British Columbia currently has several active maternity penning projects: one near Revelstoke, one near Creston, and another in the Northeast at Klinse-Za; each are operated through partnerships and receive funding from a variety of sources.
Maternity penning has both advocates and critics who bring different viewpoints on the overall benefits to caribou recovery that come from this activity.
On the positive side, maternity pens generally increase caribou numbers immediately, and are less controversial than wolf control. They provide opportunities for partnership and collaboration with First Nations.
However, maternity pens are costly and labour intensive. Effectiveness is governed by habitat availability and the herd size.
Alternatively, Alberta is working on an innovative penning approach, which is also under consideration for a pilot project in B.C. The large fenced “exclosure” concept involves the construction of very large fenced areas (up to 100 km2) where caribou can exist on a semi-permanent basis, protected from predators.