However, intensive logging so far remains within ANC’s newly government-approved 10 year harvest plan in the adjacent A La Peche caribou herd’s critical habitat.

Alberta government extends its deferral of the sale of new mineral rights in the range of two of its fifteen caribou herds to include forestry activities in the same area.

The most consistent and pervasive threat to the persistence of a viable caribou population in Alberta stems from resource extraction industries, which are causing an overall loss and fragmentation of habitat.

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The logging deferral will exclude logging from 35 percent of the forest management agreement area held by ANC Timber, Ltd. This area is about 100km north of Hinton, and overlaps with the ranges of the Little Smoky and the A La Peche woodland caribou herds.

Alberta government announces that, for the first time, it is de rring the sale of new mineral rights across the entire range of two of its fifteen caribou herds until Cabinet first adopts range plans describing how critical habitat will be protected to recover those two populations.

Since September 2014 the Prentice government has auctioned over 1600 km of Alberta caribou ranges for oil and gas leases.

On March 5, AWA’s News Release outlined Alberta Government plans to auction new oil and gas leases on 21,000 hectares (212 square kilometers) of endangered mountain woodland caribou habitat, in the Kakwa region of west central Alberta without rules to reduce surface disturbance below current excessive levels.

In May of 2014, Alberta’s ‘mountain’ caribou were assessed as Endangered – in immediate danger of extinction – by Canada’s Species at Risk Act scientist advisors (COSEWIC).

Yet the Alberta government plans to sell off a further 1,765 hectares of energy leases in these endangered caribou ranges from May 14 to June 25, in apparent disregard of the habitat crisis facing its caribou.

The conservation community, including provincial biologists, has recognized the need to protect this species since the 1940s.

Over the past 30 years several management plans and committees have been created to address the population decline; however, changes to industrial practices that would protect caribou have been limited to a few years of deferred logging.

AWA recognizes the importance of these lease sale withdrawals and urges the Alberta government to defer all new energy leasing within caribou ranges, until strong habitat-recovery range plans are in place to ensure survival of Alberta’s endangered caribou.

On April 29, in the midst of an election, the Alberta government planned another major auction of new oil and gas leases on 35,600 hectares (356 km) of endangered mountain and boreal woodland caribou habitat, without rules to reduce surface disturbance below current excessive levels.

On March 6, the Alberta government postponed the auction within the endangered Redrock Prairie Creek mountain woodland caribou range.