In 2006, the Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) reported that, in their view, the Bluenose West caribou herd had declined significantly and that urgent management actions were required. ENR requested that a Total Allowable Harvest be considered. This triggered a requirement under the Sahtú Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement that “a public hearing shall be held” (13.8.21[b]).
The Board convened a public hearing in Fort Good Hope on November 21-23, 2007. Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę (Renewable Resource Councils), First Nations, Elders, and ENR provided presentations and were given opportunities to question other presenters and comment. The proceedings were transcribed, and a hearing report was prepared that included Board recommendations. These recommendations were to be reviewed following the planned photo census in 2009.
Recommendations from the 2007 hearing were not implemented for various reasons. As a result, the Board did not review the recommendations in 2009. Instead, a management planning process was initiated by the Advisory Committee for Cooperation on Wildlife Management (ACCWM) [HYPERLINK], including extensive community engagement in 2009 and 2011. The pdf Bluenose Caribou Management Plan (1.97 MB) was submitted to the Minister in November 2014, and Action Planning for the three Bluenose herds began early in 2015.
According to ENR, the Bluenose West population was about 112,000 in 1992. During 2005-2012, ENR estimates show the Bluenose West caribou population hovering between 18,000 and 20,800.