A new Revelstoke initiative to build a maternity pen for mountain caribou needs your help.

Caribou penning campaign a chance to unite Revelstoke

Usually a divisive issue, a new caribou maternity pen plan can unite Revelstoke, but they need your help to do it.

Editorial, By Aaron Orlando, Revelstoke Times Review

I really don’t like social media voting schemes. I had a few people implore me vote on Powder Magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown contest, which ostensibly picks the best ski town in North America based on how many people click a vote button. Last week Salt Lake City beat Revelstoke. Congratulations Salt Lake City for having the most vote button clickers, though I have no confidence this method will let me know who’s got the best ski town. The average voter has been to two, maybe three of these resorts? How can they compare?

Last week, Columbia Mountain Caribou Research Project lead researcher Rob Serrouya called me to drum up interest in Shell Canada’s Fuelling Change online voting scheme. The Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild Society needs to win an online voting contest to get a $100,000 grant for their Maternity Penning project. As reported in the Times Review in May, a broad coaliton of local stakeholders – many of whom have been at odds over caribou issues in the past – have come together to support the concept.

They’re going to build a 10-acre maternity pen on the west side of Lake Revelstoke for 10 pregnant caribou in the spring of 2013 and hopefully have it stocked by March. A shepherd will oversee the pen, guarding it from predators like wolves, cougars and eagles.

Caribou researchers have identified high calf mortality in the first year as a key issue. They hope by decreasing calf mortality the project can help stabilize or reverse mortality trends. This will in turn help with overall declining mountain caribou populations.

If they are successful with their online voting campaign, the funding will cover a small portion of this ambitious project.

I’m happy to vote for this campaign and encourage you to do so too. Why? The mountain caribou are in serious trouble, as everyone should know by now. Local exterpation is a possibility.

Issues surrounding mountain caribou have always been divisive, pitting local stakeholders against local stakeholders. This initiative has broad support from groups traditionally at odds with each other.

The Times Review is happy to support the Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild’s (RCRW) intiative to win the Shell Fuelling Change voting campaign.

We’ve committed to working with RCRW to produce several stories and columns in the coming months about the initiative.  Our goal is to engage the community and get even more community members behind the project. Even if we don’t win the competition, hopefully everyone will have come together to learn more about the issues so they can be part of the mountain caribou solution.

Of course, success depends on votes – and the best way to get everyone involved is through your social media contacts. I encourage you to go online, sign up and get others involved.

Here’s the link to the Shell Fuelling Change page for the Mountain Caribou Rearing in the Wild page.

 

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