“While recognizing that we are facing challenging times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important we acknowledge the important role wildlife has in our daily lives, and the important role it will have when the threat of the virus is over.
“Albertans are blessed to share our province with more than 1,800 types of flowers, 400 species of birds, 90 mammal species, 18 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 65 species of fish.
“Celebrating National Wildlife Week gives us an opportunity to honour our natural heritage and support conservation efforts across the country.
“I’m passionate about Alberta’s wildlife and wild places. I’m also proud that our government has a robust conservation agenda and is committed to working with conservation groups, industry, municipalities and biologists to ensure wildlife – especially at-risk species – have every opportunity to thrive.
“The excellent work our wildlife professionals conduct is reflected through various programs. For instance, the BearSmart program has helped reduce human-bear interactions, and is an example of successful multi-stakeholder initiatives.
“Another example is the creation of the caribou sub-regional task forces to collaborate on the development of caribou range plans. We aim to achieve and maintain naturally self-sustaining woodland caribou populations.
“As an avid hunter and angler, I also deeply respect that our province offers an abundance of hunting opportunities to Albertans in a safe, responsible and ethical manner.
“My department is currently working to update species management plans and modernize the wildlife regulation. In close collaboration with stakeholders, we will ensure that conservation, wise management and sustainable use of our wildlife resources are incorporated into the work we do every day and in the future. We have already updated the province’s sportfishing regulations with an eye to these details, and there is more to come in that area.
“I hope that when the pandemic ends, you will have the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. Happy National Wildlife Week.”