In 2011, Tim Wilson and Michael Harstone of Compass were engaged to convene and facilitate the initiation of a series of community based meetings towards the recovery of several threatened caribou herds in the Peace region which were reaching critically low populations. This initiative initially brought together representatives from the Saulteau First Nation, West Moberly First Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, mining, forestry, oil, gas and wind power companies, federal and BC government representatives, local governments, recreation groups and community groups. These meetings led to the creation of the Peace Northern Caribou Committee (PNCC) in 2012 where the group identified two action projects to focus on in the immediate future: wolf predation management and caribou penning to recover the Klinse-Za (Moberly) caribou herd (whose numbers by 2011 had dropped to an estimated 20 - 30 animals).
Just over two years later the Klinse-Za Maternal Penning project, a first of its kind in northern BC, now has 10 pregnant caribou waiting to calve in a penned four-hectare area. The caribou are expected to give birth in May and the group will remain penned during the nursing and weaning period to allow calves to gain strength before being released back into the wild. This is great news and an excellent step towards reversing the decline of the Klinse-Za herd. We applaud the PNCC members and local First Nation communities for their efforts and financial contributions to make the project a reality.
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