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Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Presents Innovative Caribou Co-management Plan

October 12, 2012

Wild Lands Advocate update, August 2012, by Nigel Douglas. Report on a caribou plan proposed by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation that would see the establishment of two “zones” – a Protection Zone and a Stewardship Zone – within ACFN homelands in northeastern Alberta aimed at the protection and restoration of Caribou habitat.

“In the absence of any provincial government leadership in caribou recovery in Alberta, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (AFCN) has showed its willingness to step up to the plate. In an innovative new report, AFCN lay out a ‘stewardship strategy’ for the management of caribou and wood bison in a huge area of northeastern Alberta. The report – Níh boghodi: We are the stewards of our land. An ACFN stewardship strategy for thunzea, et’thén and dechen yághe ejere (woodland caribou, barren-ground caribou and wood bison) – was released in April 2012.

“The primary goal of the newly proposed strategy is to ‘provide a concrete vision and tool for sustaining the way of life of our Nation, particularly in relation to ACFN Homelands, and in the face of anticipated or proposed development.’ This includes proactive protection and restoration of habitat for all local populations of caribou and bison within their historical range in ACFN Homelands.”

No public hearings are scheduled. Only one Alberta organization, the Alberta Wilderness Association, is independent enough that it continues championing public land and the people's right of access to it. So people must speak individually, as they have so many times before, directly to the premier, the minister of Sustainable Resource Development and their MLA, and remind them of what public land means to all of us, that none of it is surplus to our needs, that we do not want it sold.
- Bob Scammell, 2003
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