December 20, 2017

The woodland caribou is listed as a threatened species under the federal Species at Risk Act, and Alberta’s Wildlife Act. In 2012, the federal government issued a requirement that provinces and territories must develop plans for caribou recovery by 2017. Under the Federal Recovery Strategies, if sufficient actions are not demonstrated to protect critical habitat, the federal government has the authority through the Species at Risk Act to intervene in provincial and territorial species management. Failure to act could result in an environmental protection order being issued, as was the case with the greater sage grouse in southern Alberta in 2014.

The Government of Alberta’s Draft Provincial Woodland Caribou Range Plan is a working document that seeks to find a balance between achieving self-sustaining caribou populations to meet the federal requirements and addressing Alberta’s existing economic and environmental realities. The government has also released Alberta’s Approach to Achieve Caribou Recovery, which highlights seven key areas that will be used to guide these efforts: restoration of legacy footprint, conservation areas, rearing facilities, integrated land management, social and economic assessments, engaging Indigenous peoples, and engaging Albertans.

The Government of Alberta is continuing to undertake social and economic studies to provide insight on how range plans align within local and regional contexts. The AAMDC understands that any range plans developed will be reflected in regional plans under the Land-use Framework and that this process will not delay the development of future regional plans.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit feedback online and participate in public information sessions that will be held in communities throughout caribou ranges.  Session dates are to be determined, but will be held in February and March 2018 in the following locations:

  • Whitecourt
  • Edmonton
  • Cold Lake
  • Fort McMurray
  • High Level

Please ensure to visit the Government of Alberta’s caribou range planning website for up to date information on these sessions, and any additional materials currently available.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Tasha Blumenthal
Director, Advocacy & Communications