The mountain caribou is an iconic large mammal that is seriously threatened with extinction in Southern BC. The southernmost herds of the Selkirks and Purcells have already disappeared and an area of winter habitat for a small remnant herd at the north end of Kootenay Lake is threatened by logging. Cooper Creek Cedar is applying for a permit on the Argenta-Johnsons Landing Face, an area where this shrinking herd is known to forage.
With the extirpation of these large mammals through habitat loss, it is incumbent upon our governments to move with extreme caution when considering whether or not to proceed with resource extraction. The loss of these animals through destruction of their habitat simply to extract a short-term economic gain would be sad commentary on our priorities. Why are we standing by as government after government leaves the problem of vanishing species to the future? If not now, when?
So little research has been done on this herd that it is unclear what the entire extent of their range encompasses. In the interests of preservation of one of the last herds of southern caribou, the cutting permit should be held in abeyance until a thorough study by independent authorities has established the herd’s habitat requirements.