate the economic benefits of the back country for political gain.
    Unfortunately for the caribou, the most votes are in urban areas, so "caribou recovery" efforts are slanted to those voters demographics, rather than what the caribou really need. Those of us that live and are familiar with the local caribou herds, know the animals used to come into logging blocks to browse on felled trees, generally ignore snowmobiles, will run from cross country skiers and are being killed off by wolves. All of these facts are unpopular with the urban vote that was raised watching TV shows. Bambi wasn't real.
    Politics will be the death of the caribou, and I simply do not foresee this "new" Provincial caribou management forum being able to get past, or go against the beliefs of the urban vote, to preserve the last herds of caribou. Continuing the habitat protection policy will result in killing off the last of the caribou, and the government ending up with huge protected areas to play with to obtain voter support. That will be the legacy of the caribou.

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    [-] Laura

    I would love to see the science that shows killing wolves will help the caribou recover. There is no evidence to support this. I suggest you stop spending money on wolf culls. Managing their habitat and keeping the herds healthy will go further to allow the species to recover.

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    [-] randy

    Prohibit all off road vehicle , snowmobile and cat skiing and helicopter access in sensitive habitat areas. initiate an immediate wolf cull . Deactivate all logging and unnecessary access roads and seismic lines in theses areas as well . Cariboo have been studied to death in B.C. and while we waste time doing study after study only confirming what we already know ,more Caribo are disappearing. It's time for action to save them instead of wasting more time and money on studies. Spend the money where it will make a difference. The science is already telling us what to do. If the NDP government would listen to scientists and biologists in their employ we would have more Caribou and still be hunting Grizzly Bears !!!!!!

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    [-] Lloyd

    Listen to the biologists and the research,already conducted.

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    [-] Lloyd

    The first nations participation may mean they agree to not harvesting any caribou

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    [-] Lee

    I don’t understand how people are unable to find the many studies that have been done on the linear relationship between the wolf population and caribou populations. If the wolf population goes up, the caribou population goes down, and visa versa.
    Anyone can Google “Three decades of caribou recovery programs in the Yukon” by Richard Farrell, and quickly see what the experience has been.
    This may be the fault of the BC Government, by not including easy to follow studies, for those that rely on the government for total guidance. Clearly it is important that the public that wishes to lobby the government be familiar with the decades of research on wolf control in order to have a realistic conversation on caribou recovery programs.
    Similarly, the BC Government is not doing the caribou any favours by wasting money on creating and enforcing snowmobile closures when the results have been staggering declines in caribou, and no recordable benefit to caribou population recovery after excluding snowmobiles from nearly all of the BC mountains. Once again the government is not publishing the nasty and negative result on the caribou populations that have occurred after snowmobile closures became popular with the public. It is as if the government is pursuing the caribou recovery program as a PR exercise, and this has been pretty much a fatal blow for the caribou.
    A new approach to Caribou Recovery would be not pandering to anyone or anything that has politics above concerns over caribou recovery.
    Unfortunately for the caribou, the government sees votes in catering to those claiming to green/environmental voices and therefore will continue to blame snowmobiles and continue cuddling wolves. The government only has themselves to blame for the extinction of the caribou. The government made a huge mistake letting wolves take over snowmobile areas in the mountains.

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    [-] Alexander

    In addition to what was said above, I think it is very important to have clear objectives for recovery in terms of the exact number of protected square kilometers and also the numbers of animals in that habitat. The issue that the ministry of FLNRO&RD is in charge of managing animals and their habitat is a bit of a conflict of interest considering they are also the ministry for promoting forestry and natural resource extraction. Ideally these portfolios would be more efficiently managed together, but I feel like it is too easy for the dollars from the forestry industry to cause their agenda to win out over habitat and animal management.

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    [-] Alan

    Action needs to be immediate, not 4 or 5 years from now. No time for studies, nothing to study. Get FLNRORD to stop building roads and ogging caribou habitat immediately and then, if the sudies bear out that they can resume, deal with that later.

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    [-] Alan

    Action, action action! Any studies can be undertaken but for future use – after emergency action is taken to try to save this species – and the others that are not mentioned.

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    [-] Alan

    I agree with James. Relationships with any and all user groups are desireable but certainly not required to expedite the measures to aid in caribou recovery. To single out one group is totally unfair to all of the others. No one group is any better than the rest.

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    [-] Alan

    This is no longer a long term fix, thanks to the inaction, if not indifference, of the past provincial governments. Need action now

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    [-] Alexander

    There are many reasons why First Nations support, inclusion, and buy-in to this is critical for the success of any efforts to protect and manage habitat and wildlife. Without a doubt, success requires engagement, fairness, and participation by all parties towards the common goal of having long term sustainable populations of caribou (and other animals).

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    [-] Tahirih

    To suggest we have protected more than enough land to support caribou herds or any other mammal, insect, or bird would mean that the creeping urban sprawl has no effect on wildlife. Bears, cougars, moose and caribou are just a few of the species that are suffering from human development. There is a finite amount of land available, and we must share that. To expect wildlife to live within the boundaries and confines of what humans would prefer is unreasonable. They depend on specific food sources, specific environmental factors, and specific roaming territories. Unfortunately, humans will either have to compromise or lose certain species forever.
    To suggest that killing a predator to save the next animal on the food chain is like saying let’s kill all the whales because they eat the salmon. Is that the next species on the chopping block? Time to rethink our priorities and start workin with the environment instead of against it.

