p>The Federal Court heard an application from First Nation
and environmental groups ("Applicants") on June 22 and
23, 2011 seeking to compel the federal Minister of Environment
("Minister") to recommend the Governor in Council to
issue an emergency order protecting herds of Woodland caribou in
northeastern Alberta under Subsection 80(2) of the Species at Risk Act
Boreal Woodland caribou were listed on SARA's Threatened
Species list in 2003, and under Section 42 of SARA, the Minister
had until 2007 to include a proposed recovery strategy for the
species in the public registry. As the Minister has yet to perform
that duty, the Applicants argued that the Minister must now
recommend an emergency order that will commence measures to
protect the Woodland caribou's habitat. However, the
Minister is taking the position that the species do not face an
imminent threat to their recovery and that an emergency order is
This application is of particular interest to oil and gas
operators, as an emergency order under SARA may include provisions
prohibiting activities that may adversely affect a species and
their habitat on both federal and non-federal lands.
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