Caribou

We are committed to collaborative efforts to recover sustainable caribou populations. Our forest management and harvest planning considers habitat protection for a wide range of species. We believe it is possible to support caribou recovery while maintaining a healthy, working forest resource.

For several decades, we have worked cooperatively and collaboratively to contribute to the stabilization and recovery of caribou populations with the provincial governments in British Columbia and Alberta, and the Federal Government who are responsible for wildlife in Canada.

Our primary goal is to operate in a way that supports the provincial recovery efforts and applies the best available science and information.

What are we doing?

Our forest management planning and practices to support sustainable caribou populations including: limiting activity to the control or salvage of insect-damaged timber or voluntary harvest deferrals in areas of concern, modified forest management practices, participation in scientific studies, and participation in targeted programs, such as caribou maternity pens

Our habitat experts and wildlife biologists study caribou populations in our operating areas, consider potential impacts of harvesting activity and implement practices to support the maintenance of productive caribou habitat. Within our ecosystem-based forest management approach, we integrate several important values along with timber harvesting and sustainability. These forest management values include addressing habitat of species at risk (such as caribou) within harvest planning. Practices such as harvesting deferrals, retention strategies, partial cut harvesting and sesismic line reforestation are all part of a toolbox of approaches and techniques to have positive impacts on caribou habitat.  These efforts to restore and improve caribou habitats are fully integrated with our sustainable forest management planning and our commitment to managing healthy forests as an infinitely renewable resource.

West Fraser funds and actively supports innovative research to provide science-based approaches to inform our forestry practices. We aim to implement evidence-based strategies to continually improve the regeneration of healthy, continuous forests that support thriving wildlife habitat. Our sponsorship of and participation in fRI Research's Caribou Program (fRICP) also helps to develop new approaches to caribou conservation.  The purpose of fRI's research is to test and develop the most innovative and sustainable forestry practices available. An example of this is the research to "design a better cutblock," which helps to identify reforestation practices tailored to caribou needs and achieve stringent reforestation standards. 

Read on for more information about caribou in our British Columbia and Alberta operating areas.

Here are a few examples of what we are doing now to address caribou herds in our operating areas in British Columbia and Alberta.