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    [-] Janice

    Much of the science is already known, so spending another $50 million over 5 years sounds like more greenwashing (at taxpayers' expense) by the NDP. We all know that resource extraction has been carried out at unprecedented levels in recent years, fragmenting wildlife corridors and creating ecological gaps. We know that BC has lost half of its forests to beetle, wildfire and overharvesting. We know that human encroachment through industry, and more and more through recreation, creates unprecedented stresses on wildlife. Reining in some of this activity is the obvious solution. You don't need $50 million to have someone tell you that – unless you're a BC Liberal. Having some kind of energy and resource development vision and policy framework is also kind of important for any government that plans to actually govern and make a difference. With its recent decisions to ignore expert advice on the folly of a hydro mega-dam, and on LNG development and royalties, I don't have a lot of faith that the NDP has any interest or even notion how to correct the deep problems BC has been left with after 16 years of a resource free-for-all.

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    [-] Kevin

    Everything that effect caribou my friends and family are involved in. I can’t hunt them, you spend millions on what a waste of time and money. So I live in rural areas and I’m suppose to starve and go broke ,enough is enough. Maybe we should start sponging off the government and collect welfare. Do something about the wolves and the fish and wildlife that we do need for OUR regions.

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    [-] Bart

    This is obviously a multidimensional issue that will need to be dealt with in a multi dimensional manner. To say only habitat or predation is the issue is clearly falling short of truly understanding the problems the caribou face. Humans affecting the landscape is a major issue, but climate change and predation are also important factors that need to be addressed in order to help turn the caribou population trend around. To start we need regular and consistent inventories so we know what numbers we are dealing with. Periodic and differing methods of acquiring population numbers really do not help. In order to get those inventories, we need a dedicated funding model in place to fund those counts and for further research. Without adequate funding our wildlife have zero chance of returning to healthy numbers. Ideally a model not influenced by political influence but one with imput provided by multiple user groups(First nations, NGO's, recreational users, hunters, industry, etc). Predation control MUST be used as a tool in the caribou situation. For those of you that claim this will not help, you are truly illustrating how ignorant you are regarding the predator prey dynamic and not helping the caribou with your anti wolf hunt rhetoric. Please stop using the word wolf CULL. There is not a single person I know that wants to cull the wolves, but they do need to be controlled in certain areas in order to help the caribou. Without wolf control, the caribou will certainly perish. This will certainly be supported by almost all provincial biologists involved in the caribou projects. I tend to trust experts rather than emotionally charged individuals that have limited or no credentials to back heir claims. I fully support them and a wolf management program in order to help the remaining caribou herds. In addition, decisions surrounding wildlife management need to made based on the best science we have available. Not on emotion as was done with recent grizzly bear closures.

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    [-] Tara

    The caribou is an iconic species in BC, as is the southern orca, grizzly bear, sockeye salmon and many more. All these species named above are very threatened by human activity as each population is at the brink of extinction. The southern orca pod has less than 76 whales in total. Sockeye salmon are returning to spawn at an alarming rate (less than 1 million), grizzlies have lost over 60% of their habitat etc. The common denominator? Humans! When the province commits to "science-based" and "fact-based" evidence on caribou herd recovery, is it not obvious that human activity of habitat destruction is the culprit? Mining, logging, fracking-logging of old growth forests is STILL happening today when we have the knowledge of how important these trees are (that can NEVER be recovered in our life time). Why are we still logging old growth forests? Its senseless. Profits or the "economy" are not fair considerations for complete annihilation of an entire species. This is what we are doing when we consider those of "stakeholders" or the economy when making such decisions. We must stop industry in critical habitat. We must protect critical habitat from any form of construction or human activity. Killing wolves is NOT the answer. Wolves and caribou have lived amongst each other for thousands of years with no need for a recovery plan. We are the problem, there is no "studying" needed. We must protect their habitat from developing industry. Its been only in the last 70 years that oil and gas has really boomed-the same time every species in BC has begun to decline. Protect the habitat, recovery the species. Period

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    [-] Tara

    The "Ministry of Environment" and "Climate Change" being in charge of this area sounds really good on paper but in all honestly, we have the incorrect people running the departments. Catherine McKenna has shown no leadership or responsibility in her role as the Environment and Climate Minister whatsoever. She tweets about the oil and gas industry and protecting them over the Environment. Its extremely disturbing to have such individuals in charge of saving endangered species when they have no interest in their role. I believe we need more oversight from independent offices that are non-political in order to save any species from extinction. This is beyond political and we need serious leaders taking bold action on such matters. This will affect our entire country and the food chain overall, its much more than politics and we need a non-political body involved to ensure its managed appropriately.

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    [-] Lori

    The long term plan seems to be too "long term." Many of these populations have dwindled to such miniscule proportions that immediate action is required. Further, while the discussion paper notes that it is clearly human destruction of habitat that is negatively impacting Caribou populations, predators continue to be blamed. It is the habitat destruction caused by rapacious extractive practices that must be stopped.

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    [-] Wendy

    To be correct we should be using “Indigenous Nations” now. We should have a school program taught in High School to encourage interest in children of tomorrow to become aware of the reasons for this program they could start in grade 8 now and would see the program’s completion by graduation.

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    [-] Kelly

    Program sounds great. Overall we need holistic science based approach including a reduction of emotional uneducated public opinion. Really need to dedicate all hunting license fees to conservation. This will send a solid message and hopefully get the ball rolling on other industry following suit.

