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Woodland and mountain caribou | The Caribou Commission will begin in mid-April



The Independent Commission on Woodland and Mountain Caribou will begin its work in mid-April and should submit its recommendations to the government before the end of the summer, it announced Thursday.

The consultations will begin on April 12 in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, in Gaspésie, and will end on May 17 in Baie-Comeau, on the North Shore, shows the work schedule, which also includes stops in Alma, Baie -Saint-Paul, Chibougamau, La Sarre and Val-d’Or.

The commissioners will hold private meetings and public hearings in each of the cities visited. The public will also be able to express themselves by submitting a brief or through an online questionnaire, explained in a press conference the president of the Commission, Nancy Gélinas, dean of the faculty of forestry at Laval University. and specialist in forest economics.

Recognizing that the causes of caribou decline and the solutions to address them were already known, Gélinas explained that the commission’s role would be to explore “how much does it cost and [ce que] it generates like impacts”.

“We are addressing everyone, the entire population, not just the stakeholders” who are concerned or concerned about the safeguarding of this large deer threatened with extinction, she specified.

Aware of the criticisms leveled at the composition of the Commission, which does not include any biologists, Mrsme Gélinas assured that “caribou experts surround the Commission” and that invitations would be issued to leading experts in the field.

We have a nice list of experts who are not necessarily from the department [des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs].

Nancy Gélinas, President of the Independent Commission on Woodland and Mountain Caribou

The Commission also unveiled the two hypothetical scenarios that will serve as the basis for the consultations, emphasizing that its work is not intended to choose one or the other, but rather to “stimulate reflection”.

The first is an update of the work started in 2019 as part of the development of the Strategy for woodland and mountain caribou, while the second would have no impact on forest supplies.

The latter also provides for the withdrawal of several “areas of habitats under restoration”, which would be equivalent to letting the caribou die in these sectors, recognized the officials of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP), in a media briefing.

“It’s completely absurd” as a proposal, reacted the biologist Pier-Olivier Boudreault, director of conservation at the Society for Nature and Parks of Canada, Quebec section.

The organization is also considering boycotting the work of the commission, he said, believing that the MFFP must take “concrete actions” to regain a minimum of credibility in the caribou file.

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    Estimation of the woodland caribou population in Quebec


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