CPAWS Northern Alberta Welcomes the First Ever Report on Critical Habitat Protection

May 8, 2018
By: admin

CPAWS Northern Alberta Welcomes the First Ever Report on Critical Habitat Protection by Federal Environment Minister

  — Press Release May 8, 2018

EDMONTON – Monday April 30th, 2018 saw the release of the first report identifying where caribou critical habitat remains unprotected on non-federal lands, a requirement for the federal Minster of Environment and Climate Change under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

The findings, while short and lacking details, are unsurprising. While critical habitat was identified more than 5 years ago, Alberta, along with other Canadian provinces and territories are failing to protect critical habitat for boreal caribou. “This report is an important step in protecting caribou in Alberta. It increases transparency of process and makes it clear that steps taken to date to protect caribou habitat are insufficient to recover this species at risk. If we don’t change how we manage and use our land, we will see the loss of Alberta’s caribou in our lifetime.” says Tara Russell, Program Director at CPAWS Northern Alberta.

This is the first report of its kind, for any species listed under the Species At Risk Act, despite it being requirement that these reports be produced every 180 days that identified critical habitat of species at risk goes unprotected. The published report examines the critical habitat protection for boreal woodland caribou, a species designated as threatened since 2002.

The report does highlight some promising steps that Alberta could build on however, including “the identification and protection of conservation areas in caribou ranges”. CPAWS Northern Alberta encourages Alberta to act on this, and designate the previously identified conservation areas as protected areas.  These areas are ideal candidates for protection. They have no forestry activity, and minimal overlap with oil and gas, as well there is the potential of financial support from the federal government to create protected areas.”

For more information:

Tara Russell, Program Director, CPAWS Northern Alberta Chapter
Phone: 780-328-3780 ext. 3

BACKGROUNDER

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the biodiversity within them. Over the last 50+ years, CPAWS has played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness.

CPAWS has chapters in almost every province and territory across Canada, and two chapters here in Alberta – a Southern Alberta chapter located in Calgary and a Northern Alberta chapter located in Edmonton. As a collaborative organization, CPAWS works closely with government of all levels, industry representatives, and communities to manage our impact on a shared landscape. We also advocate for the creation of parks and protected areas for the benefit of both current and future generations of Canadians.

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