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    [-] Scott

    Totally disagree with James and Alan – this is about neither "singling out one group", or one "group" being "better" than another. The First Nations are just that and need to be involved in meaningful negotiations regarding land use as equal partners in traditional territories.

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    [-] PAUL

    To save the herds, we need to limit and reduce human access. There is absolutely no reason for motorized access to caribou habitat. When snowmobilers and atv'ers make 'trails' through caribou habitat, the wolves use these roads to corner and devour caribou at alarming rates, and there is no escape for the caribou. People need to learn and accept that when their recreation results in caribou loss, it is the human recreation that must be curtailed. No one has a 'right' to the wilderness.

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    [-] Cole

    Why is it so difficult for everyone to understand the need to manage wolves? We don’t live in an idealistic world where there is no human interference. There is, and most likely always will be people encroaching on wildlife and changing the habitat. Due to this we can’t simply step back and assume nature will right itself.

    A simple internet search brings up the effects wolves have on ungulate populations. Now the creation of roads and trails allows them to travel faster and be far more deadly towards the caribou. Decommission logging roads, restrict motorized access in areas, and bring the wolves to a sustainable number. We DO NOT want to kill off all the wolves, we want to keep the predator/prey balance in check.

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    [-] Cole

    Why does the money need to go towards another study? There have been numerous completed already. What’s needed is the same thing as years ago. ACTION!

    Begin to properly manage the wolves, decommission roads and motorized access to sensitive areas, and bring in more caribou to supplement the herds. The government knows what needs to be done, it’s as if they’re waiting until the extinction of caribou in these regions to act. Politics are wreaking havoc on BC wildlife.

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    [-] Shannon

    For years, organizations and citizens have been voicing and reporting concerns. A complete moratorium of recreational use in/around caribou habitat is needed. In the South Selkirks, there is ski touring, snowmobiles and dogs. Close this area off for a 3 to 5 year period. Slow down the highway at the summit. It is sounding like it is too late for this herd, but these ideas could have been implemented years ago. Culling or tracking the wolf populations has proven to be ineffective. The pack leaders are not entering their territory.
    Do not fail other herds. If roads in the cranbrook/kimberly area are being deactivated and then reactivated by private citizens, then the provincial government needs to decommission the road until recovery numbers are reached. Get brutal. Claim the land for the caribou. Their demise has been brutal, so make the citizens of BC provide them a large berth of room. Offering tenure to helicopter access in sensitive habitat is careless. Logging in ancient forest anywhere in BC should be ceased immediately. It is not necessary to take down the large trees. This is a species which is sensitive; treat this matter sensitively. BC residents will understand. They have to.

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    [-] Carolyn

    I believe habitat loss is the real problem and not Wolves! As has been mentioned killing one species to protect the other is not the answer. Find a different way to manage the situation.

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    [-] WENDY

    The knowledge of Indigenous People is hugely far reaching. If Caribou herds are to be studied collectively, indigenous People must share their knowledge at a round table with OTHER indigenous people who have knowledge of Caribou herds in THEIR region. Scientists may join the discussion. Politicians may not join the discussion under ANY circumstances. The boundaries of Caribou herds follow no government boundaries. . Nobody associated with the government is allowed to join but all reports will be tabled.

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    [-] Adam

    A "comprehensive, science-based approach to protect and preserve caribou populations" is great, but where is the short and medium term plan for Caribou Recovery in the next 2 – 3 years? The historical causes of decline, and remediation steps to halt it, seem to be very well studied, documented and understood by biologists, but have been neglected through government inaction.

    Are to we to expect status quo for the next five years, until this program is "established" ? This timeline, however well intentioned, seems unsatisfactory to enact meaningful change.

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    [-] Adam

    Who will ultimately be accountable for the success or failure of this program, measured by the reversal of declining caribou populations?

    When a program is led jointly by two ministries, with a caveat that other government agencies support is required for success, before any actionable items are even identified, any new approach necessarily seems unfocused.

    Will there be performance metrics for the ECCS in terms of outcomes? Or the FLNRORD? If this program requires participation of provincial government agencies – why is this a risk? These agencies are accountable to the provincial government and should be given funding with appropriate goals and be held accountable for implementation, not delegated to a position as an operational risk which suggests an expectation of failure.

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    [-] Adam

    I agree with the other comments here that identify the unsatisfactory nature of the program's mission – transformation of caribou management as a mission seems to imply goals for the structuring of government management programs, not the outcome.

    This seems unsatisfactory – a progressive management program means nothing if those managed populations are just managed into extinction.

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    [-] Brent

    The people commenting on here that are against the predator cull, old growth logging, grizzly bear hunt etc, have been directed here by the 'conservation' group Pacific Wild. Every one of these people lives outside of BC or in an urban centre so we can politely disregard their opinions as nothing more than emotional outbursts.

    Keep up the predator cull.

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    [-] Mahmoud

    While I cannot speak for the Caribou herd south of the Arctic, my experience with residing in the Arctic is the massive industrialization (i.e the exponential growth of the towns) which leave in its wake pollution, excessive waste and thrown plastics (all of which is correlated with the delicate balance of the ecosystem), massive amounts of snowmobiles which makes successfully hunting caribou populations that much easier. I believe a problem is with the mentality. There exists a mentality in the north that everything exists in excess and the more the indigenous population can hunt the better. This mentality has led to the almost complete extinction of the caribou herd in Baffin island and these numbers continue to dwindle in western regions of kivalliq and kitikmeot. To battle this mentality, the government must enforce tighter restrictions on hunting.. That is at least my take on it. I might be wrong in oversimplifying it. But it's a proposition to protect Canada's most iconic and vital species.

