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CPAWS welcomes BC government’s move to protect woodland caribou


Vancouver – CPAWS-BC is pleased that the province has announced a new plan to address the rapid decline of woodland caribou in the Peace Northern district, an area that is of increasing interest to coal miners.
Declining caribou populations is a critical issue across the province. To reverse this trend, CPAWS-BC notes that proper management of all caribou habitat is essential.

The province’s plan will require a variety of industries, including coal mines, to stay out of high-elevation habitat vital to caribou herds located south of the Peace River.

“We view this as a positive and long overdue step because mountaintop coal mining causes permanent loss of critical caribou winter habitat,” says Nicola Hill, Executive Director of CPAWS-BC. 

“This move will help to reduce the harmful impact of many industries active in the region, including mining, oil and gas, and wind power projects, on local wildlife populations. An example of positive action that has already been taken is by the B.C. forestry sector. Foresters have long contributed to safeguarding important species like caribou by respecting designations like ‘Wildlife Habitat Area’ and ‘Ungulate Winter Range’,” adds Hill.

CPAWS welcomes these progressive measures around high elevation habitat, but notes that it will be important for the plan to also include meaningful management of low elevation habitat and be applicable to all industries.  Currently, low elevation habitat is being degraded and unable to sustain many caribou herds.  Proper management of both low and high elevation habitats supports long term habitat conditions and sustain healthy caribou populations.

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For interview requests, please contact: Jackie Peat, Communications Coordinator, CPAWS-BC, 604-685-7445 ext 22

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is Canada’s grassroots voice for wilderness. The B.C. chapter has played a lead role in more than doubling the amount of protected areas in the province to over 14%. We’re also on guard to ensure that our parks are managed to protect the nature and species within them.