A fire suppression model for forested range of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq herds of caribou
Keywords:caribou management board, co-management, fire, Rangifer
AbstractA fire suppression model was developed for forested winter range of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq (formerly Kaminuriak) herds of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) in north-central Canada. The model is a balance between total protection, as voiced by some aboriginal people, and a let-burn policy for natural fires advocated by some ecologists. Elements in the model were caribou ecology, lichen recovery after fire, burn history, community priorities for caribou hunting, and fire cycle lengths. The percent ratio of current productive caribou habitat to the goal for that habitat determines whether fire should be suppressed in a specific area. The goals for productive caribou habitat, defined as forests older than 50 years, were scaled by fire cycle length and community priority ranking. Thus, the model is an example of co-management: traditional knowledge combined with science in a joint forum, the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board.
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