Help save the uniquely Canadian Southern Mountain Caribou from pending extinction
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Updated June 2017
This is the last call for the uniquely Canadian Southern Mountain Caribou, now being pushed to extinction by logging in federally designated critical habitat.
For thousands of years the Mountain Caribou has haunted B.C.’s inland old growth rainforests and snowforests, asking only space enough to avoid its main predator, the wolf. Yet against industrial logging this animal has no defense.
Consider the situation in southern Wells Gray Provincial Park in south-central B.C. In 1995, about 335 caribou roamed the mountains and highlands here, yet today there are only about 120 left. Why? Two decades of intense logging in the Upper Clearwater Valley, just outside the park.
According to best science, Wells Gray will lose its southern Mountain Caribou herd unless the B.C. government calls a halt to industrial logging in its vicinity. It was for precisely this reason that the Federal government formally designated this area as ‘Critical Habitat for Caribou’ in its recent Recovery Strategy.
For years, the BC Liberal Government allowed big logging companies like Canfor - which donated almost a million dollars to the party - to continue clearcutting the area, while pouring millions of dollars into stopgap measures like wolf culls, maternity pens, ramped up moose and deer hunts, and caribou transplants, all in the vain hope of repairing an ecological imbalance created by earlier government-approved logging in critical habitat. And so the cycle continues, and caribou move ever closer to the brink.
Since 2014, the year the critical habitat designation came into effect, the Liberal Government has allowed hundreds of hectares of critical habitat to be logged in the Upper Clearwater Valley - just as it has done elsewhere in the range of Southern Mountain Caribou.
In late 2016, Canfor received yet more cutting permits and since then has bulldozed ahead with yet more logging in critical Mountain Caribou habitat - even as Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna reviews a legal petition for a stop-work order against Canfor!
The federal government has a constitutional duty to protect endangered species. It's well past time for the Trudeau Government to live up to its legal obligation. Now's the time for the federal Liberals to work with B.C.'s new NDP-Green government to ensure remaining critical habitat is protected from Canfor and other clearcut logging across southern B.C.
Please sign this petition asking the new B.C. government to establish an immediate moratorium on logging near southern Wells Gray Park in federally designated critical habitat for the survival and recovery of Mountain Caribou.
This petition will be delivered to:
The Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment & Climate Change, Canada
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