In a historic partnership, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service is joining forces with the Halfway River First Nation to help ensure natural resources, fish and wildlife in their remote northern lands are protected.
The collaboration will see a dedicated HRFN Conservation Officer –the first position of its kind in the history of the COS.
A signing ceremony took place on Thursday in the HRFN community, located approximately 100 kilometres northwest of Fort. St John. Senior COS officials, HRFN Chief and Council and community members were in attendance.
Funded by the HRFN, the unique arrangement sets out a wide swath of land, west of the Alaska Highway and east of the Rocky Mountains, that the Band has identified as its ‘critical areas.’
The COS will target these critical areas and work with HRFN to promote compliance, protect natural resources and ensure public safety through education and enforcement.
The partnership addresses concerns around the environment, wildlife and natural resource extraction by increasing the COS presence.
Like work being done across the province every day, the new Conservation Officer will respond to human-wildlife conflict reports, undertake proactive patrols, liaise with First Nation governments, RCMP and other law enforcement partners as needed, attend community events, school talks and more, all in consideration of traditional laws and customs. The Conservation Officer’s work will be guided by a collaborative management team comprised of COS and HRFN representatives.
A community celebration will be held to honour the introduction of the new Conservation Officer. The five-year CO position is expected to be in place this spring.