Vernon will be getting extra resources to deal with wildlife issues and complaints.
The North Okanagan city is one of several locations in BC getting newly created conservation officer positions.
Twenty new conservation officers will begin their postings this fall — bringing the total number of officers to 160.
Environment minister George Heyman says the new officers are going to areas with the highest need.
“We recognize the need for additional conservation officers to help protect our natural resources and lessen human-wildlife conflicts. 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. “We are taking action to put more boots on the ground, so all British Columbians can benefit from the important work conservation officers do every day.”
The other newly created positions are in Grand Forks, Bella Coola, Port McNeil, Mackenzie, Chetwynd, Haida Gwaii, Duncan, North Fraser zone (two positions), Chilliwack and Atlin.
Remaining conservation officers are slated to fill posts in Quesnel, Terrace, Creston, Prince George, Merritt, Fort St. John and the Lower Mainland (two positions).
“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 (COS).
Conservation officers work on a zone-coverage basis, where officers respond to complaints and concerns anywhere in the zone.
The COS considers several factors when determining where any new conservation officers were posted, including officer safety, call volume, zone coverage and geographic location.
Recruits will start training at the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy in May 2018.