Protect the Woodland Boreal Caribou
After 5 years of delaying, provinces and territories have failed to follow through with measures to protect the boreal woodland caribou. Herds have been declining…Take action
One year ago today, came a critical moment for endangered species in Canada…
After 5 long years, the deadline for provincial governments to unveil their plans to protect the boreal caribou had arrived. Although these caribou have been in decline for decades, the science is clear on what needs to be done. The biggest threat to boreal caribou is industry destroying their habitat, and the most important measure to keep them from extinction is protecting the old growth and intact forests they need to survive.
So the task was clear. And years given for provinces to research and rally, consult and create, plan and perfect.
The big day finally came…
Not one province came up with a credible plan to protect caribou.
One year has passed since that day. Has the situation improved since then? Let’s look to some “highlights” from the past year:
- After giving the go-ahead for industry to destroy more, and more, and more of the Val-d’Or caribou herd’s forest, the Government of Quebec announced it would be too expensive to save them and was abandoning them to their fate. (First Nations including Lac Simon Anishinabe Nation stepped in to their rescue.)
- The Ontario government gifted industry another two years of blanket exemptions to meeting endangered species laws.
- The B.C. government greenlighted numerous clearcuts in known critical habitat for caribou, while in parallel a number of mountain caribou herds (sibling to boreal caribou) were found to be functionally extinct.
The situation is urgent. No provincial government has yet taken meaningful action to actually protect boreal caribou from extinction. A number of First Nations have stepped up and taken leadership roles in trying to protect the caribou in their territory. But the unchecked destruction of caribou’s habitat continues from coast to coast.
It’s time now for leadership at a national level. Leadership that the Federal Commissioner of the Environment pointed out has been sorely absent thus far.
Join us now in calling on the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, to step in and protect the caribou where the provinces have failed.
The movement of people calling for change is growing. We’re not going to sit quietly and accept inaction in the face of a crisis.