We are committed to collaborative efforts to recover sustainable caribou populations. Our forest management and harvest planning consider habitat protection for a wide range of species. We believe it’s possible to support caribou recovery and maintain a healthy, working forest resource.
For several decades, we’ve worked collaboratively to contribute to the stabilization and recovery of caribou populations. Our work has been in partnership with the provincial governments in British Columbia and Alberta, and the Federal Government, who are responsible for wildlife in Canada.
Our main 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 include:
- limiting activity to the control or salvage of insect-damaged timber or voluntary harvest deferrals in areas of concern
- modifying forest management practices
- participating in scientific studies
- participating in targeted programs, such as caribou maternity pens.
Our habitat experts and wildlife biologists study caribou populations in our operating areas. They consider the 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 values along with timber harvesting and sustainability. These forest management values include addressing the habitat of species at risk (such as caribou) within harvest planning.
Harvesting deferrals, retention strategies, partial cut harvesting, and seismic line reforestation are all approaches and techniques that are intended to have positive effects for 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 habitats. Our sponsorship of and participation in fRI Research's Caribou Program (fRICP) also develops new approaches to caribou conservation. The purpose of fRI's research is to test and develop the most innovative and sustainable forestry practices available. For example, the "design a better cutblock" research helps identify reforestation practices focused on caribou needs while still achieving strict standards.
Read more for information about caribou in our British Columbia and Alberta operating areas.