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Completion of Recovery Strategy for Wood Bison in the NWT


The Northwest Territories (NWT) Conference of Management Authorities (CMA), established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act, has completed the Recovery Strategy for Wood Bison in the NWT.

The Recovery Strategy for Wood Bison in the NWT was publicly released on July 29, 2019 in accordance with the Species at Risk (NWT) Act and following CMA acceptance of this document on April 29, 2019.

The recovery strategy was prepared jointly by the Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board, Tlicho Government, and Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). The recovery strategy describes the recovery goals and objectives for wood bison in the NWT and recommends approaches to achieve those objectives. The recovery strategy will help Management Authorities decide what actions to take, how to prioritize their work, and how to allocate their resources in order to recover wood bison.

The recovery strategy meets the requirements for such strategies under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act.

Recognizing the ecological role of wood bison and their importance to people - the cultural and spiritual values of bison combined with their consumptive and non-consumptive uses - the goals of the recovery strategy are to recover free-ranging, genetically diverse, and healthy wood bison populations broadly distributed within the NWT, to levels which can sustain ongoing harvest for the benefit of all people in the NWT, as well as contribute to the recovery of free-ranging, healthy wood bison populations in Canada. Management approaches are focused on the completion and implementation of herd-specific management plans for the Mackenzie, Nahanni, and Slave River Lowlands populations, increasing acceptance of wood bison in the NWT, managing the risk of disease transmission and adverse impacts from disease, monitoring and managing habitat loss and degradation, and engaging in collaborative management of shared wood bison populations.

There are no automatic prohibitions or protections associated with the adoption of this recovery strategy.

The CMA has until April 29, 2020 to develop a consensus agreement on the implementation of the recovery strategy. This 'implementation agreement' will outline how the Management Authorities for wood bison intend to undertake implementation.

Additional information on wood bison, as well as supporting documentation, is available here.