Access Guardian program seeks five years of funding

The program was officially granted a $10,000 commitment every year from 2016-2021 last week.

Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski approached the District of Sparwood council at the November 3 meeting to ask for five more years of funding for the Access Guardian program.

The program involves the work of an Access Guardian, a provincial Conservation Officer, to educate people on access issues, provide public relations while monitoring the traffic, enforcing the access laws and regulations and dealing with any other infractions that may be encountered while on patrol.

“The Access Guardian program has been running for six years and the last four have been very successful. We have one year left, 2015, in the current five-year commitment that’s been made,” explained Sosnowski.

“I’ve been asked by the Conservation Officer Service if I could get on this and see if I can get another five-year term financially put together. It’s such a good program and they want to see it continue, so I don’t think we’re going to see any trouble there,” Sosnowski added.

Sosnowski requested a $10,000 commitment every year between 2016-2021 from Sparwood council and stated that he had also been to Fernie and Elkford council on the same mission.

Sparwood was the first council to back the program when it was first initiated.

“This has been one of the best programs I’ve ever seen work,” commented Coun. Sharon Fraser, adding, “Patricia Burley is unbelievable. Her reporting system, and coming to council and bringing us all the numbers has been unbelievable. Personally, I think the program is outstanding,” she said.

Coun. Margaret McKie agreed and said, “I think this is a good program and you can see the amount of hours that has been put into it and I think we’re getting a good value out of this.”

At the November 17 Sparwood council meeting, council approved the funding.