Alberta announces tree planting will be part of caribou protection plan

By: Staff The Canadian Press Published on Sat Oct 01 2016

EDMONTON – The Alberta government says it’s moving ahead with the oil and
gas industry to restore habitat for dwindling caribou herds.

The province announced Saturday that work is beginning that will eventually
see trees planted along thousands of kilometres of land that were cleared
for seismic lines in the Little Smoky and A La Peche caribou rangelands.

The work starts with compiling a restoration guide, as well as setting up a
pilot project along 70 kilometres of seismic lines in the spring.

A $200,000 contract will be issued to source and grow the trees for the
pilot project, and $800,000 will be earmarked for an operational plan to
restore 3,900 kilometres of lines.

The federal government has given provinces until 2017 to come up with range
plans and recovery strategies for caribou herds, which are in danger across
the country.

The Alberta government released a draft plan for caribou protection in its
northern and central regions in June, where one particularly threatened herd
has declined to only a few dozen.

“We are pleased with the leadership role taken by the oil and gas industry
in working to ensure we have a made-in-Alberta plan that provides an
economic certainty for industry and workers who make their living in the
north and do what’s right to protect this iconic animal,” Alberta’s
environment minister, Shannon Phillips, said in a media release.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier noted the tree-planting
efforts will provide jobs and strengthen local economies.

The clean energy think tank the Pembina Institute says on its website that
oil companies that create the seismic lines to get information about
underground rock formations must remove trees and other obstacles in order
to make room for their vehicles and equipment.

The seismic lines and roads into forests and wetlands provide wolves with
easy access to caribou, which results in more predators than the herds can

In Alberta, decades of development have left herds clinging to a few scraps
of old-growth forest. Numbers have declined by about 60 per cent and some
ranges are more than 80 per cent disturbed.

Portions of the Alberta draft plan released in June called for energy
development to be “rescheduled” and logging old-growth forest on caribou
range to be blocked. It said wolves would continue to be shot to try to
manage the population, although bears also eat caribou calves.

The draft also suggested fencing off a 100-square-kilometre habitat for
female caribou during the calving season to protect them from predators.

The fence proposal drew fire from some environmental groups who argued the
major issue that needed to be addressed was the loss of natural habitat to
industrial expansion.

There were also suggestions that caribou coming out of a predator-free
enclosure would not know how to handle themselves in the wild.

9 thoughts on “Alberta announces tree planting will be part of caribou protection plan

  1. Predators okay, it is loss of habitat that is the problem. Don’t scapegoat predators. It is a knnejerk reaction by wildlife agencies, hunters. Don’t “manage wildlife”, manage man, hunting, make available habitat and protect it. When man gets to managing predators and dee, elk, caribou, it turns to wildlife farming and predator marginalization and distorted wildlife ecology. Another man made disastrous situation is climate change. It is all about encroachment in one form or another, not predators and natural ecology. Wildlife “managers” just need to focus on man management and various forms of encroachment: hunting, extraction industries, development, habitat fragmentation, ranching, climate change.

  2. Tree planting? Instant or Chia-forest is the only thing that will protect caribou from habitat loss. I just can’t believe the things I’m reading in the 21st century! Our native migrating bison are being stopped from migrating by ranchers and confined to YNP for no reason at all, except for false claims of brucellosis spreading which wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for European livestock brought here!!!!! How can people stand for this? It can only get worse as the world population continues to grow.

    I was reading on HP that a rare deer that was thought to be extinct or nearly so in Afghanistan has been seen and has survived human war and bombings and killings, or preparing for future war. This is supposed to give us hope for the future – but no mention of stopping wars and killings or expansion for energy development and a whole host of human requirements that, as we know, are ‘more important’. We’re supposed to have hope by leaving animals’ survival to luck and fate?????

    • And the absolute worst thing, only one inanely stupid, comment! Nobody has read this or cares. But they’re sure interested in what the celebri-trash are doing, divorcing, screwing, popping out kids, etc.

      • What they don’t know yet is that probably the entire herd is deaf or suffers from PTSD and exaggerated startle reflex from all the noise and explosions, and of course from being hunted! “Animal’s resilience” shouldn’t meant they can survive all the stuff we subject them to, and there’s not mention of us even trying to stop! Humans all belong in the deplorable basket. If anyone gets the impression that I don’t respect humanity, you’re right! I don’t. I threw up (my hands) in disgust and walked away a long time ago. Full-time misanthropist now.

  3. Then, a man was mauled by a grizzly mama protecting her cubs, and he survived. All the comments are praising God, Jesus and the Angels, and of course Lord .44 Magnum. Is this the 21st century or what???? You know this is the precursor for delisting.

  4. This really is insulting. Either they know nothing about ecology, or/and they assume nobody else does either. You can just hear this ‘executive decision’: “oh, just plant a few trees, that’ll keep ’em happy.”

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