WILLIAMS LAKE — A roundtable discussion involving provincial and local officials is focusing on efforts to protect moose in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson, Tribal Chairman of the Tŝilhqot'in National Government Chief Joe Alphonse, and Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser were part of the discussions.
The group met with representatives, First Nations and a number of stakeholders in Williams Lake on Dec. 4 to discuss "lasting solutions" to benefit moose, according to the release.
"Moose are an essential part of the way of life for many people who live in the region," Donaldson said in the release. "Unfortunately, their habitat has been affected by pine beetle, the recent wildfires and a variety of land management activities. These events and other factors are affecting the abundance and distribution of moose and other species. Given the complexity of these issues, it is important to ensure everyone is a part of the solution. We look forward to continuing these collaborations with future roundtable meetings with our First Nations partners and other stakeholders to help improve the resilience of our landscapes, and help moose numbers recover."
The first session was designed to address what officials know and don't know about changes in the Cariboo-Chilcotin ecosystem, along with key threats and potential solutions to the moose decline, among other issues.
Alphonse said it was a good start to important work that could not have been done without everyone present.
"Within the Moose Co-Management Agreement signed this fall with the Province, the Tŝilhqot'in specifically requested that these series of moose roundtables occur in order to share important ideas and information between all stakeholders, governments and First Nation governments. Moose is an important resource for many people in this region, meaning we need to work together to find solutions to this complicated issue."
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