This is the first year in 3 years that there is a designated Access Guardian in Fernie for a 6 month term from May 15-Nov 15, potentially for the next 5 years. Currently the Access Management Compliance and Enforcement Program (AMCEP) is the only Conservation Officer (CO) position in all of British Columbia. The CO’s priority focuses on Access Management for the 6 month period in the Regional District of East Kootenay’s Electoral Area A. Thank you to the RDEK, Columbia Basin Trust, other stakeholder groups and the Communities of Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford for making this position a success.
CO Patricia Burley transferred to the East Kootenay’s on December 12, 2011 from the Peace Region. She started with the Conservation Officer Service in May 2009 and worked for Alberta SRD as a Seasonal Fish and Wildlife Officer in 2008. She worked with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Fire Operations as a Forest Fire Fighter for the previous 7 years. During those seasonal years she was living and working in Fernie within the ski industry. She is happy to call the East Kootenay’s home again.
Since arriving in Fernie CO Burley has spent a fair amount of time with other East Kootenay CO’s to become familiar with some of the beautiful fishing lakes, rivers, campgrounds, hunting destinations, hiking trails, and of course many of the Access Management Areas (AMA). Patrolling in the East Kootenay’s during the winter season has made some of the backcountry access routes a difficult task. Patrols by snowmobile and truck were still conducted in many of the AMA’s through the network of open roads. Anglers were checked throughout the season on the Elk and Kootenay Rivers. Hunter and angler compliance checks were accomplished in the south country because of their lack of snow and having great cougar hunting and ice fishing opportunities. Problem wildlife is another priority that Conservation Officer’s look after. A female calf moose was tranquilized and relocated to a farm north of Sparwood with the assistance of CO Burley. The calf had been hanging around the airport area in Fernie since the late summer and had become a public safety risk. Winter is also a good time of year to complete some Provincial mandatory training. CO Burley was able to receive an Immobilization and First Aid course and trained CO’s in Avalanche Skills Training in Nelson. She also specializes in the Restorative Justice process used as an Alternative Measure to the court system. She was one of the CO’s that won the Premier’s Award in the partnership category. She travelled to Smither’s where she Co-Facilitator a Wildlife Act and Criminal Code Forum. The below is a video which can be viewed on the Restorative Justice Process on the following link:
Members of the public have contacted CO Burley since starting in Fernie with questions, comments and concerns on the AMA’s. CO Burley is continually working towards building new relationships with the public and other stakeholder groups to have more communication. The Communities in the East Kootenay’s have welcomed CO Burley’s presence and are overall supportive of the program. She will be continuing to work in the field and provide outreach and enforcement efforts within the AMA’s. A monthly report will be submitted at the beginning of each month.
If you have any questions or concerns about the May AMA Report or questions for CO Burley, she can be contacted at:
The Conservation Officer Service is a public safety provider focussed on natural resource law enforcement and human wildlife conflicts prevention and response. Our Vision: To be a progressive and respected leader in environmental compliance and enforcement, shared stewardship and public safety. The Conservation Officer Service Motto is: Integrity, Service and Protection
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