Various non-profit organizations across the country, including The Fur-Bearers, are calling on Canadians to urge the Alberta government to abandon a draft plan to help in the recovery of woodland caribou in North and Central Alberta. This plan includes destroying not only wolves, but moose, elk and deer (while fencing in caribou) in areas where over the last decade, industry has taken over wilderness.
Independent scientists, conservation groups and animal welfare organizations are united in demanding a different future and encourage the public to read and oppose the draft before the August 5th deadline.
Through Canada's Species at Risk Act, the Government of Alberta is compelled to contrive a strategy to recover threatened subpopulations of mountain caribou and implement it by 2017. The province released its draft plan for caribou recovery in North and Central Alberta on June 8, 2016. Contained within this proposal are the Government of Alberta's Draft Little Smoky and A La Peche Caribou Range Plans (June 2, 2016).
According to the 2012 federal Recovery Strategy for Caribou, 95 percent of critical caribou habitat in the Little Smoky range is already disturbed by people and their activities. Most of these disturbances are caused by industrial development and infrastructure, including forestry and the energy sector, which would continue to operate. Industry should not take priority over wildlife and wilderness.
Habitat conservation is the first issue that should be addressed, not a cull. Studies and past trials have shown that these culls in the name of caribou recovery are ineffective.
According to The Fur-Bearers Executive Director Lesley Fox “Killing one species to save another is not based in science. Wolves have been persecuted for centuries, it’s time for a different approach, and we must exhaust other methods first. Acknowledging the impact of human activity and protecting habitat is the first step.”