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    [-] Tracy

    Indigenous peoples have managed this land for thousands of years. It is about time that we stop and acually listen to what they have to say before that knowledge is also lost. All species are connected and live in relationship with each other, bpth plant and animal. Habitat loss is devastating to a species. Without proper habitat any solution is temporary.

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    [-] Tom

    Save the Caribou by whatever means are necessary!

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    [-] Shayla

    I concur with some of the other people here: your goals need to be much more vivid and specific than what you have written here, and explicit in how many of these herds you intend to sustain and protect. With goals including numbers of caribou.

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    [-] Bruce

    To save the caribou, their habitat must be restored! Funding of $50 million over 5 years seems like much too little, much too late. High initial funding is required immediately.

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    [-] Bruce

    Habitat destruction must be stopped IMMEDIATELY!!! It's too late for bureaucratic waffling. Actual ACTION is required!

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    [-] Tamis

    I think its important to not only listen to the scientists who study relevant topics, but also to engage with non-governmental organizations who specialize in conservation to see what kind of insight and education they can share through lived experience in regards to what has worked, what didn't work so well, why, etc.

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    [-] Jan

    I don't believe that mankind or government should involve itself in the "management" of any native species on our planet apart from curbing the interference in their existence. Mother nature has a way of correcting issues that temporarily arise.
    By interfering the balance will be knocked out and sheer mayhem will be derived.

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    [-] Evelyn

    I think you know already but i guess it has to be said again and again. The issue is habitat loss. Killing one species to protect the other is not the answer. It has not worked it will not work. Sapien needs nature more than nature needs sapien…as the wild ones go we WILL follow

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    [-] Sherry

    I doubt that the local (Kootenays) herd can be saved at this point. However, people should be banned from the backcountry in areas with sensitive caribou habitat. This includes for recreational and industrial use. Wolf culls are a Band-Aid and don't get to the really cause of caribou decline – human activity. Please, please, please stop culling wolves. If you are unwilling to curtail human activity, then you have decided that caribou will be extinct in BC.

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    [-] WENDY

    The fact that the government is planning instead of starting round table action with scientists and experts that track caribou for a livelihood is telling. Timelines, suits, briefcases, catchphrases, — what does this do?? Zero. What has to be done is taking collective action in 1. tapping resources to first take an accurate measure population density. Because caribou return to boreal woods after calving season they difficult to track. Nobody has any idea what their numbers are once they disappear from the open calving grounds. Are there any scientists taking population measurements outside the calving areas? Nope. Not a one. Just hunters and trappers. So they are the ones to tap for knowledge. Not g-men who know NOTHING.

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    [-] Kristen

    The investment is science is extremely important but we have to actually apply the suggestions of scientists instead of just saying that things are happening as we are funding science but no action is taken.

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    [-] Anne

    The biggest threat to wildlife is humans. Limit sprawl and restrict development. Give these species a lot of land to run around in. Science has shown that this is the key. Give them a balanced ecosystem in which to thrive: this means NOT listening to the ignorant and fear-mongering blowhards who would have you punish other, innocent species rather than deny that it is humans who hurt the catalog

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    [-] B.

    I’m against the wolf cull, if you look to the south where Yellowstone National Park reintroduced wolves in 1995, it changed the ecological landscape of the park. Killing of a species to bring another makes no sense, sounds like the human population is the problem.

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    [-] Cory

    I notice comments that appear to advocate for continued usage of what should be protected lands. Ban snow mobiles, ATVs etc. Close the necessary roads during migration. Flying over the Rockies is depressing looking at the huge swaths of habitat destroyed by clear cut logging. Get tough with the people who abuse the environment not the animals.

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    [-] Hilary

    The cull of wolves to protect caribou is an inhumane and ineffective method of attempting to save the wild caribou herds. The wolf cull is a disastrous management experiment with no scientific evidence to support its methods or intended outcomes. A report on a 10-year cull program in Alberta that killed 733 wolves, cited by B.C. officials in support of the cull, actually showed that the cull had no effect on adult female or calf survival rates. Without adequate habitat protection and restoration, mountain caribou populations are still likely to decline. Very small populations of these specialized animals may no longer be viable and are susceptible to being wiped out by many things besides wolves, such as disease or forest fires.

    Shooting wolves from helicopters is an inhumane method of euthanasia. Many of these wolves will be wounded and left to die in the snow. There is no public oversight of the killing operation. B.C. is one of only two Canadian provinces that has not adopted the Canadian Council on Animal Care standards that guide the welfare and humane treatment of wild and domestic animals.

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    [-] Deven

    Rather than a wolf cull, start protecting habitat by restricting logging, snowmobiling and destructive human behavior. Re-introduction of wolves to United States National Parks has proven vastly beneficial to species diversity, healthy ecosystems and overall environmental health. Killing the wolves would be an easy solution to try, with disatraous results that will not save the caribou.

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    [-] Lexxie

    Wolves aren't ruining the Caribou population, people are. The wolf full is the most ignorant "action plan" to support, the government should be embarrassed.

