This past fall, the WRRB’s Conservation Biologist, Aimee Guile, and Wildlife Management Biologist, Randi Jennings, accompanied by the Tłı̨chǫ Government went to Behchokǫ̀, Gamètì, Wekweètì, and Whatì to consult with community members on the draft Barren-ground Caribou Recovery Strategy, and the draft Bat Management Plan.
The intention of the community engagement was to obtain public opinion on the draft documents, highlight any information the public felt was missing, and gather perspectives on the plans. The consultations also presented a good opportunity to share information regarding ɂekwǫ̀ (barren-ground caribou) more generally and provide an update on the Board’s recent public hearings.
During the Barren-ground Caribou Recovery Strategy sessions, participants discussed how ɂekwǫ̀ habitat is affected by forest fires, and how important managing forest fires is to ɂekwǫ̀ survival. Other comments highlighted the importance of youth getting hunter education out on the land with elders and harvesters.
During the Bat Management consultations, participants did not offer comments or make any management suggestions; however, everyone learned a lot about Dłı̨ą k'et'à (bats) and there was a great exchange of information. Discussions were had regarding bat distribution, their role in the ecosystem, and concerns they face, such as white-nose syndrome. The comments obtained from all sessions for both the Recovery Strategy and the Management Plan will be incorporated into final draft documents. Once finalized, the Conference of Management Authorities will sign consensus agreements for each document.