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WHEREAS the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 relies on the services of the provincial Fish and Wildlife Department to protect public and property; and
WHEREAS there appears to be an increase in problem wildlife within the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 and surrounding municipalities; and
WHEREAS Alberta Sustainable Resource Development – Fish and Wildlife Department has cut back on manpower and services, such as closing the office in Pincher Creek and reducing officers from three to one over the past few years;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties lobby the Provincial Government to increase manpower and services to address the ongoing issues of problem wildlife and enforcement.
16-10F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Ministry of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to allocate adequate funding to prevent the closing or downgrading of provincial recreation areas/camping facilities; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that AAMDC urge the Ministry of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to provide additional funding to Alberta parks to ensure sufficient manpower is in place to properly manage and control the recreation areas/camping facilities of the province.
Sustainable Resource Development:
On October 12, 2011, Cabinet authorized the transfer of responsibility of the Fish and Wildlife, Enforcement Field Services Division (EFS) from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development to the Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security (SolGen). Since that time, both ministries have worked collaboratively to establish an effective approach to facilitate the transfer of the enforcement and problem wildlife functions under this program and to ensure seamless program delivery. As a result of the transfer of responsibility, the decision as to the distribution of EFS staff and resources to deliver the enforcement program will be that of SolGen.
Solicitor General and Public Security:
On behalf of the MD of Pincher Creek, the AAMDC has requested that services be enhanced and additional Fish and Wildlife officers be assigned to the district office in Pincher Creek to address ongoing problem wildlife and enforcement issues.
Until recently, and for the past nine years, the Pincher Creek district has had two Fish and Wildlife officers. There is now one officer stationed there and two in each of the neighbouring districts of Blairmore, Claresholm and Cardston. Protection of life and property remain the Government of Alberta’s top priority and officers from these districts work together to effectively deliver problem wildlife management programs and enforce against events of serious noncompliance. In cases when an officer from one district is unavailable to respond to an incident, an officer from another district will take action. Members of the public who seek something more than the limited administrative services currently offered at the Pincher Creek office are directed to the Blairmore office where a full suite of services is available.
An examination of the numbers of occurrences relating to problem wildlife and enforcement for the Pincher Creek district indicate little change over the past three years; however, Solicitor General and Public Security will continue to monitor these trends and allocate appropriate resources to effectively address emerging issues and priorities.
The responsibility of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement was transferred to Alberta Justice and Solicitor General in 2011. Since this transition, the Ministry has been training additional officers and reviewing options for more efficient deployment of services in the province. In addition, the Government of Alberta has continued to increase funding for fish and wildlife enforcement over the past four budget cycles demonstrating commitment in addressing the need for continued fish and wildlife enforcement. As a result of the continued funding increase in previous budgets, this resolution has been assigned a status of Accepted.