On September 21, the David Suzuki Foundation launched a direct email campaign calling on the federal government to take action to support caribou populations.  Later this fall, the federal government will be receiving regional information and proposed plans of action on caribou from provincial governments across Canada.  The review of this information will be important to understanding why some caribou herds are struggling, and why others are doing well.  It will also help determine the steps that should be taken to support Canada’s caribou populations.

FPAC continues to work with federal and provincial governments, Indigenous leaders and their communities, municipalities, labour, and environmental partners as we work to better understand the causes and find solutions that will support caribou populations and our northern and rural communities.

When our foresters and biologists are in the forest to plan a harvest, they are planning and managing for many values across the landscape including evaluating and supporting wildlife habitat, conserving wetlands, promoting watershed health, and mitigating risks related to fires and pests.  This work supports healthy forests for generations to come, as well as important jobs in Canada’s over 600 forest communities.

Through active forest management, by harvesting trees, turning them into carbon-storing products and re-planting trees, our sector is a leader in the fight against climate change.

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) recently launched www.cariboufacts.ca to encourage the federal government to ensure that we getting the right plans for caribou – plans that are built on the most current and thorough science.  This is central to our commitment to sustainable forest management and supporting forest ecosystems for not only caribou, but for all wildlife and critical values in Canada’s forests.

We are concerned that some of the draft plans being developed by the provinces are not considering the complex and multiple factors leading to caribou population declines in some parts of the country – factors related to climate change, the caribou food supply, evolving predator-prey relationships, and disease.  The science that the David Suzuki Foundation supports is simply too narrow in scope and does not consider the realities that our forests will be facing in the years ahead, with a changing climate.  This would lead to plans that are not certain to help caribou, and stand to put thousands of Canadians in northern and rural Canada out of work.

In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to continuing our work with federal and provincial governments, Indigenous leaders and their communities, municipalities, labour partners, academics and interested groups like the David Suzuki Foundation so we can achieve plans that support caribou, our fight against climate change, overall forest and wildlife health, and our rural and northern communities.