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    [-] Claire

    Please implement a solution based on the preservation and restoration of habitat as opposed to the inhumane culling of wolves to bring back Caribou populations throughout BC. Sadly, the wolves serve as a scapegoat because of human activity destroying Caribou habitats. And, in fact, It has been shown, as within Yellowstone Park, that wolves can bring balance to an ecosystem. We are targeting the wrong problem here. The only way to move toward a long term solution is preserving and restoring habitat.

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    [-] Morgan

    Natural predation plays a role in keeping herds healthy by ensuring natural selection for the healthiest individuals. Please don’t underestimate the important role that apex predators play in the ecosystem. This is in addition to the consideration that the wolf cull (when enacted through poisons) has extremely negative side effects throughout the food chain. When we affect one species we affect them all. Decline in caribou herds is unmistakably related to habitat loss and human activity. Recent research has shown just how large solid stretches of habitat must be to support genetic diversity. Genetic diversity is necessary for healthy reproduction. Without diversity the species will naturally decline to the point of distinction. Deforestation, encroachment, off-roading, and other activities break up habitat into chunks, reducing caribou and other species abilities to maintain strong genetic diversity. Protect the habit to protect the species. The wolves are just playing the same role they’ve always played in the ecosystem, the difference is that we’ve messed up the habitat, and now we are messing with wolves to try to ‘undo’ it. And we’ve managed to treat a proud, highly social, and important apex predator in a super inhumane way.

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    [-] Kristen

    I would like to see more on how this program would make people accountable.

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    [-] Micky

    Culling apex predators is never the right choice, especially when those animals are just recovering to a healthy population themselves. Eco tourism is on the rise and the depletion of natural resources will leave our beautiful and unique country destroyed and bankrupt. Please don’t kill the wolves in order to help the wealthy make more money by continuing to destroy our ecosystem. There are many other options to help save the caribou and limiting human activity both industrial and recreational is the obvious choice. It won’t be long before animals are recognized as our peers and equals let’s not inhumanely and ineffectively slaughter our own citizens (whether human or not) for the sake of others bankrolls.

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    [-] Carmen

    I think you need to look at what happened with Yellowstone and what happened when wolves were brought back into their ecosystem. Systematically, wolves are not the issue, and human interference is. I think we need to stop over hunting in areas affected and for once, you government officials need to get your heads out of your asses and do something right.

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    [-] Tom

    Although the 50 million dollars dedicated to the recovery from the federal government is appreciated, it is imperative that the solution to tbis problem should not be approached as a single species exercise.
    In my opinion this dedicated funding would be far better served as leverage funding with the provincial government, industry, first nations, stakeholders and taxpayers associated with backcountry use, to incorporate a fully holistic wildlife management, ecosystem restoration, land access plan.
    This plan would address everything from habitat loss, disease, human conflict, feeding and penning, predator control, etc.
    This "big picture" view is what is needed not just blocking off the world to save a couple herds that may or may not be recoverable.
    We just may be chasing our tail with this project but we will never know until the big picture is examined first.
    I have a complete paper and recommendation on this issue that has been the work of over 2 years with all user groups, stakeholders and government.
    Please contact
    Tom at tom@tomshypitka.ca for a copy

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    [-] Judith

    Protecting herds in BC will start with preserving habitat and no more logging of old growth forests. It will also include restricting access to certain areas – that includes recreational access. As of this week Revelstoke town council is complaining that protecting the caribou will negatively impact their logging and recreation industries. Creative strategies, education and multi levels of government and community groups need to work together on this…and sometimes you just have to do without to allow wildlife a chance to rebuild and adjust – Thailand close their most popular national parks and destinations for 6 months every year on a rotating basis to allow them to regroup and not be completely overwhelmed by the influx of tourists. In no way should we be sacrificing another species – wolves and other 'predators' – in inhuman culling activities! If the sacrifice is to be made it should be the 'human species' and the limitation of access to the areas caribou roam

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    [-] Jacky

    Aren’t we intelligent enough as a race (in 2018!) to know these problems are not just a one-step process? “Hmm, yeah, let’s just kill the wolves. That should solve everything.” Why not plan with experts in preservation and restoration of habitat instead? I believe we are better humans than those doing inhumane things such as culling of wolves. Yes, I’d like to bring back Caribou populations throughout BC, but this is not the answer. Wolves have been proven to bring balance to an ecosystem. Taking them out of the playing field causes even more problems.

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    [-] Adam

    It would be great to see "closer relationships" re-worded to reflect full nation-to-nation consultation. Glad to see UNDRIP is explicitly named.

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    [-] anne-marie

    Sharing migration route information with public and putting it on all maps is important, just like a road. At a time when provincial tensions around the pipeline are threatening collaboration about the caribou we must pull together in a very public way and engage canadians in understanding their territorial and ecosystem needs

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    [-] anne-marie

    Ministry of indigenous Relations and Reconciliation should also be a key partner in this effort

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    [-] anne-marie

    We should be thinking holistically given all of the fires and floods so that we leave an abundance of wild space that can be used when other areas are affected.

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    [-] anne-marie

    Timeframes must be agreed upon at the same time as objectives so that First Nations can have full participation in the process given that so much of the land is theirs and they have many interests to balance as well.

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    [-] anne-marie

    It will be important to take a very big picture view in how we protect these areas of the planet given that the boreal forest is said to be due to disappear in the next 100 years in recent research. What is our big picture plan? How can we support Nature in retaining the functions and services she is providing in these critical carbon sequestering, air and water filtering, climate regulating areas.

