The Impacts of Caribou Co-management Arrangements on Development Activities in Caribou Habitat

Regions: North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, habitat loss, caribou, co-management, wildlife, industrial development, resource management

Principal Investigator: Kofinas, Gary P (4)
Licence Number: 14249
Organization: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Licensed Year(s): 2007
Issued: Sep 14, 2007
Project Team: Tracey Smith (MA Student Researcher, University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Objective(s): The objective of this study is to determine what techniques caribou co-management arrangements are using to address industrial development in caribou ranges, what impacts they are having, and how they may increase their impacts if needed.

Project Description: The objective of this study is to determine what techniques caribou co-management arrangements are using to address industrial development in caribou ranges, what impacts they are having, and how they may increase their impacts if needed.

One of the pervasive threats facing caribou populations is habitat change. Habitat changes may occur due to a variety of reasons, including industrial development. One way to avoid or mitigate development impacts on caribou populations is to involve caribou co-management arrangements in the development decision-making process. This study will determine to what degree caribou co-management arrangements have influenced industrial development processes and identify factors that have contributed to their influence. Pending permission, the arrangements that will be studied are the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board, the Bathurst Caribou Management Planning Committee, and the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group in Alaska. Other arrangements may be included if requested. The investigators will conduct the research by attending public co-management meetings, conducting interviews with people involved with co-management arrangements and industrial development issues, and reviewing meeting minutes and other documents.
The work is motivated from the observation that there are many pending industrial developments in caribou ranges and that regional caribou co-management arrangements are struggling to keep up with the speed and scale of the proposals. This work is important to caribou co-management boards because they will get an idea of their impacts compared to the impacts other arrangements may be having. They may use the research results to become more effective and efficient at addressing industrial development issues and other threats to habitat.
The researcher (Tracey Smith) will fly to Yellowknife and conduct interviews with people involved with the Bathurst Caribou Management Planning Committee, Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board. These people will be board members, government employees, or employees of the co-management groups or affiliated organizations. Interviews will be recorded on a voice recorder. No more than 50 people will be interviewed.
Affiliated groups may include: Ekati's Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency, the Snap Lake Environmental Monitoring Agency, Diavik's Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board, and the Mackenzie Valley Impact Review Board.

The researcher plans to interview people in Yellowknife, as well as attend board meetings as they are scheduled.

After compiling and analyzing the results, presentations will be made at the relevant board meetings and a written report will be provided to interested individuals and boards. At the end of the project, key informants and others involved in the management process will receive copies of final reports and an opportunity to review and comment. The project may provide a greater understanding of the effectiveness of their co-management institution, as compared to others and to co-management theory. This understanding may lead to positive changes in co-management policy and practice

Fieldwork will be conducted from November 05 to 30, 2007 in Yellowknife to meet with government and FN managers, and possibly in other locations where Bathurst Caribou Management Planning Committee and the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board representatives work.