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Porcupine Caribou Board Holds Public Meeting in Fairbanks

The International Porcupine Caribou Board invites all interested people to
attend a public meeting on Wednesday, April 18, from 7-9 pm at the Morris
Thompson Cultural Center 101 Dunkel Street, Fairbanks, to hear an update on
this joint Canadian-U.S. effort to ensure the continuation of the Porcupine
Caribou Herd.

The Porcupine Caribou Herd is the 5th largest herd of migratory caribou in
North America.  It migrates over approximately 180,000 square miles of
Northern Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories. The herd derives its name
from the Porcupine River which runs through a large part of its range. The
herd’s 169,000 animals migrate more than1,500 miles annually between their
winter range and calving grounds, the longest land migration route of any
land mammal on earth. They are the primary subsistence resource of the
Gwich’in people, who traditionally built their communities based upon the
caribou's migration patterns. They are also routinely hunted by other
peoples, including the Inupiat, Inuvialuit, Hän, and Northern Tutchone.

The Board was created through the Agreement Between the Government of
Canada and the Government of the United States of America on the
Conservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd signed in 1987, and first met in
1989.  The Agreement specifies how the two countries will collaborate, such
as ensuring “…that the Porcupine Caribou Herd, its habitat and the
interests of users of Porcupine Caribou are given effective consideration
in evaluating proposed activities within the range of the Herd.” and “Where
an activity in one country is determined to be likely to cause significant
long-term adverse impact on the Porcupine Caribou Herd or its habitat, the
other Party will be notified and given an opportunity to consult prior to
final decision.” While advice and recommendations of the Board are not
binding on the Parties, the parries will, by virtue of the Agreement,
consider the advice and respond to the recommendations of the Board.

The Board is comprised of four members from Canada and four from the Unites
States.  Canadian membership  includes Wendy Nixon (Canadian Wildlife
Service, Environment Canada), Kelly Milner (Fish and Wildlife Branch, Yukon
Department of Environment), Marsha Branigan (Wildlife Management,
Environment and Natural Resources - Inuvik Region, Northwest Territories),
and Joe Tetlichi (Chair, Porcupine Caribou Management Board within Canada).
The U.S. is represented by Geoffrey Haskett, Alaska Regional Director, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service; Craig Fleener, Deputy Commissioner, Alaska
Department of Fish and Game; the Inupiat (Edward Rexford) and the Alaska
G’wich’in (Edward Frank) Villages.

At the first meeting, the Board reviewed its roles and responsibilities,
and its interactions with the Porcupine Caribou Technical Committee of
biologists, which provides advice and updates to the Board. The April 18-19
Board meetings will discuss a communications strategy, compare harvest
management plans in Alaska and Canada, discuss the Arctic Refuge
Comprehensive Conservation Plan, and identify potential developments that
may impact the Porcupine Caribou Herd and its habitat.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and
trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific
excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated
professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on
our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with
our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at
www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at
http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq


                                   -FWS-

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