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Help Caribou Have A Future in Alberta

June 16, 2017

Dear Wilderness Defender,

Alberta’s endangered woodland caribou desperately need your help. Please fill out a short Alberta government survey. Let our government know that Albertans want self-sustaining caribou, that we value the intact old forests and wetlands that caribou need, and that we expect our government to uphold species-at-risk laws.

– Carolyn Campbell, Conservation Specialist

The Issue

If our grandchildren are ever to see wild Alberta caribou, we must protect their habitat now. Alberta needs to produce caribou plans by this October that protect and restore the habitat of these remarkable, endangered animals.  We have known for decades what’s needed: now the government needs to know that you want caribou to have a future in Alberta.

Background

Woodland caribou are amazing creatures that need intact old forests and peat wetlands to survive. Excessive forestry and energy disturbance within their remaining ranges has robbed them of their natural ability to minimize overlap with predators. Across Alberta, they are declining rapidly, by about 50% every 8 years. In some ranges, few calves now survive. If caribou can have a future in Alberta, many other important mammals, birds, amphibians and fish that rely on intact old forests and wetlands will also benefit greatly.

Take Action

Please fill out the Alberta government’s short survey. [Note that you’ll need to register an e-mail and password with ‘TalkAEP’ to do the survey]

Consider making the following comments, or something similar:

Range planning area of greatest interest to you: All caribou ranges

Most critical issue: Protect extensive areas of caribou ranges from industrial development, and restore historic industrial disturbance.

Measures the Government of Alberta should prioritize in support of caribou recovery – click on highest to lowest value:

  1. A combination of protected areas and more stringent operating conditions for industrial activities
  2. Creation of parks and protected areas
  3. Restoration of seismic lines and other industrial landscape disturbances
  4. More stringent requirements (i.e., operating conditions) and/or reduced levels of industrial activities
  5. Predator management (e.g., annual reductions in wolf numbers)
  6. Caribou fenced rearing facilities or maternity pens

Thoughts on limiting or restricting recreational and industrial entry:

We need mandatory rules for access to caribou ranges. These rules are needed to prevent new disturbance, and to reduce and restore existing disturbance. Without access rules, restoration work is wasted by new disturbance. Within the access plan, energy industry could extract on a much smaller footprint (phasing out in protected areas), hunting could help reduce deer/moose, and trappers could have appropriate winter access.

Link to AWA’s replies to survey

Thanks for taking action for Alberta’s caribou!

Click for pdf version

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. 

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, 

and the storms their energy,

while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
- John Muir
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