Twenty new conservation officers will begin their postings throughout British Columbia in the fall.
“For too long, there has been a lack of frontline conservation officers, and communities have suffered the consequences,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in a statement.
Training is set to begin in May, with the officers filling for those retiring or existing vacancies in Duncan, Bella Coola, Port McNeil, Vernon, Grand Forks, Mackenzie, Chetwynd, Haida Gwaii, North Fraser Zone (two positions), Chilliwack, and Atlin.
Deputy Chief providing lecture on professional standards to new BCCOS recruits #VictoriaBC @_BCCOS pic.twitter.com/LUfI5KLd61
— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) April 25, 2018
The additional resources allow for 12 new locations to open up, including areas where need is high like Quesnel, Terrace, Creston, Prince George, Merritt, Fort St. John and the Lower Mainland (two positions).
“We recognize the need for additional conservation officers to help protect our natural resources and lessen human-wildlife conflicts. We are taking action to put more boots on the ground,” said Heyman.
Conservation officers cover a specific zone in BC, where they respond to concerns from the public within that area. (B.C. Conservation Service/Twitter)
“More conservation officers on the ground mean more eyes and ears to respond to complaints, and to educate the public, prevent human-wildlife conflicts and protect our natural resources,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
With the additional officers, the total number of conservation officers in the province is now 160.