Minister of Environment Terry Lake and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson invite interested individuals and groups to comment on B.C.'s draft species-at-risk plan.
Comments on "Protecting Vulnerable Species: A Draft Five-Year Plan for Species at Risk in British Columbia" will be accepted online and by mail until April 12, 2013. Comments will be reviewed and summarized on the website on a weekly basis in a frequently asked questions (FAQ) format. Feedback provided will be considered in making revisions to the draft plan and informing further development of British Columbia's species-at-risk program.
The draft plan results from the work of the Species at Risk Task Force. The task force's report was released in July 2011 and contained 16 recommendations, ranging from technical advice (e.g., take an ecosystem approach), to making changes to the regulatory framework and launching a wider public consultation process.
All the recommendations of the task force were considered when preparing the draft species-at-risk plan.
The draft plan aligns with government's shift to a more co-ordinated approach to managing B.C.'s natural resources and focuses on five key areas for success.
- Improving species conservation through management at the ecosystem and landscape scale.
- Providing the best available information to support identification, management and recovery of species at risk.
- Encouraging British Columbians to embrace stewardship of species at risk across all lands and waters.
- Applying protection for species at risk consistently across all sectors.
- Measuring and reporting on government's investments in species at risk.
Terry Lake, Minister of Environment -
"The draft plan provides a vision for a balanced, collaborative approach to species-at-risk management in B.C. It brings together the numerous activities that the Province undertakes for species at risk and presents them as a coherent program, and it celebrates some of our key successes in protecting and managing B.C.'s vulnerable species. Most importantly, of course, the plan provides a clear path for the future, demonstrating a thoughtful, considered approach to a challenging issue."
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"Species-at-risk management is a co-operative undertaking, engaging many sectors, organizations and British Columbians, and requires balance between economic, environmental and community needs. That's why we are consulting with a wide range of stakeholders and are asking the general public to comment before we finalize the plan."
Bruce Fraser, chair, Species at Risk Task Force -
"The Species at Risk Task Force provided government with a number of practical suggestions for advancing our provincial effort to manage for vulnerable species through improvement to existing information and management tools. The task force agreed with many of the public comments that emphasized the need for further legislative development. The draft plan suggests an ongoing effort to adapt provincial legislation in the years ahead - an effort which should rank as a high priority and be made as specific as possible."
Rhonda Driediger, chair, BC Agriculture Council -
"Healthy and vibrant farms already provide significant wildlife habitat throughout the province. A plan that prioritizes at-risk species, includes flexible approaches and considers the social and economic interests of B.C's communities will assist farmers and ranchers working to support our beautiful province."
To comment on B.C.'s draft species-at-risk plan, visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/atrisk/5_yr_plan/
For more information about the Species at Risk Task Force and to view its report, visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/sartaskforce/
Ministry of Environment