Public engagement on caribou to start in February

The province has committed to start public and stakeholder engagement on caribou recovery plans in the Peace region in early February, the regional district says.

The regional district said in a news release Wednesday that representatives, along with the grassroots Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery, met with Environment Minister George Heyman and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson Wednesday at the BC Natural Resource Forum. 

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The meeting ended with the province commiting to start public and stakeholder engagement on the draft partnership agreement to recover caribou, the regional district stated. No dates were given.

“As part of the engagement the Province committed to sharing data and analyses on potential impacts of the Agreement and made a commitment to work with the PRRD on the evaluating impacts of the Agreement on Peace communities,” the regional district stated in a news release.

“The Agreement will not be finalized until engagement is complete and potential impacts on communities and workers are understood.”

Local governments have been pressing the province over the last several months, demanding consultations and more study on two agreements being developed with West Moberly and Saulteau to restore caribou populations in the South Peace.

According to recent counts, there's an estimated 229 animals in five herds in the region.

MP Bob Zimmer is scheduled to hold a public town hall on February 2 at the Pomeroy Hotel in Fort St. John from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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

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