A new review process will potentially protect boreal woodland caribou habitat across parts of the province from new land sales.
The Resource Review Areas will protect approximately 500,000 hectares of the province’s caribou range for the next five years when it will be reviewed.
According to the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources, the “boreal caribou populations will be closely monitored” during the five-year period and population and habitat requirement indicators will be developed.
Despite the new RRA, the First Coal Corporation is still going to be able to develop on parts of the caribou’s protected range area because they already hold a tenure and undergoing an environmental assessment to have a mine near Chetwynd.
First Coal says, however, that it has “already moved its activities away from the western windswept, high elevation ridges which constitute the highest value early winter caribou habitat.”
The company says its planned mining process will allow the land to be more easily returned as close as possible to its original state once its activities are completed.
Approximately 1,500 boreal woodland caribou range within British Columbia. Under the federal Species at Risk Act, the population is currently listed as threatened and in British Columbia, the species is red-listed which means they are currently threatened or endangered of becoming extinct.