The Wek’èezhìi Renewable Resources Board is calling for a zero harvest on the Bathurst Caribou herd.
WRRB determines the total allowed harvest of caribou will be zero for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
WRRB is responsible for wildlife management in the Tłįcho area.
This hunting ban will start on June 30th this year.
After gathering traditional and scientific knowledge, they have decided that there must be a total stop to all hunting and harvesting from the Bathurst herd, so that they can recover their numbers.
In Feburary the board held meetings with the Government of the Northwest Territories department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Both WRRB, and ENR agreed there must be serious conservation actions in order to save the herd.
The Bathurst herd migrates its way from Kugluktuk, Nunavut all the way down south to Tłįcho lands.
Wekweètì is the closest town the herd migrates to in the Northwest Territories.
CKLB got in touch with the Chief Johhny Arrowmaker to hear how the town is going to deal with the no hunting ban that will last till 2019.
“It’s really hard on the community because everything is expensive here. About 11 months of the year, everything comes here on the airplane, only in March do we have a winter road. The rest of the time everything comes in by plane, and its not very cheap! You know we have to pay a dollar something per pound for freight. Not everybody has the same job, so it’s pretty hard on some people. For some of the community members, it’s pretty hard.”
Tłįcho citizens had about 370 caribou tags this year.
Those tags were used for the Blue Nose East caribou herd.
The tags have been used up says Arrowmakers.
They were split up between Behchokǫ̀, Wekweètì, Whatì, and Gamètì.
Wekweètì used 53 of those tags.
Arrowmaker explains “[Environment and Natural Resources] gives us weekly updates on where the Bathurst caribou are. And then they have a no hunting zone in that mobile zone. That zone moves back and forth.”
On top of the mobile protection zone, ENR and the Tlicho Government have agreed to start a wolf hunting program.
They would like to see it start on the end of June.