In violation of Alberta’s 2011 woodland caribou policy that places an immediate priority on maintaining caribou habitat, Alberta Energy plans auctions of new oil and gas leases within the Little Smoky caribou range on February 7, March 7 and April 25, 2013. This herd’s habitat is already 95% disturbed, according to Environment Canada.
"Despite Alberta’s caribou policy, and despite horizontal drilling technology that could consolidate new exploration and production on a reduced footprint, the Alberta government keeps issuing leases and approving new facilities, roads and well sites in the Little Smoky range, including in the 5% that was formerly intact,” says Carolyn Campbell, AWA conservation specialist.
It is shameful and irresponsible that due to increasing habitat loss from leases and ensuing disturbance, Alberta’s department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development resorts to a massive wolf kill in the Little Smoky range, shooting and poisoning over 650 area wolves from 2005-2012, and issues hundreds of moose hunting permits each year.
The Alberta Government cannot keep scapegoating other wildlife, ignoring technological approaches to avoid surface disturbance, and exacerbating the root cause of caribou decline.