The Alberta government has shown Cold Lake its draft of a caribou habitat designed to increase population of the woodland caribou in the Lakeland. The draft was laid out to city officials at an event which allowed feedback for provincial consultants. Mayor Craig Copeland was in attendance, he says he understands the province coming up with the plan but he wants to make sure some concerns the city has are addressed.
“Our major concern is that we do not want to see this impact the oil or forestry sector in any way. The companies do a great job working on the landscape, there’s concern this could impact future development. That could really have economic impact to our area.”
The draft, which can be accessed here, references recovery of the population and the habitat of the Woodland Caribou, with plans for conservation areas and restoration of land after human disturbance.
Mayor Copeland says he also didn’t agree with the logistics of the plan, especially when it came to the penning of young caribou herds.
“They’re talking about 30 square kilometer of fencing to protect the caribou. You think about the cost involved in that so predators can’t get into the young caribou. I think it’s far reaching. I think they’d be better off doing an extensive predator control on the wolf population.”
The government has stated that further engagement with communities involved with caribou will take place. Details on all 15 Alberta caribou populations will be made available in the spring.