Cooperative Management Plan
“Prince of the Arctic” by Anaktuvuk Pass artist Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson graces the cover of the newest Management Plan.
Adopted in 2003, the Working Group’s Western Arctic Caribou Herd Cooperative Management Plan provides guidelines for agencies and researchers to follow when working with Western Arctic Herd caribou. The plan is built on group consensus and is focused on recommendations to maintain the health of the herd, the surrounding ecosystem, and uses for people now and in the future.
This revised Western Arctic Caribou Herd Cooperative Management Plan was the result of more than a year’s work by the Working Group Planning Committee in conjunction with agency staff. The revised plan was approved by the full Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group at its December 2019 meeting.
The revised plan remains similar and true to its previous versions. Below is a list of the most significant changes to the plan:
- Two new plan elements, Human Activities and Changing Climate, have been added (p. 37-40).
- Table 1 has been improved, with metrics added to help define the management level (p. 21).
- The minimum bull: cow ratio has been decreased from 40:100 to 30:100 (p. 24-27).
- The “No harvest of calves” recommendation at the Conservative Management level has been changed to “Encourage voluntary reduction in calf harvest, especially when the population is declining” (p. 25).
- The plan has been reorganized to improve clarity and flow. For instance, Population Management Actions and Potential Harvest Recommendations, which used to be Appendix 2, can now be found as Table 2 (p. 24-27) in the main body of the plan, making this important part of the plan easier to find.
- Range and migration maps have been updated. A few additional changes will likely be made to these maps before the December meeting.