A new committee in Alberta, Canada will be charged with modernizing the province’s outdated mule deer plan. The current mule deer plan has been active for over 30 years. However, with mule deer facing new challenges and issues, the plan needs to be updated. Subsequently, mule deer populations across the province vary wildly and face different challenges in each region. One of the main issues that the committee will examine is the sustainable use of the mule deer population. Likewise, the committee will look at The spiritual and cultural importance of mule deer to Indigenous Peoples.

“Many Metis Settlement members rely on the fish and game of this province to feed their families. As an Indigenous government, we have a vested interest in Alberta’s wildlife management policies and approach. I am pleased that Alberta is reaching out to us and other Indigenous organizations to discuss the management of Alberta’s mule deer population and am hopeful this leads to improved outcomes for this important species.” – Roechelle Gaudet, Vice President, Metis Settlements General Council

Alberta’s Fluctuating Mule Deer Population

Some areas of Alberta are seeing declining mule deer numbers. The committee hopes to find and understand why that is happening. The committee hopes to put conservation effort into place for these affected areas. Meanwhile, other areas within the province are seeing a mule deer population boom. Consequently, this overpopulation is causing human-wildlife conflicts and vehicle collisions. The new Mule Deer Plan hopes to come up with a solution to handle the population boom.

“It’s clear that action needs to be taken to address concerns with the mule deer population in Alberta. Advisory committee members, whether First Nations and Métis communities or wildlife conservation and recreation members, all have a deep knowledge and interest in mule deer management in Alberta. I’m happy to advance this important wildlife management commitment and work towards collaborative solutions that will balance conservation, economic and recreational, and Indigenous goals. Alberta Environment and Parks have a robust conservation agenda, which includes updating management plans for other species. I am optimistic that this committee will lay the foundation for this important work to continue.” –  Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Mule Deer Plan Committee Details

The committee will include representatives from key organizations. Some of these organizations include Alberta Environment and Parks science experts and Fish and Wildlife staff. The committee will also include members of the Indigenous communities. Likewise, the committee will include members of the Alberta Beef Producers and the Alberta Conservation Association.

“The mule deer advisory committee is an important, stakeholder-driven process to develop a robust management plan for mule deer in the future. Given the important conservation value the ACA and all Albertans place upon this species, we look forward to being involved in this important process.” – Todd Zimmerling, President and CEO, Alberta Conservation Association

So, what are your thoughts on Alberta updating its Mule Deer Plan? Have you ever hunted mule deer in Alberta? Let us know in the comments!

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