The floodgates have been opened! It seems like just last spring those of us fighting the good fight for species at risk in Canada were wondering if the new government in Ottawa meant we were ever going to see long overdue action on species at risk recovery. Were all those species languishing as COSEWIC proposals finally going to get listed under SARA, would we see the many draft recovery strategies and management plans get proposed and more importantly finalized? Well sometimes you have to be careful about what you wish for!
Canada and BC have seen a number of species finally get their due. From the Barn Swallow to the Sharp-tailed Snake, the SCCP and its partners have been overwhelmed with proposed listings, schedule reviews and recovery documents. We've given up trying to keep on top of reviewing them and remain focused on just keeping track of which species are getting addressed. In-depth review will be set aside on an as needed basis.
The federal government has also posted a number of SARA policy documents including a revised approach for dealing with critical habitat on non-federal land. To check up on what is happening, you can subscribe to the SARA registry list serve or check up on all the public consultations here.
And the SCCP was quite surprised to see the Province suddenly open up consultation on species at risk protection in the later fall of 2016. Not to be daunted, the SCCP submitted its perspectives on what needs ot happen in BC if we are collectively going to be effective at protecting and recovering species at risk.
Only time (and more importantly the outcomes of the upcoming election) will tell if it will just be business as usual.