Barren-ground Caribou

Bathurst Caribou Range Plan

What is the Bathurst Caribou Range Plan?

The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan will help decision-makers manage activities on the land in a way that supports the recovery of the Bathurst herd, while providing clarity on land use and access for developers, regulators and residents of the Northwest Territories (NWT).

Why is a Range Plan needed?

Over the last 30 years, the Bathurst caribou herd has declined by more than 98 per cent despite extensive efforts to support caribou conservation and promote herd recovery. The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan is a response to calls for action to help the herd recover and make sure its habitat remains healthy.

Where does the Range Plan apply?

The Bathurst herd’s traditional range extends from southern and central NWT to Bathurst Inlet in Nunavut. In some years, they have wintered as far south as northern Saskatchewan. The Range Plan has adopted a planning area based on local, traditional and scientific knowledge about how caribou use the land throughout the year.

How will the Range Plan be used?

Making sure Bathurst caribou are healthy now and into the future depends, in part, on our ability to manage and maintain the land in a way that will continue to support caribou. That includes making choices about how we manage disturbance to caribou and caribou habitat.

The Range Plan includes a Cumulative Land Disturbance Framework for managing the overall amount of disturbance on the land, as well as seven management tools to reduce and manage impacts to caribou and caribou habitat. To apply the Range Plan successfully in decisions about land use will require a genuine commitment from governments, organizations, industry, communities and individuals across multiple jurisdictions.

The principles and recommendations in the Range Plan should be applied to:

  1. Land use planning
  2. Community guardianship programs
  3. Wildlife management recommendations and actions (governments and renewable resources boards)
  4. Environmental assessments
  5. Regulatory processes
  6. Industry protocols and best management practices

It is important to note that the Range Plan itself is advisory and all recommendations are non-binding. All management recommendations must respect the legislated co-management processes in place and under development in each jurisdiction.

Where can I find out more?