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Chalk up one for caribou

Feb 23, 2009

In February 2009 the British Columbia government announced the legalization of a mountain caribou recovery plan that protects millions of acres of caribou habitat from logging and associated road building. That's an area eight times the size of the entire North Cascades National Park.

mountain-caribou-management-areas-2010.jpgThe British Columbia government has legalized a mountain caribou recovery plan that protects millions of acres of Inland Temperate Rainforest from logging and associated road building. That’s an area eight times the size of the entire North Cascades National Park.

The plan also limits motorized recreation across 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) of caribou habitat. More than 90% of mountain caribou high suitability winter habitat will be protected from the most pernicious forms of habitat destruction.

"Despite some serious holes, it's a huge win for these amazing animals and their globally unique inland rainforest habitat." -International Conservation Director Joe Scott

Under the recovery plan, shown on the map at right: Habitat reserves are closed to road building and logging and no new commercial recreation tenures allowed (heli ski, back country ski operations, etc.). However, there are some existing commercial recreation operations that have been grandfathered into the reserves in a few cases. Snowmobiling is restricted and/or controlled in some parts of the reserves, but not all parts.

Restricted harvesting, these areas are highly variable with regard to management restrictions - but are all areas designated such that mountain caribou habitat has to be considered in management.

Protected areas are provincial parks and other already protected areas outside of the 2008 agreement. Map by Greg Utzig.

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