Arctic Refuge Calving and Post-Calving Grounds
For the Porcupine Caribou Herd, the 1002 Lands are critical calving, post-calving, and insect relief habitat.
The 1002 Lands are used by the caribou for about one a month, but this month is the most critical of the whole year and will determine how many calves will join the herd.
The following animation shows how cow caribou from across the range all come to the 1002 Lands each year.
The Alaskan Bureau of Land Management has begun the process of implementing an oil and gas leasing program within the 1002 Lands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, where the herd’s calves are born.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was established under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. However, Section 1002 of the Act deferred a decision on whether or not to allow oil and gas exploration and development on 1.5 million acres in the coastal plain. Since then, the “1002 Lands” have been a focus of debate between those interested in seeing it developed and those who wish to ensure its protection.
For the Porcupine Caribou Herd, the 1002 lands are critical calving, post-calving, and insect-relief habitat.
In 2017, the Republican-controlled House and Senate included a budget provision that requires over half (800,000 acres) of 1002 Lands in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. It passed both the
Senate and House of Representatives and President Trump signed it into law.
An Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
has been posted on Alaska's Bureau of Land Management’s website, and official public comments can be submitted between December 28, 2018 and February 11, 2019. Please see How You Can Help
for information about submitting meaningful comments.
All Porcupine Caribou Management Agreement (PCMA) Parties have unanimously agreed that development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should not be allowed because of the detrimental effect it will have on the Porcupine Caribou Herd.
> Porcupine Caribou Management Board (pdf)
PCMA Parties' Submissions and Comments
> News Release – BLM extends comment period to March 13, 2019 (pdf)
> Government of Canada request re EIS comment period extension (pdf)
> Government of Canada (pdf)
> Government of Northwest Territories (pdf)
> Gwichin Tribal Council (pdf)
> Inuvialuit Game Council (pdf)
> Tr'ondek Hwech'in (pdf)
> Vuntut Gwitchin Government (pdf)
> Yukon Government (pdf)
Other Organizations' Submissions and Comments
> National Wildlife Refuge Association (pdf)
> CPAWS Yukon (pdf)
> Canada's Position (pdf)
Because of the dependence of caribou on its habitat, the PCMB’s mandate includes making recommendations of measures to ensure the conservation and protection of habitat related to specific projects, plans or activities which may impede, delay or disrupt Porcupine Caribou movements, affect behavioural patterns or reduce productivity. The Board may also identify sensitive habitat areas requiring special protection and recommend measures to protect such areas.
The Chair of the PCMB is a member of the International Porcupine Caribou Board (IPCB).
The IPCB was established in 1987, when the Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on the Conservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd was signed. The international agreement outlines protocols for conservation and management of the Porcupine Caribou herd.
The International Agreement notes the importance of conserving the habitat of the Porcupine Caribou herd, including such areas as calving, post-calving, and migration routes. It also states that activities that would significantly disrupt migration or other important behaviour patterns should be avoided or minimized.
The complete international agreement can be viewed here
How You Can Help
If you would like to help, please submit a meaningful comment that refers to the anticipated environmental or socio-economic consequences of industrial development in the Porcupine Caribou Herd’s calving grounds.
Please be specific in your comments to ensure maximum impact.
Public comments will be accepted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) until February 11, 2019.
Parties to the Porcupine Caribou Management Agreement in Canada are working together to prepare a science-based reply to the BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement. PCMB will share this information here as soon as it is available so that it can be referenced and used to formulate informed responses.
The Draft EIS and the link to the public comments section can be found here