Released on October 30, 2017
The Government of Saskatchewan is asking for public feedback on a draft range plan for woodland caribou in the central portion of the province’s Boreal Plain.
“We have worked with industry, conservation stakeholders, First Nations and Métis representatives, and other stakeholders on this plan,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Saskatchewan’s goal is to continue working with these stakeholders to achieve and maintain a self-sustaining woodland caribou population, while supporting economic growth in northern Saskatchewan.”
The boreal woodland caribou is listed as a “threatened” species under the federal Species at Risk Act. This federal designation requires provincial governments to implement range plans. The Saskatchewan plan identifies objectives, measures, tools and targets to manage woodland caribou habitat to support healthy populations, while allowing industry to grow in a sustainable manner.
Research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan found that caribou populations in the northern boreal range of Saskatchewan are among the most sustainable in Canada. Population numbers in the central Boreal Plain, however, are largely unknown. This range plan will help to better understand population numbers in this area.
In 2013, the Ministry of Environment initiated a Woodland Caribou Range Assessment and Range Planning Program to better understand woodland caribou ecology and to help conserve the species and its related habitat.
This work was initiated to help meet objectives identified in the federal government’s Recovery Strategy for Woodland Caribou, initiated in 2012.
Given the importance of range planning to this program, the province is actively working with industry, non-government organizations, municipalities, and First Nations and Métis communities to develop sound management strategies.
The 60-day review period runs from October 30 to December 29, 2017.
Environment and Climate Change Canada will receive the draft plan during the same period as the public review. Once the 60-day review period is complete, all comments will be carefully reviewed and considered. The plan will be revised as necessary to reflect public feedback and submitted for further discussion with the federal government.
The draft range plan is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/government/public-consultations.
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