Caribou habitat still in decline in Canada’s Boreal Forest

barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groen...
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Winnipeg – The Manitoba government has granted the logging corporation Tolko approval to log the habitat of endangered woodland caribou in northwestern Manitoba.

This decision comes despite caribou being protected under federal and provincial endangered species legislation, and the fact that under the much-vaunted Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) Tolko has agreed to protect most of their logging area for caribou.

“Canadians need to know that the war in the woods isn’t over,” said Eric Reder, Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee. “This shows Tolko’s true colors. Despite all the hype surrounding the CBFA, this is logging business-as-usual, as woodland caribou habitat keeps getting razed and caribou keep disappearing.”

In April 2010, Tolko applied to the Manitoba government for permission to log in 12 forests in northwestern Manitoba, several of which are habitat of the endangered woodland caribou. In May, however, through the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, Tolko claimed they were temporarily protecting most of their logging area in order to preserve caribou. In January 2011, the government approved logging in one of the areas that is home for caribou, in spite of the fact that caribou are protected through both federal and provincial endangered species legislation. Two weeks ago, Tolko’s application to log new areas, as well as the government’s approval, was finally posted to the official public registry.

“It’s shameful for Tolko to assert that they’re protecting caribou habitat at the exact same time that they’re applying to log it,” said Reder, “and it’s shameful for government to quietly approve more logging in caribou habitat in spite of endangered species legislation.”

The Wilderness Committee continues to call for a moratorium on industrial activity in woodland caribou habitat until a public, peer-reviewed recovery plan is completed.


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