North

Tlicho gov't says its members won't hunt Bathurst caribou

The Tlicho Government has told the N.W.T. government it will not harvest from the Bathurst caribou herd during the 2015-16 hunting season.

Tlicho have 'made this difficult choice as an investment in our future,' says Grand Chief in release

Tlicho Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus says that his government 'made this difficult choice as an investment in our future and we as a people need to do this.' (CBC)

The Tlicho Government says its members won't hunt Bathurst caribou during the 2015-16 hunting season.

The announcement comes on the heels of survey results released in September that show the herd has declined in population by about one third since 2012 — from 32,000 animals down to between 16,000 and 22,000.

The Bathurst caribou herd is currently protected from hunting by a mobile conservation area, a no-hunting zone established around the core of the herd early this year. But the territorial government has allowed a limited harvest of up to 15 caribou bulls for "ceremonial" purposes. Groups with traditional rights, such as the Tlicho, could submit a proposal to the territorial government for the right to hunt a bull.

In Tuesday's release, Tlicho Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus says that his government has "made this difficult choice as an investment in our future and we as a people need to do this."

Michael Miltenberger, the territory's minister of Environment and Natural Resources, said his government applauds "the Tlicho Government for showing strong leadership in dealing with this crisis.

"It is a very tough choice that recognizes the need for strong actions to conserve the Bathurst herd for current and future generations."

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