After the Provincial government’s decision to pull back on the Caribou Action Plan for Northwest Alberta, NWSAR spent the Summer of 2018 reflecting on the Committee’s work to date and discussing a path forwards on how we could positively contribute to work on the Boreal Caribou file. We reviewed all the feedback we had received from community members and stakeholders, and the most prominent issue we heard was regarding the lack of data available for the Northwest Caribou ranges, and the concerns people have with how governments can effectively plan for species at risk management with inaccurate or old datasets.
The decision was made to collaborate with external expertise to update and improve datasets for the five Boreal Caribou ranges in Northwest Alberta. During October 2018, NWSAR Committee members and administration attended the 17th North American Caribou Workshop in Ottawa, and provided a poster presentation outlining our response to Northwest Alberta Caribou Range Planning, our actions on the file, the reflection period we undertook over the summer, and how we are moving forwards with collaborative research projects. Our messaging was well received and added to a growing theme amongst industry professionals at the conference, that a balanced working landscape can be achieved alongside self-sustaining Caribou populations.
We also made time to meet with Federal Conservative MPs at the Parliament Building!