Newly released government data uncovers woodland caribou living in an area between Thompson and The Pas that is scheduled for intensive logging operations. As suitable habitat for caribou in the area is limited, large-scale industrial forestry activities may lead to the demise of the local population.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Manitoba Wilderness Committee are calling for a halt to logging operations in this area, and all intact caribou habitats, until the province can demonstrate that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure long-term caribou survival.
“The caribou in this range are being left out of the provincial and federal caribou recovery efforts, even though the province knows they inhabit the area.” said Eric Reder, Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee.
“Authorizing logging in this area is not proper management of a treasured wilderness icon—at the very least, this is negligence.”
According to the groups, the province is legally obligated to protect caribou habitats under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act. Under provincial and federal species legislation, the province is required to identify caribou ranges and make plans for the survival of the caribou within them. The province has yet to begin a plan for the caribou in this area.
“We fought long and hard to have woodland caribou protected by law,” said Ron Thiessen, Executive Director of CPAWS Manitoba. “Now our government must do the right thing by deferring logging in this area until an action plan is produced that will sustain caribou in this region.”
Woodland caribou are an icon of Canadian wilderness. Their boreal forest range stretches across northern Canada from BC to Newfoundland. Woodland caribou are now a threatened species as they have lost 50% of their Canadian range largely due to industrial activities such as logging, mining, and oil/gas extraction.
For more information please contact:
Eric Reder, Manitoba Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee
Ron Thiessen, Executive Director for CPAWS, Manitoba Chapter
(204) 794-4971 or (204) 949 0782