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Conservation Officer Service ramps up

Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Services. - Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Services.
— image credit: Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

The province’s natural resource officers, park rangers and conservation officers will be out in full force this May long weekend.

According to the government, in May every year, provincial officials step up their patrols. The public can expect to see officers patrolling Crown land, waterways and recreation sites to protect the environment and ensure public safety.

Conservation officers will also be on patrol in the Cariboo Chilcotin, as they have been in recent weeks.

“We are already busy monitoring the fishery and handling wildlife complaints,” said Sgt. Len Butler of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Zone.

“Ice is off the lakes, pretty much, so we’re doing a lot of enforcement and making sure people are fishing within their limits.”

Animal complaints have increased now that everything is greening up.

“There have been lots of bears, especially in the Quesnel area where it’s the hot spot right now,” Butler said. “It’s the same old thing — bird feeders, composts and garbage. People have to be diligent. It’s a problem this time of year.”

Butler is encouraging people to check out the new WildSafeBC website because it indicates where wildlife has been spotted around the province.

WildSafeBC provincial co-ordinator Frank Ritcey said if people sign up for wild alerts on the website, then they will receive information about any wildlife sightings.

“The more information that’s out there, the more people will understand that there are bears in the neighbourhood, the more apt they are to look after their attractants,” Ritcey said.

For example, if a school principal signs up for it, then he or she will know when there is wildlife in the area.

Sometimes the COS don’t have the personnel to go to a school every time a bear or cougar is sighted to pass the information on, Ritcey said.

On the WildSafeBC website, click the WARP (Wildlife Alert Reporting Program) tab on the right hand corner to get started.

 

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