Increasing caribou populations in the Kootenays is the focus of a new agreement between provincial and federal governments.
The draft document released last week identifies short and long-term goals for the ungulates recovery in Southern BC.
Parliamentary Secretary Jonathan Wilkinson says part of the plan focuses on protecting habitats.
“We will be working through how you actually increase the amount of available habitat of lower elevation areas, including through forest restoration,” Wilkinson says. “It also looks at how do you better manage access to some of these areas from a recreational perspective, because part of restoring caribou habitat is ensuring that its less disturbed than it presently is.”
Wilkinson says they hope to build on efforts taken by the BC Government over the past year.
“British Columbia started down the path of looking at predator control a little while ago and started planning with respect to restoration efforts,” Wilkinson says. “Not a huge amount has been done and I actually think that’s the focus of this is actually starting to do some of the work on the ground.”
A joint protection study for the species was done last year to identify available rangelands.
The initiative also discusses maternity penning and predator control to help the species eventually sustain itself.
Wilkinson adds the Ktunaxa Nation have taken a lead with maternal penning efforts.
A final document is expected in the Spring.
– Parliamentary Secretary, Jonathan Wilkinson