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    [-] Josh

    It is uninformed to equate wolf eradication with caribou recovery. Loss of habitat quality and quantity is the true problem, but there are far more dollars being spent on convincing both the public and the policy makers that the problem lies elsewhere. It's much easier to blame the wolves. Information is power. Google "trophic cascade" and become informed. End the wolf cull.

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    [-] Jason

    The advancement of a new Caribou Recovery Plan is fantastic, and long overdue. As a scientist I am buoyed to hear it will be science-based. I would contend that the state of caribou science in BC is woefully inadequately resourced. There are important pieces of the puzzle being researched, but not nearly the work we need to fully understand the problem and find solutions that have the greatest chance of working. Substantial investment in caribou science is needed.

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    [-] Mitch

    All wildlife and wild places in BC, including Caribou and their habitat, need to be managed using the best available science without the interference of political motives.
    Each and every user group needs to pay their share to fund the scientific management of wildlife. This includes industrial and recreational users.
    A separate entity for the management of wildlife, kept out of reach of politicians operating on 4yr election cycles, needs to be formed.
    It seems the caribou have been extensively studied and our biologists know what needs to be done, the time for talk and endless surveys is over. This is true for all wildlife in BC. Another example would be wild salmon and steelhead that we are watching go extinct before our eyes while next to nothing useful is being done.
    It’s well past time we started fixing the root of problems rather than token measures that really do nothing to help our wildlife in BC.

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    [-] WENDY

    It seems the moderator is falling into that tricky grey area of using language as an excuse to discard those ideas that differ. We will see. There are no language issues with this comment. We will start with the first point about the government run study of caribou in the Province of B.C . We look at the incredible amount of money committed to study the population of many different regional caribou herds. Should this be an NDP initiative, we must examine the fact that our provincial government changes over party and public policy every few years. What is the fate of this study when government changes hands? Is the study prioritized or is the study shelved until the government of the day can figure out how to redistribute the incredible amount of money committed? For this reason alone, the government should stay out of the study altogether. What we need is a completely separate round table group to form without any ties to the government. We need this round table group, comprised of those dedicated scientists who have studied caribou for many years, (they'll all know each other, it's a small world), native knowledge and a moderator something on the scale of Justice Thomas Berger, INDEPENDENT of government money and let these chosen experts have as much time as necessary to source study, collate regional knowledge and complete that collective knowledge with scientific population study measurement.

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    [-] WENDY

    There have already been studies compiled of caribou herds. Just recently, CBC installed a 360 degree camera where caribou could be viewed on their way to calving grounds. The caribou had no problem with the camera, some even got up close and gave it a good once over. So. Why are several government departments not installing the same type of devices and actually using these camera for counting caribou. The scientific measuring devices know no end. LiDAR can be run from planes to count herds. That doesn't require several government departments to get involved unnecessarily in order to spend this $50 million money committed to the cause. What is required is a plane and a crew with commitment to follow these caribou and wolves into the boreal forest and COUNT them using incredibly accurate devices such as LIDAR. (Light Detection and Range)

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    [-] Dashiel

    You have to protect wilderness habitat. Not kill a species that evolved with the caribou. Wolves are as essential as caribou and deserve respect and life as killing them will do nothing to go a species that has no where to live.

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    [-] rachael

    It is absolutely absurd to be culling one kind to save another. The wolf is essential to healthy eco systems and there has just got to be a better way to manage. Don't look for the quick fix.. it isn't always the correct or appropriate solution.

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    [-] Victor

    All who use and benefit from our natural resources should give back to conservation, including but not limited to: hydro electric development, helix skiing, ski hills, logging, mining, oil and gas, ecotourism, hunters, anglers, naturalists. Natural resource conservation funding should be placed at arms length from government to increase transparency, public confidence, and the ability to leverage funding.

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    [-] Victor

    If we are to recover caribou, and wildlife broadly, BC has to change its approach: we need a new model which is adequately funded, has legislated objectives and which puts wildlife first.

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    [-] Maggie

    I am writing in response to the discussion paper for the Provincial Caribou Recovery Program.

    First and foremost, I ask that you end the culling of wolves.

    The evidence is clear that the decline in caribou populations throughout British Columbia is primarily driven by habitat destruction and fragmentation as a result of industrial development.

    In order to protect mountain caribou in British Columbia, I ask that you take science-based and ethically-informed actions like developing a caribou recovery plan in line with procedures for identifying critical habitat under the federal Species at Risk Act. These plans should include the creation of large intact protected areas in high and low elevation habitat that are off limit to logging, resource extraction, and recreational users, with buffer zones where minimal industrial or recreational human encroachment is permitted.
    Moreover, I ask that you ensure the recovery plans are implemented through a transparent and open process and include the publication of annual reports compiled by government scientists and peer-reviewed by independent conservation experts.

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the provincial caribou recovery program.

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    [-] Fiona

    Our caribou's extinction is a symptom of the bigger problem – the valuing of economic gain over life. Non-essential human activity is causing the extinction of a major and iconic species – we MUST change our habits – now.
    Eliminate the predator pathways by keeping industry and recreation out of caribou lands.
    Our natural resources currently on caribou lands can be extracted in the future once herds have moved north with climate change.
    There will be more threats of extinction – all over the world in these coming years.
    I believe this provincial leadership has the smarts and the courage to make an example here by ensuring that we responsibly care for those with whom we share this great country's land. We have an opportunity to choose our future here – greed, indulgence and destruction or the strength and beauty of life.

