Update from the ALCS

Hello Community Partners –

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society has continued to work as an advocate for community involvement in decision-making at all levels of caribou recovery and management for the Central Selkirks’ Nakusp/Duncan herd. Over the past few months we have been building a relationship with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Developments’ (FLNRORD) regional biologist, Aaron Reid. The ALCS has acted in a supporting role to aid in the facilitation/coordination of community engagements on topics such as high elevation winter recreation.

With observation of the success of the aggressive, multi-faceted recovery approach implemented in the Northern part of our province, we have been exploring ways in which a similar initiative could take place in our area. We believe that a multi-faceted approach including predator control and maternity penning is required. We have began exploring potential partners, locations and financial supports for the implementation of a maternity penning project in this area. On August 14 we hosted a focus group meeting on maternity penning in our area with FLNRORD biologist, Aaron Reid, and Kalispel Tribe biologist, Bart George. This included scoping potential pen sites and discussing funding streams.

At a higher level of government, we initiated a call with David Muter, Director – Species at Risk Branch FLNRORD, which took place on August 9, 2019. ALCS raised concerns that the singular habitat protection measure that has been implemented in the past is not enough to halt the decline. The Central Selkirks are on the list for herd planning for this year, which will entail gaining an understanding of the community context, discussion and identification of recovery measures, and immediate action items. Predator management is scheduled to begin in the spring – most recent investigated mortalities have been from cougars. It was noted that community support of predator control program will be required. This call was the beginning of the herd planning process and David Muter noted that they are seeking to work collaboratively as we move forward. David Muter stated that they will want to follow-up with ALCS on a regular basis, with Hugh Watt as their contact.