Court Saves Woodland Caribou
Court cases play an important role in wildlife conservation. When people disregard the needs of wildlife, such as Canada’s Environment Minister deciding to not recommend emergency protection for woodland caribou, court cases can right the wrong.
Thus Ecojustice and CPAWS were recently happy when the Federal Court overturned the Minister’s decision. The court decided that Alberta’s caribou herds are in trouble, and the federal minister must respond under the Species At Risk Act.
As Ecojustice notes in its news release, “Protections for caribou in northeastern Alberta need to be implemented soon. Some herds have declined by more than 70 per cent during the past 15 years.”
“It is not immediately apparent how, given the foregoing facts, the Minister reasonably could have concluded that there are no imminent threats to the national recovery of boreal caribou,” Federal Court Justice Crampton wrote in his decision.
Now the Minister will have to put in emergency protection of critical habitat for threatened caribou herds in northeastern Alberta.