Public input sought on caribou planning

Spotlight Staff

Albertans have a new opportunity to shape woodland caribou range planning, prior to federal deadlines for a plan to protect the threatened species.

A public survey asks Albertans to help shape the first draft of province-wide caribou range plans, says a news release from the provincial government.

The new range planning will focus on the four remaining caribou planning areas across northern Alberta, including Slave Lake, Nipisi, Narrawy and Redrock-Prairie Creek.

The federal government issued a recovery strategy in 2012 requiring Alberta to have a plan to manage critical caribou habitat by October 2017.

“It’s crucial that all Albertans have a say in the future of the woodland caribou. Our focus is on protecting local economies and jobs while recovering this important species,” Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips says. “We must find practical solutions to this complex environmental problem.”

Results from the 45-day survey will inform draft range plans released this fall, when a second opportunity for public feedback will be available.

Throughout the process, the province will engage with industry, municipalities and Indigenous communities.

The survey website will remain an up-to- date source of information about caribou range planning in Alberta.

The province previously released a draft plan for the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou ranges in June 2016.

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