18 October 2018 (VICTORIA) — Order of Canada Officer, naturalist, and artist Robert Bateman will join B.C. environmental organizations in a press conference to inform the public of the provincial and federal government’s serious failure to protect critical habitat for B.C.’s most at-risk southern mountain caribou herds.
The environmental groups are calling on the B.C. government to act on their years of promises to protect caribou habitat in accordance with the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and First Nations’ rights. Federal Environment Minister McKenna must take action under SARA and order immediate habitat protection.
Robert Bateman, Canadian naturalist and artist, Officer of the Order of Canada.
Candace Batycki, Program Director BC & Yukon, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
Michael Bloomfield, Founder and Executive Director, Harmony Foundation.
Charlotte Dawe, Conservation and Policy Campaigner, Wilderness Committee.
Eddie Petryshyn, Conservation Coordinator, Wildsight.
Eduardo Sousa, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada.
WHEN: October 22, 10:00 a.m. PT.
Caribou populations are dropping dramatically in B.C., with several herds on the verge of disappearance. This May, the federal government declared that 10 at-risk populations of endangered southern mountain caribou face an “imminent threat” and demanded that B.C. act immediately. Ignoring this imminent threat assessment, the B.C. government has instead approved 124 new logging permits in the critical habitats of these endangered herds. Government compromises on caribou habitat protection and recovery plans have resulted in the functional extirpation of various herds in B.C., including the transboundary Selkirk herd. Government’s failure to place moratoriums on logging in caribou habitat is interfering with First Nations’ efforts to take effective protection and recovery measures. The federal government threatened to impose an emergency protection order in its May finding; despite ongoing logging in critical habitat, nothing has been done. Both levels of government are not upholding their responsibilities as the caribou crisis worsens. We are calling on governments to take their responsibilities seriously by both immediately halting the destruction of critical habitat and supporting First Nations’ caribou recovery strategy plans.
For More Information:
Candace Batycki 250-352-3830
Charlotte Dawe 778-903-3992
Eduardo Sousa, 778-378-9955