Prov­ince of­fi­cially re­veals draft cari­bou plan

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - CLASSIFIEDS - JA­SON KERR

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has of­fi­cially re­leased its Draft Range Plan for Wood­land Cari­bou in Saskatchewan to the pub­lic in hopes of bet­ter un­der­stand­ing the pres­sures on Saskatchewan’s cari­bou pop­u­la­tion.

The Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment made the doc­u­ment avail­able to the pub­lic on Mon­day. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives say they’re hop­ing for feed­back from in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­nity groups to en­sure all per­spec­tives are con­sid­ered.

“By hav­ing a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process, you’re open­ing it up to ev­ery­body who other­wise wouldn’t have a voice in it,” cari­bou pro­ject man­ager Michael McLaugh­lin ex­plained.

In 2012, all Cana­dian prov­inces be­gan de­vel­op­ing range plans to help iden­tify cari­bou pop­u­la­tion lev­els. The an­i­mal is listed un­der the Species at Risk Act, which means no part of their habi­tat can be de­stroyed.

McLaugh­lin said draft range plan will help the min­istry get a bet­ter grip on the prob­lem, and help iden­tify po­ten­tial so­lu­tions, es­pe­cially in the cen­tral Bo­real Plain.

Re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Saskatchewan have re­ported that con­di­tions in the far north of the prov­ince are among the best in Canada, lead­ing to a healthy and sturdy cari­bou pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, less is known about the cen­tral Bo­real Plain.

The min­istry is al­ready ac­tively work­ing with en­vi­ron­men­tal groups, north­ern and cen­tral Saskatchewan com­mu­ni­ties, First Na­tions and Métis groups and the for­est sec­tor.

“They can help iden­tify these ar­eas to be set aside to help­ing main­tain (the cari­bou) habi­tat,” he said.

McLaugh­lin added that the for­est sec­tor can help fos­ter the cari­bou pop­u­la­tion by cre­at­ing “dis­turbed land,” which helps re­ju­ve­nate the area in the same way as for­est fires. How­ever, he em­pha­sizes that the log­ging must be done prop­erly.

Copies of the draft plan can be down­loaded at http://www.saskatchewan. ca/gov­ern­ment/pub­lic-con­sul­ta­tions/ wood­land-cari­bou-range-plan. Res­i­dents with com­ments, sug­ges­tions or other feed­back can send them di­rectly to wood­land­cari­boupro­ject@gov.sk.ca. Res­i­dents who have trou­ble down­load­ing the re­port can also use that ad­dress to re­quest a hard copy of the re­port. Feed­back will be ac­cepted un­til Dec. 29, 2017.

The bo­real wood­land cari­bou was first rec­om­mended for “threat­ened” sta­tus by the Com­mit­tee on the Sta­tus of En­dan­gered Wildlife in Canada in 2002. It be­came of­fi­cial in 2003.

GOV­ERN­MENT OF SASKATCHEWAN

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