Revelstoke Conservation Officer Sgt. Adam Christie responds after a bear attacked and killed a dog at a Highway 23 North residence in July of 2011.

Stakeholders want Conservation Officer Service maintained, improved in Revelstoke

Revelstoke Bear Aware, Rod & Gun Club say Conservation Officer Service in Revelstoke has been eroded by staffing shortage

Two Revelstoke conservation organizations are calling on the Ministry of Environment to maintain its Conservation Officer Service here in Revelstoke.

The issue came to the fore after Revelstoke RCMP shot a bear in the Big Eddy on Dec. 8. Residents complained that the situation could have been better dealt with if a provincial conservation officer had attended, instead of police.

Police and residents said the bear had been spotted and reported several times in the week before its death.

Although the impending retirement of the Revelstoke-based conservation officer Adam Christie had been known amongst stakeholder groups for some time, official confirmation came from the RCMP following the incident. Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky of the Revelstoke RCMP said police have been notified that after Dec. 19, there won’t be a conservation officer in Revelstoke.

Grabinsky said that some police officers may have had training to deal with bears or wildlife, but in general, police do not receive training on how to deal with problem bears.

Revelstoke Bear Aware community coordinator Sue Davies said the local conservation officer has worked closely with their organization, serving as an agency member on their board of directors. She said Christie has provided “invaluable help and support to the program.”

She added: “In a town with as many bears as Revelstoke, a conservation officer who is trained specifically in dealing with wildlife is an essential part of our community.”

However, Davies said the BC Conservation Officer Service has been stretched too thin in Revelstoke in the past years, after the local conservation officer took on district manager duties that require him to travel out of town on a regular basis.

Davies said this leaves Revelstoke with no conservation officer on many days.

“This has put pressure on the local RCMP who have had to step in on these occasions,” Davies said. “Revelstoke’s remoteness from other towns with conservation officers also means that a single officer has little backup when needed.”

Revelstoke Bear Aware is urging the Ministry of Environment to assign at least one, and preferably two conservation officers in Revelstoke.

Although it couldn’t be confirmed officially, Davies said Bear Aware understands provincial authorities will make a decision on the future of the service in Revelstoke in February of 2014.

The Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club joined Revelstoke Bear Aware in calling for two conservation officers here in Revelstoke.

In a letter to the Times Review, (see page six) club president Gary Krestinsky said the results of a conservation officer service that is stretched thin is already evident.

“We are aware of flagrant disregard for hunting regulations, poaching, and trapping infractions that are occurring with minimal success in investigations or convictions,” Krestinsky wrote. He said added supervisory duties placed on the Revelstoke conservation officer had eroded the service’s presence in the field, in the forest and on the lakes.

The Times Review contacted a B.C. Ministry of Environment spokesperson on Dec. 9 to ask about the future of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service in Revelstoke. They did not respond to our enquiries by our Dec. 13 deadline and hadn’t yet responded by Dec. 20.

 

Just Posted

RCMP inspecting trucks along Trans Canada

They are emphasising that all commercial trucks on Highway 1 must carry chains during winter

Beyond the Blues event coming to Revelstoke

Annual mental health awareness event will have a new cannabis use screening tool

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

CONTEST: New year, new you

KimXO has partnered with Black Press Media and Third Space for a brand new contest

Revelstoke Hospice Society recognizes National Bereavement Day today

Perhaps you were unaware of the national day we have to dedicate… Continue reading

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

Possible prison time for Kamloops woman who stole thousands from her company

Crown wants Maegan Viger to spend three months behind bars; defence asks for conditional discharge

B.C. model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry, ride-hailing group says

Ridesharing Now for BC says it had hoped the bill would be more customer-driven like in other cities

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

The Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra returns with winter concert

The performance will include a tribute to Amanda Todd

Most Read