Board members and translators during the meeting. Photo credit: Laura Meinert, WRRB, 2020.

Board members and translators during the meeting. Photo credit: Laura Meinert, WRRB, 2020.

Board meeting in August

The WRRB was able to hold a Board Meeting August 26 and 27 under strict COVID-19 restrictions to ensure the health and safety of Board Members and staff. The meeting was held at the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife, with the meeting being broken into two half day sessions, with ample social distancing. Several guests, Board, and staff members also joined the meeting via Zoom. While this meeting was short, the agenda was quite full owing to the inability to meet since the beginning of the year while many were forced to work from home due to COVID-19. The Board hosted a representative from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Carine Cote-Germain, who came to ask for support from the Board to post the draft Red-necked Phalarope Management Plan to the Federal Species at Risk Act Registry, as well a representative from Crowe-MacKay, Matthew Bannister, who assisted with the review and approval of the 2019/2020 Audited Financial Statement. The Board also reviewed GNWT and TG’s revised Joint Proposal on Management Actions for Wolves (dìga) on the Bathurst and Bluenose-East Barren-ground Caribou (ekwǫ) Herd Winter Ranges 2021-2024. The Board made the decision to hold a Level two proceeding which you can view here on our website to keep up to date on this as it progresses.

The Board also reviewed Wildlife Research Permit Application - Wolf Collaring on the Central Barrens. However, they decided that no decision could be made at the time of review, due “to the fact that there was a lack of consistency with respect to the objectives”, as stated in the September 4, 2020 letter from the Board. The Letter further states that, “the Board is concerned that the WRP Application lacks much of the detail that would allow an assessment of the effectiveness of collaring relative to dìga management, including a field summary of the 2020 collaring program where there were dìga mortalities.” The Board has suggested that a resubmission following the WRRB’s review period of the Dìga Revised Joint Management Proposal is an appropriate course of action.

The Board also reviewed and approved the Amendments to the Mobile Core Bathurst Caribou (Kǫ̀k’ètı̀ ekwǫ̀) Management Zone Regulations, Proposed Increase to the Total Allowable Harvest for the Mackenzie Bison Herd, NWT General Status Ranking Program, as well as reviewed and approved the Proposed Timeline Change for the Wek'èezhìı Boreal Caribou Range Plan. During the meeting, the Board also reviewed and approved the Pandemic Response Policy, and Exposure Control Plan which became necessary given the current pandemic. Though the meeting was very full, a great deal was accomplished, given the constraints faced this year, and the inability to meet in person for much of the spring and summer.