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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Sunflower Highway, art initiative to connect Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan

Sunflowers made out of reclaimed materials will be installed on public art trails

Residents warned to stay away from flooded Cache Creek park

Water might look shallow, but is several feet deep in places

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

Most Read