Ungulate Winter Ranges

Ungulate winter range management has been ongoing for over 20 years in some portions of the province. Formal legal establishment of UWR and associated objectives began under the Forest Practices Code and continue, under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA).

caribou deer elk ram

An Ungulate Winter Range (UWR) is defined as an area that contains habitat that is necessary to meet the winter habitat requirements of an ungulate species. UWR are based on our current understanding of ungulate habitat requirements in winter, as interpreted by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) regional staff from current scientific and management literature, local knowledge, and other expertise from the region. Sections 9 and 12 of the Government Actions Regulation of the Forest and Range Practices Act outline the regulatory authority for establishing UWR.

In August of 2003, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Establishment of Ungulate Winter Ranges and Related Objectives was developed between MWLAP, the Ministry of Forests (MOF) and the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM). The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to expedite and facilitate the orderly confirmation and establishment of ungulate winter ranges (UWR) and related objectives across the province, in order to support the Forest Practices Code and the new Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The MOU clarifies general ministry roles and responsibilities and outlines procedures and considerations to facilitate timely delivery of this initiative. It replaces previous agreements concerning coordination, administrative processes, and consultation requirements. The MOU identifies 3 types of UWR and objectives. The intent is to facilitate, through due process, the cooperative development of objectives to support the FRPA while at the same time maintaining the foundation of stakeholder support, where UWR and objectives have been established through Cabinet-approved strategic land use planning processes.

Photos © Jared Hobbs