Sgt. Scott Norris, of the Duncan office of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, is welcoming a new co-worker to the region. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Two new conservation officers added to Vancouver Island

Port McNeill, Duncan areas to benefit as government creates 20 new positions around BC.

Vancouver Island is benefiting from the addition of a pair of B.C. Conservation Officer Service members as part of a province-wide bolstering of the service.

“We have some communities that haven’t seen a new conservation officer for a very long time so these new recruits will significantly improve services,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Our government recognizes how important it is to put more boots on the ground to help protect our natural resources and wildlife, and lessen human-wildlife conflicts.”

A provincial update shows 20 new conservation officers were sworn in last spring and have been dispersed throughout B.C. to fill existing vacancies, pending retirements and newly funded positions in the area with the highest need. Among those new positions are postings in Duncan and Port McNeill.

“We didn’t get a brand new recruit,” said Duncan Conservation Officer, Scott Norris. “We’ve got a guy who has transferred from another location.”

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is made up of 160 officers overseeing 45 different coverage zones.

“It’s an exciting time for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Communities and stakeholder groups are excited to see new officers out in the field protecting B.C.’s fish and wildlife, keeping citizens safe and ensuring our environment is sustainable for years to come,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer.

“The new resources will enhance officer safety with a doubling of all of our single officer posts. Areas with high-call volume and emerging pressures will also see an increase in staffing.”

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