REPORTING · 3rd January 2012
On September 6th in 2011, Council made a motion to write the Ministry of Environment and request a Conservation Officer be stationed in Kitimat. On October 5th, Mayor Joanne Monaghan sent the letter to the Honourable Terry Lake, Minister of Environment. Monaghan mentioned the meeting in the letter and the bear aware program, which was discussed at the meeting.
“Despite efforts by Conservation Officers, additional resources are desperately needed to respond more effectively to situations occurring within city limits,” wrote Monaghan. “Council respectfully requests an increase of funding in support of employing more Conservation Officers to the Kitimat area. Bear Aware, as an effective tool in educating our residents, is not effective for handling unpredictable bear encounters. On behalf of my Counil and the community of Kitimat, I hope that we can receive your support financially for the safety of our citizens”
The District of Kitimat received a letter on December 21st from Lake.
“Three Terrace field Conservation Officers provide environmental law enforcement and public safety services to Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat, as well as many smaller communities in the Northwest from Kemano to Meziadin. We have found that basing these officers in the central location of Terrace provides the best coverage possible for the three major centres and outlying communities,” wrote Lake.
Lake expressed appreciation at the work which had been done to reduce human / bear conflicts and encouraged the District of Kitimat to continue with these efforts.
Lake also assured the Council that: “Careful consideration has been given to the distribution of Conservation Officers in the Province and the Terrace office will continue to provide Kitimat with efficient and professional service.”