More Conservation Service resources needed

Overshadowed by the ugliness of the illegal elk slaughter on Vancouver Island is how few Conservation Service officers there are.

The stakes have been raised in the hunt for the person or people illegally killing elk in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

Two more entities—a private business and the Coastal BC Guide Outfitters Association—have added to the already hefty reward for information about the elk kill, raising the total to $31,000.

This isn’t just about a few dead animals: the poachers are threatening a way of life for First Nations on the West Coast, and more importantly are threatening the existence of a dwindling number of Roosevelt Elk on Vancouver Island.

We are fortunate in the ACRD that so many of our local First Nations have teamed up and taken an active role in trying to solve this unnecessary slaughter of elk.

We hope the perpetrators are caught and soon—before the slaughter completely eradicates all efforts to sustain the elk herds on the West Coast.

Another point that has been raised is how few conservation officers there are patrolling such a large territory.

We have tremendous respect for the job these officers already do in our region, but with such precious natural resources to protect, they must have more of their own resources.

Sergeant Ben York and his team have put countless hours into this investigation already and we applaud their effort.

We think it’s a shame conservation’s area of responsibility has grown while their numbers have shrunk.

Alberni Valley News