A hiker takes in the snow covered mountains surrounding Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park on June 22, 2002. Environmental groups are welcoming Parks Canada’s buyout of two businesses in Jasper National Park’s Tonquin Valley, a scenic destination also used by vanishing caribou herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A hiker takes in the snow covered mountains surrounding Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park on June 22, 2002. Environmental groups are welcoming Parks Canada’s buyout of two businesses in Jasper National Park’s Tonquin Valley, a scenic destination also used by vanishing caribou herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Environmental groups welcome Parks Canada buyout of Jasper Park backcountry lodges

Advocates say move needed to protect caribou herds on the edge of disappearing

Environmental groups are welcoming Parks Canada’s buyout of two businesses in Jasper National Park’s Tonquin Valley, a scenic destination also used by vanishing caribou herds.

Carolyn Campbell of the Alberta Wilderness Association says buying out the backcountry lodges is unfortunate but needed to protect the herds, which are on the edge of disappearing.

She says the two lodges were on habitat used by caribou for calving, rearing and rutting, and added to pressures the animals were facing from predators.

The owner of one of the lodges declined to comment.

Caribou herds in the area are now so small, they can’t produce enough calves to expand the herds, and Parks Canada is considering a captive breeding program to bring them back.

Parks Canada

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