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Discovery prompts Y2Y and others, including artist Robert Bateman, to renew call for government action on caribou crisis

Ottawa holds the key to southern mountain caribou survival: an emergency protection order issuable under the Species at Risk Act, should B.C. continue to stall on recovery actions.

MEDIA RELEASE | OCT. 22, 2018

Environmental groups in B.C. have called on the provincial government to issue an immediate moratorium on new development in caribou critical habitat.

This comes after discovering that, since May, the B.C. government has approved 83 new logging cutblocks in critical habitat of B.C.’s eight most at-risk southern mountain caribou populations.

Nearly six months have passed since federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna declared that the species is facing “imminent threats to its recovery.” This should have triggered urgent, decisive action to ensure caribou recovery from B.C. provincial officials.

Caribou depend on intact forests. Logging in their habitat remains one of the biggest threats to their recovery. Without immediate, proactive conservation measures, including landscape-level habitat protection from resource development and the restoration of destroyed habitat, the southern mountain caribou unique to this region of the planet will continue to disappear.

The groups are therefore calling on B.C. to issue a moratorium on destructive activities in caribou critical habitat until recovery plans in line with federal and provincial duties under the Species at Risk Act are completed and implemented. If the province fails to do so, then the Governor in Council must immediately issue an emergency protection order under the Species at Risk Act.

The announcement was made earlier this morning at a press conference just steps from the B.C. Legislature in Victoria with Robert Bateman, a renowned naturalist, artist and Officer of the Order of Canada, alongside Greenpeace Canada, the Harmony Foundation, the Wilderness Committee, Wildsight, and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

For further comment please contact:  

Kelly Zenkewich, communications and digital engagement manager, , 403-609-2666 ext. 126