Continuing subscribers know we have been following this development since the fall of 2006, when the ENR first said the central barren-ground caribou herds were crashing. Over the last few years the ENR, caribou outfitters, and the local native government basically have been locked in a fight over the issue. The outfitters challenged the ENR's science, and the native government refused to shut down the hunting, although they did approve the slashing of outfitter and resident non-native quotas. Most recently, the ENR closed all hunting with an emergency order that shut native hunters out of their annual winter hunts, which typically occur in April.
In response to these developments at least one outfitter cancelled all of his hunters for this season. John Andre of Courageous Lake Caribou Camps, also the principal of Shoshone Wilderness Adventures, notified about 90 clients that he was cancelling their hunts and that he could not refund their deposits. According to Andre, these clients booked their hunts well before the ENR had decided to eliminate the quota, and the funds have already been spent. He says he had invested 3.5 million dollars into his remote caribou camps, but the slash in quota over the last few years and the imminent closure of all hunting put him out of business in NWT. He has directed his clients to contact the government of NWT for a refund on their deposits through........(continued)