Local Conservation Officer (CO) Patricia Burley has been named the Conservation Officer of the Year. Burley was flown to Victoria, B.C. last week where Environment Minister Mary Polak presented her with a plaque and thanked her for her important work.
Burley was surprised and delighted to receive the award.
“It was a huge honour to be recognized as the CO of the Year,” she said. “I am humbled to receive such a prestigious award, especially since I was the first female named on the history plaque; it was a proud moment for me.”
A Conservation Officer since 2009, and most recently posted to Fernie, Burley is known for consistently performing above and beyond the job’s expectations. Most notable are her efforts in partnership building as seen in the success of the Access Management Compliance and Enforcement Program (AMCEP) – a collaborative effort between the Conservation Officer Service (COS) and the regional district of East Kootenay (RDEK), city of Fernie, district of Sparwood, district of Elkford, and the Columbia Basin Trust.
“There are so many good things that I love about this job. I live and patrol in a beautiful area, I work with excellent co-workers and get to help protect our natural resources,” remarked Burley. “I especially enjoy working in the great outdoors, interacting with the public, and working with wildlife.”
She continued, “I come from a family of teachers and I feel that has become a big part of my life; to educate people. I really enjoy teaching all ages of the public about our fish, wildlife, and of course the AMAs within the Elk Valley.”
The Outstanding Officer Award has been given out annually since 1992 to recognize and honour a conservation officer who has demonstrated an exceptional level of service and commitment to the people of British Columbia, bringing credit to the Conservation Officer Service and to the Ministry of Environment.