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Funding Meant to Keep Conservation Officer in Valley

The Municipality of North Cowichan is taking about three thousand dollars out of the grant-in-aid pool to help fund a Conservation Officer position in the community.

This money, along with funding from the Ministry of Environment and the BC Conservation Foundation, will help maintain a Conservation Officer position between May and November.

The number of calls WildSafe BC received in 2018 was 191, a nearly 32 percent decrease from the year prior and Provincial Coordinator Vanessa Isnardy said conservation officers perform many duties.

“They do door-to-door canvassing, they are available at community events, they also do a bin tag program, where they identify attractants in the area, garbage that’s set out early, and we provide an education sticker regarding that,” said Isnardy. “They also provide education clinics, such as the safe use of bear spray and the junior ranger program in the schools.”

Isnardy said it’s unknown who will serve in the role here in the Cowichan Valley.

“It is a competitive process, there’s only so much funding available to support communities, so we received all the applications and we review them all,” said Isnardy. “Communities are successful, then we reach out to coordinators and, if we have to, we hire new coordinators. It depends on whether that person is returning or not.”

In a letter to North Cowichan council, Isnardy stated that the CVRD, Town of Ladysmith and other partners have funded a total of $9,500 toward the program.

There were 191 calls last year, down by 89 calls from the year prior.

Calls can include everything from a sighting to an animal in distress, to the attraction of dangerous animals.

North Cowichan’s jurisdiction takes in Chemainus, Crofton, Maple Bay, and Duncan.


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