The B.C. government has committed $27 million to develop and implement its Caribou Recovery Program. (Black Press file photo)

Houston council concerned about plans to restore caribou habitat in B.C.

District has recently signed onto a collective letter to B.C. government

The District of Houston has recently signed onto a collective letter expressing concern about the province’s efforts to protect dwindling caribou herds.

Signed by over a dozen municipalities and regional districts in B.C., the letter expresses concern about a “lack of consultation with communities,” as well as the economic impacts that could potentially occur as a result of the proposed caribou habitat restoration.

RELATED: B.C. communities want say in caribou recovery

The B.C. government has committed $27 million to develop and implement its Caribou Recovery Program.

According to the province, the program’s proposed restoration work would improve disturbed habitats and erase some negative impacts of mining, forestry, oil and gas, renewable energy and road building activities – which have all impacted caribou habitats in the province.

“We find it disappointing to learn that plans are underway that will have a significant impact on the socio-economic components of our communities and region,” states the collective letter, adding that plans to create caribou habitat protection areas could have “severe impacts on the forestry, energy, mining, and tourism sectors.”

“Many of our communities have attempted to engage with the provincial government throughout 2018 to get a seat at the table and to understand the plans to deal with the southern mountain caribou,” continued the letter. “We feel it is imperative that the provincial government engage us and involve us in the discussion taking place.”

“Our communities, our livelihoods and our families have a lot at stake.”

The letter urges B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial ministers involved in the caribou file to arrange for an “immediate meeting” with all of the northern and interior B.C. mayors and regional district chairs.

The number of caribou in B.C. has declined from 40,000 in the early 1900s, to less than 19,000 today. Threats to caribou include habitat loss and increased predation – likely related to increased development pressure in their ranges.

The government’s proposed restoration work would include replanting routes that are no longer in use, placing slash, trees and other debris across trails, disrupting sightlines and putting up fences. In addition, restoration would involve reducing the use of linear features such as roads, trails, rights-of-way and seismic lines.

Wolves, other large predators and people can move along these access routes more quickly than through dense bush, and easily travel to caribou habitats that were once difficult to reach.

These actions would also restrict human access.

RELATED: Houston council supports “multi-species approach” to protect caribou


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

Houston property assessments nudge up

District now working on 2019 spending plans

Houston youth turns himself in after arrest warrant issued for failing to appear in court

The youth is expected to plead guilty or not guilty in January

Most First Nations in northern BC support LNG pipeline

Despite the headline-grabbing news coming from the Gitdumt’en anti-pipeline site, most First… Continue reading

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Most Read