Report all wildlife (officer) sightings

North Islanders will have to spend several hours on the road if they want to see our Conservation Officers in their natural habitat.

Large predators like wolves and cougars are highly elusive, but they’ve got nothing on the Conservation Officer Service on North Vancouver Island.

In 2011, when the Ministry of Environment announced it would be relocating one of its two “North” Island conservation officers to the zone office in Black Creek, both the Regional District of Mount Waddington and the District of Port Hardy hammered back with written and verbal objection.

Last fall, the lone remaining officer in the Mount Waddington Region, then stationed in Port McNeill, slipped away much more quietly on a reassignment to the Interior. We were assured at the time the post would be refilled “soon”.

Well, the fall and winter months slipped past and the vacancy remained, unnoticed by most. Until, that is, the recent spate of wolf attacks in and around Port Hardy and a surprise visit by a cougar to North Island Secondary School in Port McNeill last week.

Port McNeill RCMP responded to that call, but when the detachment contacted the COS it was informed there were no conservation officers closer than Nanaimo at the time.

This clearly places an added burden on the RCMP, who have been not just the first line of defence in human-animal conflicts, but the only visible line.

“It’s a public safety issue, and we have to do something,” Port McNeill RCMP Sgt. Craig Blanchard said. “It’s not our job, but we have to do it.”

Now, though, local government authorities have developed a renewed interested in the whereabouts of “our” wayward officer. He does appear in a COS website listing as being stationed in Port McNeill. We’d prefer to have him here in person.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: North Island beauty

“don’t forget to look up and observe the beauty of the whole North Island”

LETTER: Miles put on the car causes North Island driver to reflect

“Up here in Port McNeill we are so blessed with nature’s tranquillity all around us”

Collaborative effort removes salmon farms from BC coast

The first farms to be removed were those in closest to the Ahta and Viner Rivers.

North Island Concert Society: Marc Atkinson Trio coming to the Civic Centre

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

MP Blaney welcomes feedback on medical assistance in dying legislation

Over the next two weeks the Government of Canada is holding consultations… Continue reading

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read