A new initiative of the BC Wildlife Federation will help to residents to report environmental abuses with the touch of a screen app.

Smile, you may be on camera

New smartphone apps have the potential of identifying environmental scofflaws

  • Sep. 15, 2017 2:15 p.m.

Tim Collins / News staff

Citizens who are concerned about the environment and those whose actions threaten that environment now have a new weapon in their pockets.

The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) has launched a new app to make it easier for people who witness a threat to the environment to report it immediately to the appropriate agency.

“We’ve been working on this for nearly two years and now we’re ready to make this happen. We’ve given people the ability to report situations in real time and make certain those reports go to the appropriate agency,” said Jesse Zeman, the spokesperson for the BCWF resident priority program, adding that the app allows outdoor enthusiasts with smartphones to take geo-referenced, time staped photos or videos to report issues rlated to the abuse of B.C.’s natural resources.

“The app gives British Columbians’ another tool to protect our natural resources for future generations and it will increase the ability of enforcement agencies to respond in a targeted way.”

The new tool was created by the Spatial Information for Community Engagement (SPICE) lab at the University of British Columbia and is a mapping website that can display environmental abuses submitted by users, thereby increasing awareness about the threats to the natural resources in the province. The app also reports those abuses, in real time, to the appropriate agency, based on the input from the app user.

“Our server looks at the report and the options selected by theuser and makes certain that the report gets directly to the right agency,” said Zeman.

After launching the app a few months ago, the BCWF has already seen more than 4,000 downloads of the app, all prior to launching of the current campaign to inform the public about the new service.

“Our goal is to see 20,000 Conservation App users by the end of the year”, said Zeman.

Already the user reports filed through the app have led to multiple fines, investigations and charges–right across the province.

Another feature of the app is that it allows users the choice to make their report public, a feature intended to raise awareness of the issues and help prevent future violations. If the user chooses to file their report publicly, a BCWF moderator will then examine the report to determine if it should be placed on the public website, a move that has the potential of identifying those offenders who are threatening the enviornment.

Doug Forsdick, Chief Conservation Officer, B.C. Conservation Officer Service, said the COS appreciates the new smartphone app.

“British Columbians are passionate about protecting their environment, wildlife and natural resources. We welcome more eyes and ears across the province to help guard against illegal activities that can harm our ecosystems and beautiful natural spaces. Thank you to the BC Wildlife Federation for bringing public awareness to ongoing conservation efforts.”

To download the app for iPhone visit the apple app store or, for Android phones go to Google play to download the apps. Simply type in “conservation App’ and it will pop up for download at no cost.

(Editor’s note: the BCWF app is not designed to report wildfires.)

Just Posted

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Revelstoke Columbia River Treaty meeting brings local concerns to the forefront

The government of British Columbia hosted a community meeting surrounding the Columbia… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Human caused fire knocked down in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

A fire broke out on the lower slopes of Mount Revelstoke yesterday… Continue reading

Life-long Revelstokian celebrates 106th birthday

Kay Martin celebrated her 106th birthday on June 20. Martin is a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Man gets 2 years in prison for assault on Okanagan Correctional officer

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read