Conservation of mountain caribou has a long history in British Columbia, beginning at least 70 years ago with efforts to contorl overharvest through stricter hunting regulations. Even the importance of habitat in maintaining healthy caribou populations was ivnestigated more than 40 years ago, and the role of predation was first explored over 20 years ago. Recent conservation efforts have focused on the effects of timber management on mountain caribou and their habitat.
Experience in other parts of Canada has show that large-scale timber extraction is not compatible with the persistence of woodland caribou populations. In British Columbia, easily accessible timber in valley bottoms is becoming more scarce and timber harvesting is increasingly moving into the higher elevation habitats frequented by mountain caribou. However, we still have herds of mountain caribou in British Columbia, some even with the potential to increase. This is a direct result of the dedicated efforts of a number of biologists and foresters who have worked very hard over the years to ensure that habitat needs of mountain caribou were addressed during forest development planning. But not all herds of mountain caribou are doing well. What is needed is an over-all provincial strategy to tie together all the regional planning efforts.
Paquet, Maggie M.. 1997. Toward a Mountain Caribou Management Strategy for British Columbia - Background Report. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. RN322