Forest-dwelling woodland caribou--the canary in the coalmine
Forest-dwelling woodland caribou are designated as ‘threatened’ nationally under the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA). The main cause of their decline is the fragmentation of forest ecosystems caused by industrial resource extraction activities like logging and oil and gas extraction.
If populations of forest-dwelling woodland caribou are to stabilize and recover across Canada, four main actions will be required: protection of key habitat in permanent protected areas; ecosystem-based management policies within the managed forest; land-use planning that addresses wildlife habitat needs; and the development and implementation of effective recovery and action plans, as mandated by SARA.
Sierra Club Canada and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society have conducted a status report evaluating provincial/territorial progress on the four areas above. Read the report: Uncertain Future: Woodland Caribou and Canada’s Boreal Forest.
Read a more detailed analysis of provincial and territorial land-use planning processes, protected areas, resource management policies and recovery planning efforts.
History of SARA
Sierra Club Canada has been actively engaged in efforts to protect species at risk and the habitat they depend upon since the drafting of the Species at Risk Act.
UPDATE - On September 10th 2007, the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) issued a notification that found the complaint filed against the Canadian government for failing to enforce the Species at Risk Act merits investigation.
The CEC responded in December of that year and asked requested that Canada respond to our allegations within 30 days. Read the CEC's response.
In October 2006, Sierra Club Canada and a number of other environmental organizations from Canada and the United States have filed a formal complaint to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America (CEC), alleging that Canada is failing to enforce its Species at Risk Act.
The federal 'safety net' isn't working--the spotted owl
The federal government has asserted that if a province or territory is failing to effectively protect a species, they will step in--with 'safety net' measures to ensure recovery. The Sierra Club, with three other environmental organizations, filed a petition urging the federal government to protect the spotted owl in British Columbia as the province is failing to do so. So far, the federal government has done nothing.
Draft Recovery Plans reviewed by the Sierra Club of Canada
A key tool in recovering species at risk of extinction are recovery plans drafted by provinces and territories, and ultimately approved by the federal Minister.
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act
Sierra Club Canada believes that listing a species as endangered, threatened, of special concern or extirpated should be based on science, not socio-economic interests. Species that are recommended for listing by COSEWIC, however, are subject to a public consultation before they are added to the SARA list.
View the comments submitted by Sierra Club Canada on the addition of species to the SARA list:
For more information on the listing process and information about current consultations visit the SARA Public Registry.