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Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

Governments, First Nations enhance caribou protection

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Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

Governments, First Nations enhance caribou protection

Media Contacts
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 356-7506
(flickr.com)
Media Contacts
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 356-7506

Backgrounders

Benefits of the partnership agreement

For caribou:

  • The partnership agreement includes a commitment to protect over 700,000 hectares of important caribou habitat in northeastern B.C.
  • The agreement builds on the work the parties have already undertaken in habitat restoration, maternal penning projects and predator management. Through these efforts, the decline of the central group has been reversed. The population is now growing at an average rate of 15% per year.

For First Nations:

  • The partnership agreement is consistent with the B.C. government’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations, in accordance with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
  • This collaborative approach with the Saulteau First Nation and West Moberly First Nations complements the leadership role these two First Nations have already taken on caribou recovery efforts in the region.
  • The agreement also confirms B.C. and Canada’s commitment to other First Nations and to ensuring an appropriate level of consultation is completed.

For communities:

  • The B.C. government strives to ensure that local residents, industry and other stakeholders can be supported to pursue their economic goals and participate in other activities on the land. While it needs to protect the central group caribou, it also supports workers and communities.
  • The partnership agreement includes new language that clarifies how B.C. will involve local governments in caribou recovery efforts in the region.
  • With the signing of the partnership agreement, there is a reduced likelihood of the federal government issuing an order under the Species at Risk Act, which could impact the Province’s control over provincial Crown land. The partnership agreement will have less of an impact on land-based activities than a federal Species at Risk Act order.

For industry:

  • The partnership agreement sets out a process by which industry will participate in the development of caribou-recovery-related land-use objectives that will support caribou recovery and ensure economic stability in the region. Work to mitigate the fibre impacts of the partnership agreement is underway.

For stakeholders:

  • The partnership agreement provides increased clarity regarding expectations for resource development in the affected area.
  • Technical work is ongoing with industry stakeholders, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, First Nations and local government to mitigate impacts to the local economy.

Section 11 agreement:

  • In June 2019, the B.C. government announced its intention to sign the Southern Mountain Caribou Bilateral Conservation Agreement (Section 11). The agreement establishes a framework for co-operation between Canada and B.C. to work collaboratively with Indigenous Nations, local governments, industry and communities to develop caribou management plans for southern mountain caribou.
  • The Section 11 Agreement applies to 21 local population units of southern mountain caribou (the northern, central and southern groups) in British Columbia, whereas the partnership agreement applies to three local population units in the central group.

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