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Joint ENGO letter to ECCC Regarding Commitments for the Conservation of Woodland Caribou in Alberta

October 24, 2023

On October 24, 2023, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Northern Alberta, David Suzuki Foundation, and Alberta Wilderness Association submitted a joint-letter to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) expressing our concerns regarding the imminent threats to at-risk woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) recovery in Alberta and express the need for immediate action to implement long-overdue conservation measures.

Click the link below to view a PDF version of our letter in full:


We are asking for ECCC to uphold its commitments to species at risk recovery by:

  • Holding the Government of Alberta accountable for its commitments to caribou conservation,
    such as those outlined in the Section 11 Agreement, which include:

    • Completing and releasing the remaining draft and final sub-regional plans with urgency;
    • Passing enabling regulations to implement the two finalized sub-regional plans (Cold
      Lake and Bistcho);
    • Reconvening and expediting the caribou task force and sub-regional planning process
      including participation of environmental non-governmental organizations;
    • Releasing the overdue 2021 Annual Report under the Section 11 Agreement, including
      woodland caribou local population and range habitat metrics;
    • Halting ongoing and proposed activities which may impact existing critical habitat for
      woodland caribou until the sub-regional planning process has concluded;
  • Releasing the overdue reports on the progress of Recovery Strategy implementation for boreal
    and southern mountain woodland caribou. Progress reports are required to be published every
    five years under SARA section 46 and should have been released in 2022 for boreal caribou and
    2019 for southern mountain caribou;
  • Assessing the two finalized sub-regional plans (Cold Lake and Bistcho) for their equivalency with
    range plans and whether they provide effective habitat protection under SARA and the recovery
    strategy, and publish the findings of this assessment in a publicly accessible manner; and
  • If Alberta’s finalized sub-regional plans are assessed as inadequate for caribou recovery as
    outlined under SARA and the recovery strategy, then the Minister must consider the
    recommendation of an Emergency Order and/or a Safety Net Order for the protection of
    woodland caribou on Alberta’s provincial lands.
With rare exception cattle ranchers have been the best of guardians of the land entrusted to them. May we continue to be conscientious caretakers of this precious resource and hand it on to another generation unspoiled.
- Gerald Brewin, Rancher in the Taber area 1929 - 2016
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