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Comment on B.C.'s draft agreements for caribou

Y2Y and Saulteau First Nations have provided the following suggested answers to corresponding survey questions on B.C.'s caribou draft agreements.

This guide is intended as a companion to the B.C. government's survey on the draft agreements.

We encourage you to answer according to your values, but Y2Y and Saulteau First Nations have provided the following suggested answers to corresponding survey questions.

Please make your voice heard for caribou. Take the survey now, before May 31. Get started by clicking on "Submit your feedback" in the top right at the survey link

Caribou: Draft Section 11 Agreement

1. Are there any actions in Annex 2 that you strongly disagree with? Please describe them and explain why you do not support them.

There are not enough concrete actions in the Section 11 agreement. The provincial and federal governments should be focusing on protecting habitat now, as well as other caribou recovery measures. The provincial government should stop permitting logging and other disturbances in caribou habitat. The herds need a break while the scientists figure out what is required to save all of the herds. I cannot support ongoing wolf culls in the absence of habitat protections. Motor vehicle use in caribou habitat and associated conflicts and ecological impacts must be assessed for all herds, including all herds in the Southern Group. This must include both ground and air activities.

2. Are there any actions in Annex 2 that you strongly support? Please describe them and explain why you support them.

I support the planned action to create additional habitat protection on Table 2, but I think they should include all herds whose habitat is threatened. I support the acquisition of Next Creek other land purchases for caribou habitat. I support the federal and provincial governments working to encourage and empower indigenous communities to help with caribou recovery. Science and traditional knowledge together can work together and produce good results. I support the creation of a scientific committee but I think it should be independent and include caribou biologists with published academic research on caribou.

3. Are there any actions that you think are missing from the draft Section 11 Agreement? Please describe them and explain why you feel they should be added.

There is no commitment to habitat protection in the Section 11 agreement. Habitat protection is a necessary part of species recovery. At a minimum, an interim moratorium on destruction of caribou habitat should be put in place while herd plans proceed. A scientific committee should independent and at arms-length from government, and include researchers with published work on caribou biology. Socio-economic analyses should look at all costs and benefits of caribou recovery, not just narrow “impact assessments."

4.  Overall, do you support the Parties entering into the Section 11 Agreement? Why or why not?

I can support a Section 11 agreement that provides for some real habitat protection, even if it was temporary habitat protection plus a clear path and some strong commitments for longer term recovery measures. 

Draft Partnership Agreement

For the 1 to 4 rating questions:

Check 4, "Strongly Support" for all of them except predator control, which we leave to your judgment.

1. Are there any actions identified in the draft Partnership Agreement that you strongly disagree with?  Please describe them and explain why you do not support them.

The Partnership Agreement should protect more low elevation caribou habitat, it should change forestry and mining practices to help ensure caribou recovery, and it should be applied not just to the Central Group but also to other areas where caribou are endangered. The partnership agreement should protect low elevation habitat for the Quintette, Narraway, Kennedy Siding or Red Willow herds.

2. Are there any actions identified in the draft Partnership Agreement that you strongly support? Please describe them and explain why you support them.

I strongly support the protection of more high and low elevation caribou habitat, and the creation of more protected areas for endangered species. I support the creation of a committee to review and provide consensus-based decision making on new resource development projects in caribou habitat.  

3. Are there any actions that you feel are missing from the draft Partnership Agreement? Please describe them and explain why you feel they should be added.

The Partnership Agreement should protect more caribou habitat, and it should be used as a model to be applied to other caribou herds with declining populations. It should include habitat protections in low elevation for all herds.

4. Overall, do you support the Parties entering into the Partnership Agreement? Why or why not?

Yes, I support strong measures to protect caribou habitat by implementing the Partnership Agreement, and the creation and management of a new Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the Moberly Lake – Twin Sisters area. I strongly support governments working with First Nations with real actions on the ground to recover endangered species.

5. Do you have any additional comments?

Thanks to Saulteau and West Moberly for their leadership on caribou recovery. The provincial and federal governments should continue learning from and working with those First Nations and other indigenous people in B.C. on these important issues.

When you're ready, get started by clicking on "Submit your feedback" in the top right at the survey link

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