October 15th 2007
Clubs will be given the opportunity to work with government staff to develop Stewardship Management Agreements (SMAs) for each of their riding areas. The completed SMAs will be provided to the Science Team for review in the context of contributing to the population targets for each planning unit. If the Science Team demonstrates through sound rationales, based on the best available science, that the SMA will have a negative impact on a planning unit reaching its population target these areas will be legally closed.
Forest Policy Issues
Reserve from harvesting areas within the non-THLB in the most recent Timber Supply Review (TSR) that are identified as mountain caribou habitat through a legal order or variance to land use plans after an operational assessment is completed to ensure that AAC and forest operations are not impacted in the short term (5 years or next TSR).
Commit to further research (basically funding Dale Seip) to examine the need to manage the matrix habitat in the Hart, Upper Fraser, and Quesnel Highlands to reduce moose and deer densities adjacent to mountain caribou habitats. If this need is scientifically documented and supported by the Science Team, manage identified habitat areas to reduce ungulate densities.
Commit to using all legal and policy tools under existing statutes to allow licensees who have blocks within mountain caribou habitat to voluntary abandon approved permits without penalty, relieve take-or-pay obligations, or relocate operations.
Commit to involving qualified professionals, Science Team members and forest health specialists in the development of a set of criteria and indicators to identify when and how to conduct forest health harvesting in caribou protection areas, including strategies to minimize road building. While criteria and indicators are being developed, forest health operations will be permitted where qualified professionals, Science Team members and forest health specialists determine that these areas are neutral or beneficial to mountain caribou recovery. Non forest health related salvage harvesting and associated new road building will not be allowed in caribou protection areas.
Mineral Exploration Issues
Once local habitat planning teams have identified the high suitability winter mountain caribou habitat to be legally protected, ILMB will work with MEMPR to enact either No Registration Reserves or Conditional Registration Reserves over these areas to protect mountain caribou habitat and avoid displacement from mining activities.
Government is fully committed to augmenting smaller herds until population targets are reached and to funding implementation of this management tool. Government will continue to work with both source and recipient First Nations to advance translocations. Funding has been secured to construct maternity pens.
Upgrading the recovery objectives in the Hart Ranges, Upper Fraser, Quesnel Highlands and South Purcells
Based on commitments to review matrix habitat management in the Hart Ranges, Upper Fraser, and Quesnel Highlands planning units government will upgrade the recovery objective of these planning units to "naturally self-sustaining" as per the Science Team definition. Also, based on discussions with Science Team members and licensees in the South Purcells, the recovery objective of this planning unit will be upgraded from "maintain with resilience" to "assist to long-term sustaining", understanding that existing recreation impacts under the "maintain with resilience" recovery objective are presently sufficient but will be reviewed by the science team as the population recovers.
Heli-Skiing and Cat-skiing Process:
Tenure holders will be given the opportunity to work with government staff on a sector basis to refine the Best Management Practices (BMPs) outlined in the Government - Heli-Cat Canada (HCC) MOU to address all tenured areas in mountain caribou habitat. Government and HCC will implement an effectiveness monitoring and adaptive management process to ensure that BMPs are sufficient to avoid mountain caribou displacement. Science Team members will be involved in the further refinement of the BMPs, implementation of an effectiveness monitoring and adaptive management process, and in particular the development of indicators and limits associated with the BMPs.
HCC members and government staff will work with Science Team members to identify interim measures while BMPs are being further refined and implemented. Where jointly developed BMPs are not fully implemented or where they are determined to be ineffective, government, on the recommendation of Science Team members, will further restrict the operations of tenure holders or close areas to their activities.