Last week Revelstoke City Council approved a submission as their public input regarding the province’s Caribou Recovery Plan.
The introductory letter to the package reads “Together with fellow Council members and residents of this community, we call for greater transparency and the need to build trust in the engagement process, and emphasize the importance of being at the table for subsequent decision-making concerning herd planning, land use planning, and additional conservation efforts.”
The package also includes a report from city staff and the Tourism Industry Association of BC’s policy on the Recovery of Southern Mountain Caribou.
The city staff report outlined key points from previous submissions made by the city surrounding caribou recovery. In their 2018 submission the city stated that they supported the Section 11 Conservation Agreement however it was “imperative that in considering potential changes to the regulations, program design and land use accessibility of the Provincial Caribou Recovery Strategy Program, the province continue to take a collaborative science-based approach that considers both the impacts on caribou preservation and the socio-economic impacts of those decisions.”
Potential socio-economic impacts from the 2018 report, included this time around encompassed a potential impact on local employment and industry viability in forestry, tourism and recreation, hospitality, retail, arts and culture, social impacts of the reduction or elimination of our tourism and forestry operations and avalanche safety and awareness and its reliance on data gathered by backcountry recreational operators.
The city is also requesting that:
- ensure a science-based collaborative approach that continues to include input from “local stakeholders to develop and execute a program that considers multiple levers and management actions, and prioritizes actions that both protect and preserve caribou and take into account socio-economic impacts”
- build on the previous work to “ensure that future activities are built upon the learnings from previous project successes”
- exchange of data to ensure that current Caribou Recovery Program data is shared publicly to enable stakeholders “to understand caribou behaviour and movements and allow them to participate more fully in recovery efforts”
The staff report finishes by requesting that all user groups work collaboratively and respectfully to find and contribute to workable solution to support the goals of the Section 11 Agreement and mitigate any socio-economic impacts of the recovery efforts.
“At present, fear and uncertainty about what is to come from Caribou Recovery efforts have the potential to create conflict and divisiveness in the community,” the report reads.
The second attachment to the letter is the Tourism Industry Association of BC’s policy on the Recovery of Southern Mountain Caribou.
The policy outlines the associations support for predator management efforts, ecosystem-based management efforts, local land use planning and provincial consistency and pro-active management.
The association wants to see the recovery outcomes make sense in terms of return on investment, as well as enabling tourist activities that are responsive to local wildlife populations as opposed to static, province-wide solutions.
The deadline to submit feedback on the draft caribou recovery agreements was May 31.
According to the province’s caribou recovery website the public feedback will be gathered into a report that should be available this summer.
The information on the draft management plan remains available online.