The federal government is promising to work harder to preserve habitat needed by Canada's vanishing woodland caribou.
In a document released late Friday afternoon, Environment Canada released the final version of long-awaited recovery strategy for the animals, which scientists believe could be wiped out from some areas within a generation.
The plan puts the emphasis on habitat restoration, saying that all caribou ranges should be at least 65 per cent undisturbed.
"For boreal caribou ranges with less than 65 per cent undisturbed habitat, restoration ... will be necessary."
Most of those ranges that don't meet the threshold are in Alberta, where oilsands development has disturbed more than 80 per cent of some.
That could put the federal plan at odds with the province, said Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank.
"The target for every range is to incrementally start improving toward 65 per cent," he said.
"I would think that it would require a much higher level of due diligence to ensure restoration is exceeding the rate of new development. It does set the recovery plan on a collision course with industry."
Alberta government officials said they won't comment on the plan until Tuesday, when they've had a chance to look at it.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent wasn't immediately available for comment. More....