Concerned citizens will be joining forces with local leaders including the Mayor of Williams Lake at the upcoming Natural Resources Forum in Prince George to demand that the provincial and federal government hit the reset button and do proper consultation before signing off on any caribou legislation.

“We are working with this group called ‘The Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery,” said executive director of the Dawson Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, Kathleen Connolly.

“It’s a group of local businessmen here in Dawson Creek who came to the Chamber and said you know we think this isn’t getting the attention and we have concerns about access to backcountry and whatever so we’re sort of a support and a lead in some ways for that group.”

The group according to Conolly is hoping to host the rally on Jan. 23 when all federal and provincial resource ministers including Amarjeet Sohi and Doug Donaldson will be in attendance. She says a time and venue have yet to determined.

“This has just only started to come together in the last few days,” Connolly said.

“We have found interest from every corner of this province in this conversation around the species at risk act, around section 11, and around Caribou. Even on the Island where they’re facing closures-it seems to be on top of everybody’s mind so we’ve got letters of support from Sicamous, Cranbrook, Kitimat, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, and Revelstoke that are all interested being a part of this conversation and how do we get to government in an effective manner, and we think filling a room of people is a pretty good message.”

Connolly says a petition circulating in Northeastern BC has garnered 19,000 signatures.

Mayor of Williams Lake Walt Cobb says as local snowmobile clubs, tourism operators, business owners, and loggers, are getting involved, there will be a good show of support for ‘what this lack of consultation will do to Northern BC’.

“We want to protect the caribou but we want to be involved in the solution and not just come down from above and tell us what we’re going to do because that has never worked in the past and it hasn’t worked up until now so we want to be consulted and be part of the solution.”