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CPAWS welcomes federal court decision on caribou


CPAWS welcomes the Federal Court’s July 29 ruling that Alberta’s caribou herds are in trouble, and the federal minister must respond under the Species At Risk Act. The court has given Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent until September 1 to release a long overdue recovery strategy for Boreal woodland caribou required under the Act.

CPAWS will be assessing the Boreal woodland caribou recovery strategy once it is released.

The legal case was launched by Ecojustice, on behalf of the Pembina Institute and Alberta Wilderness Association,  seeking a court order to force Minister Peter Kent to recommend emergency protection of critical habitat for threatened caribou herds in northeastern Alberta. The minister had previously declined to recommend the requested emergency protection, in what the court described as an “out of the blue” decision.

As Ecojustice notes in its news release, “Protections for caribou in northeastern Alberta need to be implemented soon. Some herds have declined by more than 70 per cent during the past 15 years.”

“It is not immediately apparent how, given the foregoing facts, the Minister reasonably could have concluded that there are no imminent threats to the national recovery of boreal caribou,” Federal Court Justice Crampton wrote in his decision.

Read the full Ecojustice news release here.