Lekstrom, Bumstead hopeful going in Friday caribou roundtable meeting

A host of Peace region elected officials have headed south and will join Federal and Provincial representatives and First Nation chiefs to talk caribou Friday.

“Our hope going in is to have a discussion and be around the table,” said Dawson Creek councillor and caribou consult Blair Lekstrom Thursday afternoon.

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"I am hopeful that we can have a meaningful and open discussion with all who are at the table,” echoed Dawson Creek mayor Dale Bumstead.

Southern mountain caribou in the region have been listed as a threatened wildlife species under the federal Species At Risk Act since 2003. Last year, the federal government declared the species to be under imminent threat of recovery, starting a year-long timeline to put a recovery strategy in place. The PRRD has been asking for a place at the discussion table.

"We've been on this for a few years now," noted PRRD chair Brad Sperling recently.

Lekstrom said the Peace region were simply looking for a place at the table. It is expected provincial and federal officials, West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations, and a host of local elected officials will be in attendance as well, from the PRRD and a handful of area mayors. It is expected that Forestry, Natural Gas, Industry, Mines, and Aboriginal affairs may also be around the room.

“I am just not sure what to expect. It will be an interesting and important day for sure,” said Bumstead.

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