A proposed federal strategy to safeguard the habitat of the woodland caribou is causing concern in the mining industry. The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its provincial counterpart, the Saskatchewan Mining Association, have started a letter-writing campaign to express their opposition to the strategy developed by Environment Canada.
The federal government released the draft strategy in August and it is open for public comment until February. The mining associations say it will severely limit any further resource or infrastructure development in northern Saskatchewan.
MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said the strategy would create a system that would see caribou habitat that had 35 per cent of its area disturbed declared off limits to further development.
Historically, human or industrial disturbance, over time, is responsible for two per cent of the disturbed land while natural forest fires are responsible for some 60 per cent, Gratton said, adding using the proposed strategy model would mean most of northern Saskatchewan has already hit the critical 35 per cent threshold.
“Essentially the strategy is saying no further development is possible until you bring it back to that level in northern Saskatchewan.”
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