Plans to offer whooping crane tours in northern Alberta may be grounded

EDMONTON — Environment Canada’s plans to offer fly-in tours to the nesting grounds of endangered whooping cranes appear to have been grounded.

Chief Frieda Martselos (mahrt-SEHL’-uhs) of the Salt River First Nation says the federal agency has told her that tours planned for this spring won’t go ahead until at least later this summer.

Salt River is preparing to ask Federal Court for an injunction banning the tours outright.

Martselos says tour plans were made without any consultation with her band, which has the right to use land in Wood Buffalo National Park for traditional purposes.

Whooping cranes were once hunted almost to extinction, but there are now a few hundred of the enormous birds, which have a wing span of more than two metres.

Wood Buffalo is their only remaining natural nesting site.

The Canadian Press