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Woodland caribou: Still more to be done

Though woodland caribou have gained much needed habitat in the past few years they still face threats such as mining and snowmobiling. With these threats, the story of their recovery remains unfinished.

Canadian caribou quarter
Canadian caribou quarter
  • March 2013-USFWS closes 90 day comment period on Selkirk caribou population with a decision not expected for several months.

  • January 2013-Environmental groups announce plans to sue USFWS over 2012 decision to cut 90% of protected caribou habitat. 
  • December 2012-US Fish & Wildlife agrees to review Southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou to see if it deserves protection. 
  • November 2012-In response to May’s petition USFWS cuts protected caribou habitat by more than ten times its original area. 
  • May 2012-Petition is filed by Pacific Legal Foundation (representing Bonner County, Idaho), and the Idaho State Snowmobile Association to delist Caribou.
  • November 2011-USFWS announces its plan to designate 375,000 acres of critical habitat for the endangered South Selkirk caribou.
  • May 2011-Conservation Northwest played a role in several snowmobile recreation closures in caribou habitat near Revelstoke. 
  • 2009-British Columbia government institutes a woodland caribou recovery plan, which protects over 2.2 million hectares of habitat from logging and new roads. 
  • 2009-US Fish and Wildlife Services agrees to study caribou’s alpine habitat to see whether it needs further protection. 
  • 2007-Eastern district court in Washington adds protection for caribou, allowing them to migrate from their northern to southern habitat. 
  • 2006-Conservation groups and snowmobilers reach agreement on which trails to close in order to protect caribou habitat. 
  • 2005-Conservation groups sue Forest Service for winter recreation policies which threaten woodland caribou. 
  • 2002-Conservation groups call on USFWS to designate critical caribou habitat.
  • 1994-Last time caribou recovery plan was updated by USFWS. 
  • 1983- Woodland Caribou listed under the Endangered Species Act. 
  • Early 1900’s-Caribou populations were decimated due to unrestricted hunting.

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