CALGARY — Simon Dyer, policy director with the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Government of Canada's release of a draft recovery strategy for woodland caribou:
"By allowing 95 per cent of woodland caribou habitat in northeastern Alberta to be lost, the Government of Canada is proposing that Canadians 'write off' virtually all the habitat that supports Alberta's caribou herds in order to promote irresponsible levels of oilsands development.
"The federal government is ignoring options to protect and restore caribou habitat in northeastern Alberta, and instead proposing to rely on killing off wolves to avoid having to put a limit on oilsands development.
"This approach is unacceptable when the government could have protected caribou habitat by establishing conservation areas and implementing higher standards for industrial activity, such as requiring faster land restoration and moderating the pace and scale of oilsands development.
"After years of delay, the federal government has abandoned caribou in Alberta's oilsands region without even trying to protect their habitat from the cumulative impacts of oilsands development. Given the number of viable options available to protect caribou habitat, it's astonishing to see the government setting the bar so low with its draft recovery plan."
A copy of the federal government's draft recovery strategy for boreal woodland caribou is available online.
Learn more about the Pembina Institute's fight to protect Alberta's boreal woodland caribou on our blog.