The Province has committed $800,000, and has appointed Kevin Jardine as Provincial Species-at-Risk Recovery Co-ordinator, to accelerate progress on the recovery of mountain caribou and other species at risk, Water, Land and Air Protection Minister Bill Barisoff announced.
“B.C.'s wildlife is an important symbol of our province, and our government is committed to doing what it can to protect the province's most vulnerable species,” Barisoff said. “This $800,000 and the dedicated efforts of the provincial co-ordinator will lead to sustained progress in our species-at-risk recovery efforts.”
Through increased and enhanced scientific analysis, including modelling, mapping and information sharing with other jurisdictions, the new funding will support a principled, well co-ordinated provincial species-at-risk program. The funding will benefit projects already underway to recover a number of species, including mountain caribou, marbled murrelet and spotted owl.
The new recovery co-ordinator will lead provincial species-at-risk planning and management and ensure that efforts already underway in the ministries of Sustainable Resource Management, Forests and Water, Land and Air Protection are complementary.
“This is an important step for Kootenay residents concerned about mountain caribou,” said Nelson-Creston MLA Blair Suffredine. “This is a complex issue, and we must be committed to taking effective action.”
Barisoff also responded to a recent Forest Practices Board report, “Mountain Caribou: A Forest Resource of Concern.”
“As the Forest Practices Board indicated in their report, government has been building towards these initiatives,” said Barisoff. “We are pleased that the board's recommendations are consistent with our direction.”
Government has been working closely with forestry, recreation tenure holders and the public to address concerns over caribou habitat. In addition, a variance to the Kootenay Boundary Higher Level Plan, which uses more recent scientific data to better define and maintain mountain caribou habitat, is expected to be completed shortly.