Jesse Zeman, BCWF director of fish and wildlife restoration, had the original idea to create an app after issues surrounding private land owners blocking access to public land presented themselves. (Photo submitted)

App for reporting poaching, trespassing gains steam in B.C. with 10,000 users

More than 10,000 users have downloaded it since it was introduced in 2016

Three years after the BC Wildlife Federation Conservation App was first introduced, it now has more than 10,000 users.

Users of the app can take geo-referenced, time-stamped photos or videos to report illegal use or abuse of natural resources. Reports are sent to a secure server and then forwarded to the appropriate enforcement agency.

Jesse Zeman, BCWF director of fish and wildlife restoration, who had the original idea for the app said it started with issues around blocking access to public land.

“That’s a big issue in the Central Interior and all over the province, but especially where there are a lot of people,” Zeman told Black Press Media. “That’s how it started as a way to show the public what was going on. We started having conversations about environmental abuse and wanted to have a way to make reporting easy and help conservation officers and natural resource officers do their jobs, handle cases and identify potential offenders.”

It also works in and out of service using the phone’s GPS.

“It’s easier for users, instead of having to call when they get back into town, they can download it and once they are back in cell service it sends immediately to the call centre and then to the BC Conservation Officer Service or Natural Resource Operations.

Examples of things that get reported are poaching and fishing out of season, not following hunting regulations, forestry infractions, ATV use infractions, construction in riparian areas, putting in of gates on public land that block access to lakes and rivers, erection of buildings or storage of vehicles on public lands, salmon habit being destroyed and wetlands being disturbed.

“The list goes on,” Zeman said.

READ MORE: New iPhone app for reporting illegal use of natural resources

In developing the app, the BCWF worked with the BC Conservation Officer Service and Natural Resources Operations to integrate the app with their reporting centre for gathering centre.

Zeman encourages more people to download the app because it is free and available for Apple and Android phones.

“You may not use it every day, but you might be out in the woods or in town and see something that might look like environmental destruction and you can pull your phone out, take a picture, and send it very easily. It’s pretty seamless.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated from the original with the latest statistics indicating 10,600 smartphone users as provided by Jesse Zeman of BCWF on Feb. 6.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ConservationEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Man arrested in Vanderhoof in connection to Alberta mall shooting

Jacob Doubt, 23, is facing a number of firearms-related charges

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

‘Erratic’ driver arrested on Highway 16 near Vanderhoof

A 23-year-old man from Calgary, Alberta, was arrested on July 6 and faces multiple charges.

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

VIDEO: Trio of orphaned Alberta grizzly bear cubs find new home at Vancouver zoo

The Alberta cubs’ mother was killed by hunters and would have otherwise been euthanized, zoo says

Most Read