FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Many concerned residents and stakeholders came out to the Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre on Tuesday night to learn about the Government’s plan for the Draft Caribou Recovery Agreements.
This meeting was the second of a series of public meetings scheduled by the Government.
Presentations were given on the recovery process and background on the caribou.
Attendees had the opportunity to fill out feedback forms on the matter of the agreement process.
Those in attendance also had a chance to share their thoughts and opinions on the agreements.
Dale Seip, from the B.C. Ministry of Environment, says the decline in caribou population is mostly due to predation from wolves.
“The overwhelming cause of death, that we need to identify is wolf predation. So out of all the mortalities that we had, 53, 20 of those were due to wolves for sure. There are also quite a few uncertain ones. So, if we just look at the ones that we are pretty certain of, about 3/4 of the mortalities are due to wolves.”
Seip also discussed the various management options that could be or have been done to protect and restore the caribou populations. Some of those management options include wolf control and penning of calves.
Most residents and stakeholders feel that the deadline window is too small and they hope that there will be more meaningful consultation shortly with the public and industries.
Other concerns raised were the effect recovery may have on pipelines and forestry projects and if this project means complete closure of the backcountry.
Some attendees were skeptical as to whether or not the Government will actually, not only listen to concerns but will consider them in further planning.
Public input on the draft agreement is being accepted until May 3, 2019.
More information on the draft agreements can be found on the Government of B.C.’s website.
Below is video from the meeting in Fort St. John.
Here is the second part of the meeting