Saturday, 11 November 2017 06:43

Albertans can now report poachers online

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The ‘What’s the connection?’ touring exhibit is coming to Lethbridge.

Join Parks Canada interpreters on Nov. 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Helen Schuler Nature Centre for the grand opening of this interactive exhibit about the relationship between whitebark pine, fire and woodland caribou in Canada’s mountain national parks.
Explore interesting mountain wildlife and discover science in action through hands-on activities, engaging stories and stunning imagery. See how last September’s wildfire affects the whitebark pine and the landscape in Waterton Lakes National Park.
The main exhibit has already toured such locations as Science World in Vancouver and Telus World of Science in Edmonton. In Lethbridge, it will run from Wednesday Nov. 8 through Sunday, January 7, 2018.  The exhibit will be at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre during their regular fall and winter hours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays (closed Mondays).  
This popular exhibit showcases the relationship between fire and whitebark pine, including the role of that species in sustaining the watershed and the wildlife species that rely on its seeds for food. As a recognized leader in conservation, Parks Canada is committed to the long-term restoration and protection of species-at-risk including whitebark pine and woodland caribou. As part of that work, we continue to research and monitor whitebark pine and woodland caribou, and in Waterton, the endangered limber pine as well. We use the results to help direct our future conservation actions.
Have fun discovering all the connections at ‘What’s the connection?’
The province is making it easier to report poachers by giving Albertans the option to use smartphones or computers to report suspicious hunting or fishing activity.
Until now, the only way to report poaching activity, dangerous wildlife or public land abuse was to phone the Report A Poacher hotline. Starting today, people can visit the Report A Poacher website to fill out a form and submit it online.
The information they enter into the form will be sent to fish and wildlife officers for followup and investigation.
“The Report A Poacher program helps ensure Alberta’s wide variety of wildlife species and diverse landscapes are protected for future generations. Our hope is that by making it easier to report suspicious hunting or fishing activity, it will encourage more Albertans to act responsibly when enjoying the outdoors,” explained Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General in a prepared statement.
“The more public support we receive through the Report A Poacher program, the more effective we can be in combatting fish and wildlife crime and public land violations. Officers cannot be everywhere at once, and we must rely on the public for their tips so that poachers can be brought to justice,” noted. Sgt. Major Adrian Marr, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch in a statement.
“The Report A Poacher program has been an essential part of Alberta’s conservation efforts for many years, and it’s important that we give people more options to report suspicious or illegal activity. The message is clear: hunt and fish responsibly, and don’t be a poacher,” added Ken Kranrod, vice-president, Alberta Conservation Association in a statement.
Emergencies and incidents that need immediate attention should still be reported through the 24-hour Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. Phoning is still the fastest way to reach an officer, while the new website can be used to report issues that are less urgent.
People reporting through either the phone or the web can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.
Rewards range from $100 - $1,000.
If a person is comfortable providing their contact information, it can help make an investigation more successful as the investigating officer may have followup questions. Any personal information Albertans choose to provide is kept confidential.
Quick facts
In 2016-17:
• There were 14,894 calls from the public to the Report A Poacher toll-free hotline.
• Of those calls, 3,097 were about suspected illegal activity.
• In total, there were 9,133 enforcement actions taken by fish and wildlife officers (includes charges and written warnings under various legislation).
• Approximately $108,600 in rewards were paid to individuals whose calls and information led to charges.
Reward payments are funded by the Alberta Conservation Association.

Read 362 times Last modified on Friday, 10 November 2017 07:10

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