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    [-] Tom

    Let's see ….. Min of Env wants caribou recovery, FLNRORD wants more moose. Nobody wants to deal with grizzly predation. Seems like a good formula.

    There needs to be one ministry dealing with fish and wildlife. Period. Reassemble the Fish and Wildlife Branch, put the enforcement section (Cons Officers) back in with fish and Wildlife. Then give them a specific legal mandate to recover caribou. If that does not happen, human activities such as tree pests, public's "right" to access areas, etc will prevent recovery. Caribou decline has been around for a long time, only now that the Feds have warned they will step in and take control. That would upset the relationship between industry and politicians.

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    [-] Tom

    I think there is enough known to deal with a lot of these issues. we can re-invent the wheel over the next 10 years or we can take steps in the short-term to enhance the probability that caribou will still be around in 10 years. Road density, predation, habitat ineffectiveness can be dealt with our present understanding.

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    [-] Dennis

    Once again another species in BC is being managed to zero. The only way we are going to stop this management plan is to get the right people in charge of it.

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    [-] Judy

    Two science advisors funded by the B.C. government recommended in 2017 that programs to kill wolves, mountain lions, moose and deer should expand in an "experimental" attempt to conserve and recover threatened southern mountain caribou. They also conceded the culls were inhumane. This lethal approach is unsupported by widely published predator behavioural science, by prominent independent researchers. The current provincial government must commit to protecting an ecologically significant caribou habitat. In 2007, the province released habitat protection recommendations for 34,000 to recover caribou herds in the Revelstoke—Shuswap area. But for economic reasons, it chose to protect less than 10,000 hectares. Until we stop scapegoating other species and focus in our own key role in pressures on our wildlife, we will continue to witness declines and extirpations.

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    [-] Judy

    Two science advisors funded by the B.C. government recommended in 2017 that programs to kill wolves, mountain lions, moose and deer should expand in an "experimental" attempt to conserve and recover threatened southern mountain caribou. They also conceded the culls were inhumane. This lethal approach is unsupported by widely published predator behavioural science, by prominent independent researchers. The current provincial government must commit to protecting an ecologically significant caribou habitat. In 2007, the province released habitat protection recommendations for 34,000 to recover caribou herds in the Revelstoke—Shuswap area. But for economic reasons, it chose to protect less than 10,000 hectares. Until we stop scapegoating other species and focus in our own key role in pressures on our wildlife, we will continue to witness declines and extirpations.

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    [-] Meghan

    Please consider the immense detrimental tourism impacts this could have on communities across BC. It is imperative that in considering potential changes to the regulations, program design, and land use accessibility of the Provincial Caribou Recovery Program, the Province continue to take a collaborative approach that considers both the impact on caribou preservation and the economic impacts of these decisions.

    Any significant changes to the Caribou Recovery Plan in terms of regulation, program design, and in particular – land use accessibility, would have detrimental impacts on the economic sustainability of tourism in BC.

    Tourism has become a major economic driver for most of the province. Potential increased restrictions on both recreation and commercial activities as part of the Caribou Recovery Plan stand to directly impact heli-skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking and backcountry activities – all of which contribute significantly to our economy.

    In addition to direct affects on tourism operators, the impact would be significantly felt by accommodators, restaurants, retailers, arts, culture, and heritage organizations – all of whom have become heavily dependent on tourism revenues.

    Please work with all stakeholders to ensure that both the public and industry stakeholders are active participants in developing and managing the Caribou Recovery Plan, prioritizing actions that both protect Caribou and consider socio-economic impacts.

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    [-] Tom

    At the higher level planning, the topics is recovering endangered caribou. While we have no shortage of herds in this plight, I see no mention of northern herds that are 10-20 years away from this designation. We are in triage mode for southern caribou and have the potential to prevent this same situation in the north. I don't see much effort to deal with road densities, resource extraction, etc that could avoid going down this path. What's good for the goose (cow) is good the gander (bull caribou)

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    [-] Madi

    The relationship between the Government of BC and all Indigenous Peoples of BC – First Nation and non-First Nation is Crown-to-Crown. There a draft principles that will change over time as this relationship is further refined and reconciled. Caribou habitat is part of this Crown-to-Crown relationship and the recovery program must learn that the vision, mission, and practices of the past re-framed into something that it better intended for the future is completely inadequate. The Government of BC needs to learn that protection of habitat areas and the herds is an immediate crisis and that recovery is long-term and stretches over time as the entire relevant habitats are protected and restored and then remain in tact. Inadequate language opens the door to more denigration of the species and the heritage for all the people of BC, specifically acknowledging all Indigenous rights and the depth and breadth of Indigenous knowledges.

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    [-] Peter

    I strongly feel that governments are not concerned with wildlife and utilize our licence and tag fees to general coffers. The monetizes need to be spent on wildlife habitat protection and culling of wolves. All species including caribou are being threatened because we have allowed wolves easy access by building logging roads, pipelines and hydro power line corridors. Logging roads need to be destroyed after use and habitat closed to skidoo and ATV use. I also don’t understand why you want so many groups at the table for discussion, this will surely lead to never ending negotiation and zero results. The government needs to empower scientists and B.C. Wildlife officers and let them manage the resource. Until Caribou, Moose, And Deer populations are thriving no-one group should be given a Carte Blanche right to harvest while wildlife numbers are so low. If science allows harvest all parties should partake in the LEH system lottery. It’s not like anyone needs wildlife food sources to survive, let’s nip that one in the bud immediately. Harvesting of wildlife should be a privilege that should be equally available to all.

