Board Meeting – December 4-5, 2018
The last Board meeting of 2018 was held in Yellowknife on December 4-5. The session was very busy with a full agenda. The Board reviewed and approved the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West and Bluenose-East herd statuses, and based on the information provided by the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management, statuses for each of the herds have been recommended by the WRRB as follows: Cape Bathurst is in the RED zone, Bluenose-West is in the ORANGE zone, and Bluenose-East is in the RED zone.
The Board hosted Bruno Croft from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) – Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) who came in to present on the Barren-ground Caribou (ekwǫ̀) Collaring Program. He informed the Board that they were planning to submit a management proposal to the Board to increase the number of collars from 50 to 70 for the Bathurst herd, as well as maintain 50 collars for both the Bluenose-East and Beverly herds. One reason to increase the collar numbers is to ensure that ENR will have more operational collars during the winter months in order to make informed management decisions.
The Board also hosted Dawn Andrews, from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to discuss the federal Species at Risk Act status of several animals, including ekwǫ̀, Peregrine Falcon, the Common Nighthawk, and the Olive-sided Flycatcher.
James Hodson from the GNWT also came in to share an update with the Board on the Section 11 Boreal Caribou (tǫdzı) Agreement between GNWT and ECCC.
Several updates on the ongoing work of WRRB staff were also discussed, including the Wood Bison (ejıe) Recovery Strategy, comments provided to the GNWT on their Legislative Initiatives for the Protected Areas Act, as well as an update on the work WRRB is doing as part of the Wildlife Act Working Group.
Board Meeting – January 29-30, 2019
The first Board meeting of the new year was held at the end of January in Yellowknife and included a lot of discussion around ekwǫ̀ (barren-ground caribou), specifically the management proposals for Kokètì Ekwǫ̀ (Bathurst caribou) and Sahtì Ekwǫ̀ (Bluenose-East caribou) herds in Wek’èezhìı. The Board reviewed the Joint Proposal on Management Actions for the Bathurst Ɂekwǫ̀ (Barren-ground caribou) Herd 2019-2021 from ENR and the Tłı̨chǫ Government (TG). The Board also reviewed comments from the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC) on the Bathurst management proposal. Following discussion by the WRRB, the Board called a Level 2 proceeding to allow for further comment. A Level 2 proceeding requires Board review, as well as a public consultation, led by the Board, but does not rise to the level of requiring a public hearing.
The Joint Proposal on Management Actions for the Bluenose-East Ɂekwǫ̀ (Barren-ground caribou) Herd 2019-2021 from ENR and TG was reviewed be the Board, and the Board initiated a Level 3 Proceeding, as per the Board’s Rule for Management Proposals as the approval of the plan involves imposing or changing harvest levels. These changes trigger the Level 3 Proceeding which includes an upcoming public hearing.
The Board also reviewed a proposal recommending predator management in Wek’èezhìı. This proposal, following several amendments by the Board, was approved and forwarded to GNWT and TG for consideration. The intention of the proposal is to ensure the dwindling kokètì ekwǫ̀ and sahtì ekwǫ̀ herds may recover, in the coming years, allowing future opportunities for harvest.
The discussion around predator management was continued with updates on GNWT’s Wolf (dìga) Harvest Incentive Program and TG’s Wolf (dìga) Harvesting Program in the kokètì ekwǫ̀ and sahtì ekwǫ̀ herds wintering ranges. The incentives have been increased to help control dìga numbers in and around where kokètì ekwǫ̀ and sahtì ekwǫ̀ spend the winter months. It is hoped that by reducing predator impact, the herds can recover.
Further discussions included ENR’s collaring program that has been increased from 50 to 70 collars, as well as the Mobile Core Bathurst Caribou Management Zone, how it is created, how the buffer is implemented, and how the zone works.
The Board also approved the new Strategic Plan for 2019-2024 (which you can view on our website here), as well as viewed a draft of the new Communications Strategy for 2019-2024, which will be in place in the coming months.