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

Chilliwack Business Excellence Awards return in 2021 with six new categories

Using a virtual format, the awards will celebrate innovation and inspiration in a pandemic

Chilliwack BC Liberal candidate hopeful jumps to the BC Conservatives

Days after Janzen said she had ‘rug yanked’ from under her by BC Liberals she finds a new home

Chilliwack RCMP still seeking second suspect in Charles Avenue truck fire

Jordan Cole Burt was taken into RCMP custody while wanted on an outstanding warrant

Chilliwack’s Gary Robbins maps out epic trail across eight mountains

Robbins spent nearly 40 hours covering 110 miles and over 10,000 metres of elevation gain

Driver in fatal crash near Hope pleads guilty in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez scheduled to be sentenced for death following crime spree in 2017

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mounties cleared by watchdog in fatal shooting of man with schizophrenia in Maple Ridge

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read