YELLOWKNIFE — Ottawa and the Northwest Territories have reached a deal on protecting threatened caribou.
The deal gives the territory deadlines to come up with range plans for its boreal caribou herds.
The first of those plans is due this summer.
If that deadline is missed, the federal environment minister has the power to step in and impose protections.
Ottawa has reached similar deals with other provinces and territories.
Environmentalists have pointed out the deadlines in those agreements are often ignored and the federal government faces at least one lawsuit trying to force it to act.
Boreal caribou in the N.W.T. face few immediate threats.
The herds number about 6,000 animals and more than two-thirds of their range is considered undisturbed.