AWA Comments on Alberta’s Draft Provincial Woodland Caribou Range Plan
January 12, 2018
AWA feels strongly that Alberta’s draft provincial range plan does more to increase the risk of caribou extinction for the foreseeable future – by allowing more critical habitat in caribou home ranges to be destroyed – than it does to work towards recovering thriving caribou populations.
AWA recommends that, among other changes, the plan should state that: “Alberta is committed to achieve at least 65% undisturbed caribou habitat in caribou home ranges in the next 50 to 70 years to enable their survival and recovery, and to manage human activities to respect these requirements. Recognizing that caribou are a sentinel species for older, relatively intact boreal and foothills forests and wetlands – landscapes that store significant water and carbon, and which many other wildlife species rely upon – the integration of the Range Plan into Government of Alberta plans and frameworks will be a major advance in achieving Alberta’s longstanding commitment to maintain biodiversity and achieve sustainable forest management and responsible energy development.”
The plan must also recognize that Albertans are highly capable of adapting to build resilient local economies and communities that respect this goal, and it must facilitate and provide concrete opportunities for them to do so.