Main Content

Consensus Agreement Reached Regarding Implementation of the 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 reached consensus respecting the implementation of the Recovery Strategy for Wood Bison in the NWT.

This 'implementation agreement' summarizes what actions NWT Management Authorities (Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board, Tlicho Government, Government of the Northwest Territories) intend to undertake to implement the recovery strategy. It follows the listing of wood bison as a Threatened species in the NWT and helps fulfill recovery and implementation requirements for this species under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act.

The recovery strategy was prepared jointly by the Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board, Tlicho Government, and Government of the Northwest Territories. It describes the recovery goals and objectives for wood bison in the NWT and recommends approaches to achieve those objectives. 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 harvest to be sustainable, managing the risk of disease transmission and adverse impacts from disease, monitoring and conserving important wood bison habitat, and engaging in collaborative management on shared wood bison populations.

The signed consensus agreement was provided to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources on April 29, 2020.

There are no automatic prohibitions or protections associated with the recovery strategy or its implementation. Periodic co-management reviews of progress and new information will allow for implementation to be reviewed and adapted as appropriate. The progress of implementation will also be reviewed and reported on every five years. Implementation is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the Management Authorities.

Additional information on wood bison, as well as supporting documentation, is available at:

Contact: Jody Pellissey, Chairperson, Conference of Management Authorities c/o NWT Species at Risk Secretariat (email: