Bathurst Caribou Advisory Committee looking for input on draft management plan

·1 min read
A file photo of Bathurst caribou. In the last 30 years the caribou herd has declined by 98 per cent, according to the N.W.T. government. (ENR/GNWT - image credit)
A file photo of Bathurst caribou. In the last 30 years the caribou herd has declined by 98 per cent, according to the N.W.T. government. (ENR/GNWT - image credit)

The Bathurst Caribou Advisory Committee is looking for input on a draft management plan that aims to build a sustainable future for the herd.

Thirteen sharing sessions will be held via Zoom according to a news release sent by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Tuesday.

They will involve leadership, harvesters, and traditional knowledge-holders chosen by local leadership.

Any individual or organization may also submit comments any time online, the release states.

The Bathurst caribou herd has undergone a significant decline in the past several decades— with numbers down nearly 98 per cent since 1986.

"With the Bathurst herd in real trouble, we're pleased to be moving forward with urgency to chart a strong path to recovery and resilience," said Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in the release.

What is the draft plan?

The proposed plan was developed between 17 organizations from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan. They represent public governments, Indigenous governments and organizations, hunter and trapper associations, and management boards.

It includes recommendations from the Bathurst caribou range plan, which was released two years ago and outlines how land use and habitat can be managed to support the herd.

The proposed plan also includes steps all co-management partners can take to support Bathurst caribou and the future of the herd, according to the release.

"The end goal is to turn around the decline, get the herd to recovery, and do our part to help them thrive over the long-term," the release states.

The comment period is open until May 31. Comments can be sent to BathurstCaribouPlan@gov.nt.ca.