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oastal GasLink paid $171,000 to kill wolves in the range of an endangered caribou herd that will lose critical habitat to the company’s pipeline for a gas export project, The Narwhal has learned.
The money for a winter wolf cull in Hart Ranges caribou habitat, northeast of Prince George, was part of $1.5 million the B.C. government required Coastal GasLink to pay for “caribou and predator monitoring” — a condition for receiving a provincial environmental assessment certificate for its 670-kilometre pipeline.
Construction of the pipeline, which will supply fracked gas from northeast B.C. for the LNG Canada project, will remove or disturb 2,750 hectares of habitat for the Hart Ranges herd, eliminating old-growth forest the government had set aside for the herd’s recovery and also cutting through two designated caribou migration corridors, according to project documents.
Chris Johnson, an ecology professor at the University of Northern British Columbia who sits on committees advising the federal government on caribou recovery, said it’s the first time he’s heard of a corporation paying for a predator kill in B.C. to compensate for destroying the habitat of an endangered species.