Federal government should manage Alberta’s threatened caribou: letter

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EDMONTON — Several First Nations and aboriginal groups are asking the federal government to take over management of endangered caribou herds on provincial land in Alberta.

They say the province hasn’t met Ottawa’s deadline for coming up with a plan to save threatened herds.

The Cold Lake First Nations, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Alberta Wilderness Association and Ecojustice want federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to step in.

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The groups have sent McKenna a letter asking her to use the Species At Risk Act to protect five caribou herds and their ranges on Alberta Crown land.

The minister has the power to recommend cabinet employ a safety- net order if she finds that a province is not doing enough to protect an at-risk species.

Alberta and the other provinces were to release recovery plans last month, but none of them did.

Only three of Alberta’s 12 caribou herds are considered to have stable populations.

Scientists say habitat degradation from energy and forestry development is behind the problem.

The Canadian Press

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