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

Salmon Arm Silverbacks bound for playoff showdown versus Victoria Grizzlies

Shuswap team tohave home-ice advantage to start the series

Salmon Arm man arrested after damaged safe found in truck

Forty year old facing charges of break and enter, possession of stolen property

On-leash plan for dogs at Salmon Arm cemetery evokes growl from pet owners

City staff to meet with dog owners to consider possible alternatives

Salmon Arm Coldest Night walk warms organizers’ hearts

Event raises more than $10,000 for city’s hungry and homeless

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

Shuswap history in pictures: Married versus single

Unusual game of shinny unfolds in Frank Duncan photograph

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Most Read