Access Guardian Program here to stay

Following two years as a successful pilot program, the Elk Valley’s Access Guardian Program has officially been established.

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) and the Conservation Officer (CO) Service have signed a five year agreement to continue delivering the program, which will now be known as the Access Management Compliance and Enforcement Program (AMCEP).

“Through the agreement we have with the CO Service, a Conservation Officer in the Elk Valley will spend six months of the year dedicated to the program,” explained Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “The pilot program was successful and I’m very happy to see it continue for another five years.”

AMCEP will run from May 15 to November 15 every year, and will focus on backcountry education, public relations, and enforcement within Electoral Area A.

Sosnowksi added, “Having that extra person who can talk to people in the backcountry, meet with different groups and organizations, and be a resource is a tremendous asset.”

Conservation Officer Patricia Burley has been assigned as the CO responsible for the program. Burley recently relocated to the Elk Valley after working as a CO in Dawson Creek, but she already knows the area well. Before pursuing her education and career in the CO Service, Burley worked as a ski instructor at Fernie Alpine Resort for seven years.

“I would like to thank the Columbia Basin Trust and all three Elk Valley municipalities for their support of the program, and the RDEK staff and CO Service for the work they put into making this a reality,” said Burley. “I have no doubt the program will have a positive impact on everyone who uses and recreates in our backcountry.”

During the six months of the year Burley is not focused on Access Guardian duties, she will continue to work as a CO out of the Elk Valley.

The five year agreement with the CO Service for delivery of AMCEP will end on December 31, 2015.


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