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Province looking into protecting caribou habitat

A number of municipalities in northern Alberta want more discussion on a government plan to protect an additional 1.8 million hectares of wilderness, to help save remaining populations of woodland caribou. The main concern from Caribou Communities of Alberta is that the plan could hurt the petroleum and forestry industries and end up costing people their jobs.

The plan will bring the total of protected land in the province to 4.9 million hectares; it also calls for restorations of 10,000 kilometers of seismic lines over 5 years, and the creation of a 100-square-kilometer fenced caribou rearing area.

The Edmonton Journal reports that Premier Rachel Notley has agreed to meet with the groups to discuss their concerns. It’s estimated that there are 3,500 caribou left in Alberta.

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