Deline, N.W.T. gov'ts present differing plans for Bluenose-East caribou share

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources wants to limit the harvest of Bluenose-East caribou to 163 for all of the Sahtu. Meanwhile, a plan in Deline calls for a limit of 150 caribou for that community alone.

Deline wants 150 caribou for itself, but gov't wants to allocate 163 caribou for entire Sahtu region

Deline Chief Leonard Kenny says his community wants 150 Bluenose-East caribou for itself, but the N.W.T. gov't only wants to allocate 163 caribou for the entire Sahtu region. (CBC)

The Sahtu Renewable Resources Board is weighing two different plans for managing the Bluenose-East caribou herd, whose population has declined by more than 40 per cent since 2013.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources wants the harvest of the herd to be limited to bulls and capped at 950 animals — for all of the N.W.T. and Nunavut. 

The Sahtu region's five communities would share 163 of those tags.

But Leonard Kenny, the chief of Deline, says his community alone wants 150 caribou.

"In our plan...we will look at the number 150....and we are going to work with that," said Kenny.

Kenny says those number don't necessarily conflict with Deline's plan, but he can't be sure.

The Sahtu Renewable Resources Board is evaluating both plans, which otherwise share many things in common. Both plans strive to minimize waste, improve hunter education, and increase the accuracy of the total count of animals harvested.

"They are both potentially complementary," said Deborah Simmons, the executive director of the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board.

The board will a hold public hearing to discuss both plans during the first week of March.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Bluenose-East herd has declined from about 68,000 caribou in 2013 to between 35,000 and 40,000 in 2015. Its number of breeding cows has also dropped by 50 per cent since 2013.


  • An earlier version of this story said that Leonard Kenny disagreed with the government's plan. In fact, Kenny did not say that.
    Feb 01, 2016 3:45 PM CT