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    [-] tristan

    Remaining caribou habitat needs to be protected and a recovery plan needs to be in place to recover whats lost. Until caribou numbers have recovered the wolf cull must continue.
    Please leave politics and public opinion out of wildlife management.

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    [-] Lorna

    Collaboration should be the goal to reach beyond "closer relationships".
    Provincial and Federal government must recognize that they share authority with Indigenous governments and engage in collaborative decision-making.

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    [-] Emily

    It's been over a decade since the last recovery strategy and still caribou populations continue to decline. Enough talk, it's time for meaningful, science-based, ethically-informed action. We know that it's habitat destruction and fragmentation that are the root cause of decline for caribou. If these herds are to be saved they need complete habitat protection (not just high elevation winter ranges, for example). There must be a moratorium on any more habitat loss/degradation, including industrial activity, road-building, and recreational tenures (snowmobiling, heli-skiing, etc.) Roads, trails, seismic lines that aren't in use and are in caribou habitat should be deactivated and restored, as should other disturbed habitat. Closures must be monitored and enforced and not just be voluntary. Caribou recovery efforts have relied heavily on predator culling – not only has this been unsuccessful, but it's unethical. Gunning down wolves from helicopters isn't an acceptable form of euthanasia, as per the Canadian Council on Animal Care. The previous government scapegoated predators for caribou decline, while allowing habitat destruction and fragmentation to continue. This new caribou recovery program must not continue that ill-informed approach, but instead focus on the root of the problem and not a symptom.

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    [-] Brenda

    The paper says 30-40 thousand caribou at the turn of of the century now- half that. 178,000 people back then and 4.6 million now! We need to acknowledge the consequences of our population growth -that it results in having to manage the wild species/land around where we want to survive, thrive and play. I support the employment of immediate actions such as predator control, maternity penning, and even exclosure penning but reasonable new approaches also need to factor in the likely negative economic effects of further constraints to the landbase.

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    [-] Michael

    I began my career as a wildlife biologist in the 1970’s studying mountain caribou north and south of the Yellow head highway from east of Prince George to the Alberta border. My thesis, The Status and Ecology of Mountain Caribou and Caribou Range in Central British Columbia, (1978) made clear the threat posed to the survival of caribou by habitat destruction and other human disturbance. I continued my work from Alberta over the next 5 years which made clearer the threat and the need for urgent action as the population ranged across the national parks and into Alberta. Now, 40 years later, we are faced with a crisis of our own making through neglect, indifference and unsustainable land-use policies favouring short-term economic gain over healthy ecosystems that would support successful wildlife populations and the resource economy for generations.
    After decades of caribou population decline and the failure of British Columbia to implement effective recovery actions, a bold strategy to restore caribou habitat and population is long overdue. As others have brought to your attention real caribou recovery in BC requires:
    ● Population recovery targets that ensure self-sustaining caribou populations across BC herds,
    ● Partnership opportunities in caribou recovery plans, notably an expanded role for indigenous peoples and public interest groups,
    ● habitat protection that at a minimum meets the habitat protection requirements outlined in the 2014 federal Recovery Strategy,
    ● Restoration of historically important habitat,
    ● Legislation committing wildlife managers, forestry, energy/mining, and recreation/tourism managers and agencies to consider, avoid, and where necessary, mitigate the impacts of their activities on caribou; and, crucially,
    ● An immediate moratorium on further degradation of caribou habitat across caribou ranges
    ● End caribou hunting except in limited cases for indigenous communities
    ● Legislation must commit B.C. to the targets of this recovery with clear, measurable objectives and implementation plans.
    ● Wolf kill programs are an inhumane distraction from the real cause of caribou decline, habitat destruction. Wildlife management must be ecologically and ethically sound.
    ● Mountain caribou live nowhere else on the planet and all of BC’s caribou populations require urgent action.
    ● Species at Risk legislation is urgently required in BC advisory groups must include representatives from ENGO’s and First Nations

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    [-] Michael

    ● Legislation committing wildlife managers, forestry, energy/mining, and recreation/tourism managers and agencies to consider, avoid, and where necessary, mitigate the impacts of their activities on caribou; and, crucially,

    ● Species at Risk legislation is urgently required in BC advisory groups must include representatives from ENGO’s and First Nations

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    [-] Michael

    ● Partnership opportunities in caribou recovery plans, notably an expanded role for indigenous peoples and public interest groups,

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    [-] Michael

    I began my career as a wildlife biologist in the 1970’s studying mountain caribou north and south of the Yellow head highway from east of Prince George to the Alberta border. My thesis, The Status and Ecology of Mountain Caribou and Caribou Range in Central British Columbia, (1978) made clear the threat posed to the survival of caribou by habitat destruction and other human disturbance. Now, 40 years later, we are faced with a crisis of our own making through neglect, indifference and unsustainable land-use policies favouring short-term economic gain over healthy ecosystems that would support successful wildlife populations and the resource economy for generations.
    After decades of caribou population decline and the failure of British Columbia to implement effective recovery actions, a bold strategy to restore caribou habitat and population is long overdue.

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    [-] Kate

    This is proven to be inhumane and ineffective. Please base your plans on research and scientifically analyse the impact “man” has had rather than other mammals.

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