Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available knowledge. Wildlife and habitat management plans provide a roadmap for ensuring that agreed-upon objectives for conservation are achieved. Caribou and water have been major focal points of management planning in the Northwest Territories to date. Management planning is also beginning to take place under the new Species Act, including development of recovery strategies for species listed as threatened or endangered. As the environment changes due to industrial development and climate change, it is expected that more management planning will be required.
There is a duty to consult and accommodate aboriginal beneficiaries before undertaking any wildlife management actions that affect their harvesting rights. Information about past and present engagement activities can be found here.
Barren Ground Caribou
Barren ground caribou are species of special importance because they are highly valued by Dene, Métis and the public. Known by Délı̨nęgot'ı̨nę and K’áalǫgot'ı̨nę as ɂekwę́, by K’áhshogot'ı̨nę and Dalagot'ı̨nę as ɂedǝ, and by Shúhtagot'ı̨nę as epę, they have been an important source of survival for many generations.
Scientists refer to the main herds that travel through the Sahtú Region as Bluenose West and Bluenose East herds. Bluenose West travel through the K’áhso Got'ı̨nę District and the north part of the Délı̨nę District. Bluenose East travel through the Délı̨nę District. Sometimes Bathurst caribou travel through Tłı̨chǫ territory and a little way into the Délı̨nę District. There is a third Bluenose herd called Cape Bathurst, but this herd's calving and wintering grounds are further north and west, mainly in the Inuvialuit Region.
There are concerns that populations are in decline, making it necessary to work with other regions to conserve the Bluenose caribou. To this end, the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (ACCWM) was formed. This committee approved a Management Plan for the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose-West and Bluenose-East herds by consensus in November, 2014.
On July 2, 2015, the NWT Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) accepted the plan as the “primary guidance on monitoring and management of the Cape Bathurst, Bluenose West and Bluenose East caribou herds." The Management Plan paves the way for Action Plans affecting each herd.
A briefing note is available providing highlights on the Management Plan.
There are two companion documents to the Plan, the community engagement report “We have been living with the caribou all our lives ...." and a technical report prepared by ENR. Other engagement documents related to barren ground caribou management can be found here.
ENR is preparing to review and update the five year management strategy for barren ground caribou, 2011-2015 entitled Caribou Forever – Our Heritage, Our Responsibility.
The Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gotsę́ Nákedı is a member of the NWT Species at Risk Conference of Management Authorities, which is responsible for developing management plans aǝnd recovery strategies for species at risk in the NWT. A recovery plan for tǫdzı (boreal woodland caribou) is now being developed, since tǫdzı have been listed as threatened under both the Federal and NWT Species At Risk Acts.
The Government of the Northwest Territories and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) established a partnership with representatives from Aboriginal governments to develop a water stewardship strategy. Regulatory boards, agencies, environmental organizations, industry, academic institutions and the general public have also been involved in the process. This partnership resulted in Northern Voices, Northern Waters: NWT Water Stewardship Strategy (the Water Strategy), released in 2010. A five year review of Water Strategy implementation is now taking place.