I feel compelled to respond to the letter Virginia Thompson wrote April 23, 2019 regarding caribou recovery and the Section 80 application that NCES filed with the Federal Government to immediately halt logging. As a community we all need to have the proper knowledge in order to be informed and find solutions.
The total hectares under legal protection for caribou habitat in the Revelstoke Shuswap region is 188,578 ha, an area seven times larger than Mount Revelstoke National Park. Additionally, if the national and provincial parks in our area are included the total is 229,418 ha. These are the indisputable numbers provided by caribou science researchers. No logging can occur on this large area of land and some restrictions to backcountry recreation also apply.
In 2010/2011, the provincial government caribou experts undertook work to review and if necessary adjust the location of the critical caribou habitat protected areas. Their goal was to consolidate these areas which would benefit caribou by reducing fragmentation and creating larger intact mature forests with few roads. Subsequently, areas where logging could occur were also consolidated, this provided forest licensees operational efficiencies. As a result of this process, there was a small gain of 196 ha to the amount of critical caribou habitat protection.
My hope as our community attempts to recover caribou we acknowledge the science, work together respectfully, reduce the spread of misinformation and base our decisions on the best available information.
Registered Professional Forester
General Manager at Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation