Northwestern Ont. transmission line may threaten caribou habitat (CBC News Thunder Bay – December 16, 2014)

A new report says caribou in Ontario’s boreal forest are facing increasing man-made threats — and specifically points out a proposed transmission line running between Dryden, Ignace and Pickle Lake.

Anna Baggio of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Wildlands League said the route would disturb prime caribou habitat.

“Let’s not place permanent infrastructure in these really hammered southern caribou ranges,” she said. “And if you have to build some of this infrastructure — if it’s an absolute imperative — then at least situate it along an existing highway.”

Baggio said the province needs to do a better job of living up to its commitment to protect woodland caribou. “If we can protect woodland caribou habitat, then we can protect the habitat of a whole other suite of species,” she said.

“If we don’t do a good job on Boreal caribou, it’s sort of like a canary in the coal mine for us … It shows us that our practices and our intentions in the Boreal forest are not where they need to be.”

Baggio said the notion of ploughing “a transmission line through some of the best remaining intact caribou habitat … is perplexing. It’s baffling that, in this day and age we’d have a proponent that … wouldn’t try to avoid some of these environmental impacts right off the bat.”

Another recommendation in the report is to make sure there’s a management plan for the Ring of Fire in order to minimize harm to caribou.

For the original source of this article and a radio interview, click here: