The department is responsible for maintaining healthy wildlife populations. Earlier this year, the department initiated the western NWT biophysical study. This $1 million project will gather baseline data to measure and mitigate the impact of natural gas development on wildlife and wildlife habitat.
We continue to support harvesting of our healthy wildlife populations. Over the past four years, the western NWT harvester assistance program, which promotes community driven, renewable resource harvesting initiatives has committed almost $1.8 million to 23 qualified organizations, who match our contribution as a condition of participation.
As well, we have worked over the past four years to renew our Wildlife Act and develop a Species at Risk Act. Aboriginal governments and the public have been intimately involved in providing advice so that the proposed legislation will be compatible with land claim agreements and address the concerns with the existing legislation.