A new Wildlife Act for the Northwest Territories was passed by the Legislative Assembly in October 2013, and is scheduled to come into effect in November 2014. Regulation changes are needed to bring the new Wildlife Act into force. To implement the new Wildlife Act, current regulations need to be updated and new regulations need to be developed. The regulations are being developed through an extensive review of existing regulations; results of consultation and public engagement undertaken over the past twelve years; and input from the same collaborative Wildlife Act Working Group (with representatives from Aboriginal governments and renewable resources boards) and Stakeholders Wildlife Act Advisory Group (SWAAG) that helped develop the new Act.
Regulation changes will be done in three phases:
• Phase 1 – immediate changes needed to bring the Act into force. This includes changing current regulations that are inconsistent with the new Act, and making sure regulations are in place so people can continue to harvest and use wildlife in a safe and sustainable manner. The remaining regulations will stay in place until reviewed during later phases.
• Phase 2 – regulations to implement some of the new concepts in the Wildlife Act. These include regulations respecting the import of harmful species, the release of alien species into NWT habitat, wildlife management and monitoring plans for developers, and harvest reporting and hunter training requirements.
• Phase 3 – ongoing; regulations will be developed as the need arises. This includes developing regulations to designate conservation areas to protect wildlife or wildlife habitat, and refining regulations to address specific concerns or regional issues.
Environment and Natural Resources