Public caribou meetings scheduled April 1 to 4

Four days of public meetings on caribou recovery plans in the Peace Region have been scheduled for April 1 to 4.

Staff from both the provincial and federal governments, as well as the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations will share information on the draft agreements, answer questions, and take feedback. 

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The meeting dates are:

  • Chetwynd - Monday, April 1, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Chetwynd Recreation Centre
  • Fort St. John - Tuesday, April 2, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre
  • Tumbler Ridge - Wednesday, April 3, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Trend Mountain Hotel and Conference Centre
  • Dawson Creek - Thursday, April 4, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Co-op Mercer Hall at Encana Events Centre

The provincial government announced March 21 that a draft agreement between B.C., Ottawa, and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations to protect caribou habitat and recover dwindling populations in the South Peace. The province and Ottawa have also reached a separate agreement under the federal Species at Risk Act.

The province's agreement with West Moberly and Saulteau targets the Pine, Narraway and Quintette herds around Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, and Mackenzie.

The agreement calls for protected areas and closures for high and low elevation caribou habitat, and measures on recreation management, maternity penning, predator control, and land restoration. The closures are targeted at resource development, and not tourism and backcountry recreation, ministry officials said last week.

No existing mining operations will be affected, but forestry and other tenure holders will be impacted. 

The province's agreement with Ottawa outlines "broad recovery actions" and gives the province access to federal funding to support recovery efforts. Forests minister Doug Donaldson has said this agreement will allow the province to work on bilateral agreements with federal government for other areas in B.C.

The province is also soliciting feedback online at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/caribou.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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