(File by Dione Wearmouth – My Prince George Now)

The province is reaching out to the public for input on a five-year approval for continued predator reduction to support the recovery of Woodland Caribou across BC.

The input will be utilized in the province’s decision-making process and will be provided to the Statutory Decision Maker for consideration prior to the decision.

A survey will be available until November 15 for stakeholders, interest groups, and BC residents to complete.

According to the province, predator reduction strategies are currently being considered by the government’s Caribou Recovery Program to help repopulate Woodland Caribou.

Once the surveys are completed and the province undergoes legal consultation with First Nations communities, a report will be finalized in December 2021, and decisions on how to pursue actions will be made shortly afterward.

Under the federal Species at Risk Act, all Woodland Caribou populations in Canada have been identified as needing special management actions because of their declining population trends.

The provincial government says many Caribou herds have declined steeply over the past several decades, and the overall population in BC has declined from about 50,000 to 15,500.

In an attempt to aid the population in 2020-2021, 237 wolves were lethally removed to support the recovery of 13 Caribou herds.

These efforts cost the province $1.4 million, which includes the costs of helicopter flights, the purchase and deployment of radio tracking collars, and other associated operational costs.

According to the province, these actions were taken because ongoing monitoring of Caribou has demonstrated that wolves are the leading cause of Caribou adult mortality in most Caribou populations in BC.