Issue Brief: Woodland caribou conservation and recovery in Alberta

Updated: April 22, 2022

On April 8, 2022, the Government of Alberta released sub-regional caribou recovery plans for the Bitscho Lake and Cold Lake sub-regions. Environmental groups are concerned that the plans lack a commitment to aggressive short-term actions that are necessary due to decades of inaction. There has also been criticism of the government's commitment to collaboration with Indigenous communities on Indigenous-led conservation initiatives.

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Previous Updates

Updated: May 31, 2021

On March 29, 2021, the Government of Alberta released two draft sub-regional caribou recovery plans for the Cold Lake and Bistcho Lake caribou ranges for public comment and feedback.


Updated: November 11, 2020

On October 23, the governments of Canada and Alberta announced that they had reached an agreement for the conservation and recovery of Woodland Caribou in Alberta. The agreement follows years of pressure from First Nations and environmental groups including a 2019 lawsuit calling on the courts to compel the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to recommend a safety net order to protect boreal caribou habitat. While recognizing the agreement as a necessary first step, environmental organizations remain concerned, particularly that the timelines contained within the agreement are not fast enough to protect threatened herds.