The Board, staff, and legal counsel of the WRRB listening to presenters during the hearing. Photo credit: Shalyn Norrish, WRRB & WLWB. The Board, staff, and legal counsel of the WRRB listening to presenters during the hearing. Photo credit: Shalyn Norrish, WRRB & WLWB.

Bluenose-East Public Hearing - April 9-11, 2019

The WRRB held a Public Hearing in Behchokǫ̀ on April 9 to 11, 2019, regarding the “Joint Proposal on Management Actions for the Bluenose-East ekwǫ̀ (Barren-ground caribou) Herd 2019-2021”, which was submitted by the Tłı̨chǫ Government and Environment and Natural Resources.

The purpose of the hearing was to give the public an opportunity to offer comment on the proposed changes set out in the Joint Proposal, to give intervenors a chance to present their views, as well as to allow the Board to gather more information so that they were able to make an informed decision on what changes should be made, particularly to harvest levels.

There were three intervenors that attended the hearing – Yellowknives Dene First Nations (YKDFN), Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government (DGG), and the North Slave Métis Alliance (NSMA). The hearing was well attended by community members, and there was a considerable amount of public comment concerning the declining caribou herds, as well as knowledge from elders emphasizing the need to leave the caribou alone.

The Board met several times following the hearing to discuss the proceedings and to make determinations and recommendations based on the evidence.  On June 14, 2019, the WRRB released its Reasons for Decision Report on Proposed Management Actions for Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ (Bluenose-East Caribou) in Wek’èezhìı in which several recommendations and determinations were made, including changes to the Total Allowable Harvest levels for the Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ from 750 to 193 bulls only caribou for the 2019/20 and 2020/2021 harvest seasons.

Representatives from the Tłı̨chǫ government during the BNE Public Hearing. Photo credit: Shalyn Norrish, WRRB & WLWB.

The gallery was full each day of the hearing with concerned community members coming out to listen in and share their perspective. Photo credit: Shalyn Norrish, WRRB & WLWB.

Community members in the gallery listen to an attendee offer comments to the Board. Photo Credit: Shalyn Norrish, WRRB & WLWB.

An Elder offers comments on behalf of the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government during the Public Hearing. Photo credit: Shalyn Norrish, WRRB & WLWB.