Part four of an ongoing column and story series exploring the Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild maternity penning plan.
By Kevin Bollefer, Operation Forester for the Revelstoke Community Forest Corportion
As you’ve been reading over the last few weeks, Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild (RCRW) has a multitude of local individuals and organizations that are supporting this project. The Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation (RCFC) is one of the founding members of this group. To learn more about your community forest corporation, visit rcfc.bc.ca.
For years, mountain caribou have been a management concern and a host of land use decisions and forestry practices have been implemented to minimize the impacts to the caribou. Unfortunately, mountain caribou numbers are still declining.
From the biology work that has been completed, we understand that past forestry practices among many other causes have led to the decline of this incredible species. There are still holes in the information that we don’t know for sure. Pregnancy rates are high but there are few calves … what is occurring? Maternity pens can answer some of these questions as well as potentially help increase population numbers at the same time.
Foresters in B.C. are given the right to practice by the provincial government. Given that, we must manage the land base and the overall ecosystem. Our actions as natural resource managers can greatly affect the outcome for mountain caribou populations. We must do our part to reduce the risks to mountain caribou while maintaining a healthy forest economy that is sustainable. This project is where the rubber hits the pavement and we begin an active role in the recovery of mountain caribou.
Never have I been involved with a project that has so many different user groups all focused on the same final goal. It’s inspiring to have stakeholders representing diverse interests at the table. The broad range of interests include environmental groups, industry, recreation, local special interest groups, government, First Nations, biologists and academia. These relationships are fostering future endeavours and are encouraging a more collaborative approach to natural resource management in our area. However, for now we are all focused on one common goal … mountain caribou recovery!
Kevin moved to Revelstoke in 1997 after completing his BSc in Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. He became interested in forestry in this area and obtained his Registered Professional Forester (RPF) status through the Association of BC Forest Professionals in 2002. He is currently the Operations Forester for the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation.
The Revelstoke Caribou Rearing in the Wild project is competing for $100,000 in funding through theShell Fuelling Change program. To be successful, RCRW needs community members to visit the RCRW page on shellfuellingchange.com, sign up and vote. Check out the ‘Improving Mountain Caribou Calf Survival‘ page now and vote.