Conservation Officers in the Elk Valley will have an eye in the sky this summer to help enforce vehicle prohibitions in the back country.
A drone will be used to assist in the surveillance of Access Management Areas (AMA’s) that attract a high volume of off-road-vehicle traffic.
CO Ryan Gordon is stationed out of Fernie and is one of five drone operators for the BC Conservation Officer Service.
“There’s only three officers in the Elk Valley,” Gord explains. “It is quite a large area and there are a lot of AMA’s, so it is just another tool for us to utilize to patrol some of these areas and get a better feel for what’s going on.”
The three CO’s have to cover 14 different Access Management Areas in the RDEK’s Electoral Area A, which consists of 464,000 hectares – not including municipalities.
CO’s also use trail cameras to catch non-compliance within AMA’s.
AMA’s are not fully non-motorized but CO’s want visitors to know what roads and grasslands to avoid.
– Elk Valley Conservation Officer Ryan Gordon