Have your say on caribou management

Bathurst Caribou (Photo from Tlicho Caribou Monitors)

The Wek’èezhii Renewable Resources Board (WRRB) is looking for the public’s input before issuing a decision on the management plans for the Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herds.

In January, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources and the Tlicho government, submitted their joint management plan for both herds to the board.

The WRRB determined a level two review would be in order for the Bathurst plan and a level three for the Bluenose-East. The main difference is there will be a public hearing for comments on the Bluenose-East herd.

Jody Pellissey, the WRRB’s executive director, says this difference stems from the proposal of cutting the total allowable harvest for the Bluenose-East herd from 750 to 300 animals.There has been a moratorium on hunting Bathurst caribou since 2015.

The hearing for the Bluenose-East herd will take place between April 9 and 11, but a location has not yet been determined. Anyone interested can apply to become and intervener to speak at the hearing, but Pellissey says the public will be welcome to do so without intervener status.

Anyone with comments on either herd can submit them in writing through email or fax. The deadline for the Bathurst herd is March 15 and for the Bluenose-East will be early April.

Both management plan proposals are available on the WRRB’s website.

Jody Pellissey is the executive director of the board and says it will issue its final decision by June this year, in time for the next harvest season.

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