Resourcefulness pays big dividends
A remote passage between the Yukon and Alaska was the setting for a recent enforcement infraction blitz.
Photo: Owen Hargrove © Environment Canada, 2010
“Resourcefulness: The ability to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in difficult situations.”
Four of Environment Canada’s wildlife officers, who cover the northern half of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, made this dictionary definition come alive in Northern Canada recently and, as a result, uncovered more than 50 violations under federal and territorial wildlife protection laws.
These officers worked together with their counterparts from the Canada Border Services Agency, the Yukon Territorial Conservation Officer Services and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. In all, more than 350 persons or vehicles carrying wildlife or wildlife parts were inspected from September 12 to 24, 2010.
The less-travelled road
Enforcement officers Brenda Butchart and Owen Hargrove demonstrate some illegally imported items.
Photo: Micheline Brodeur © Environment Canada, 2008
This two-week import/export border blitz was not, however, conducted at the heavily traveled border between the U.S. and Canada at the British Columbia-Washington state crossing. Rather, this operation happened at the far more remote Beaver Creek border crossing in Yukon Territory. This location is a passage between the Yukon and Alaska.
Why Beaver Creek?
“It’s peak hunting season, and Beaver Creek is one of the main border points between Alaska and the Yukon, between the U.S. and Canada,” explained Wildlife Enforcement Directorate Regional Director John Wong. “We were expecting a high volume of traffic due to predictable travel patterns of the season. So, I would say we weren’t surprised at the number of violations. It has been a while since we’ve conducted a blitz at this border crossing, but we now have some current data that would be used for future comparisons.”
“We often do a few blitzes a year at various locations along our borders across the country,” added Owen Hargrove, Northern Operations Manager for the Pacific & Yukon Region of Environment Canada’s Wildlife Enforcement Directorate. “This project was about using our research and intelligence to direct our resources to where they could be most effective.”
The operation’s haul was impressive. It resulted in 23 seizures or detentions involving all or parts of protected species such as walrus, black bear, grizzly bear, sea otter, caribou, moose, eagle (feathers), coyote, Dall sheep and bowhead whale (baleen).
Aside from these seizures – depending on the specific offence – officers also handed out written warnings, or tickets issued under the Yukon Wildlife Act, which is administered by the Yukon territorial government. Some of the violations have led to further investigations, which may result in additional charges.
It’s the law
Environment Canada investigates potential wildlife offences under a number of Acts and Regulations, including the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999; the Species at Risk Act; the pollution prevention provisions of Canada's Fisheries Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; the Canada Wildlife Act; and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). They help ensure compliance with legislation and regulations that protect Canada's environment.
WAPPRIITA is the legislation that implements the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Canada. CITES sets controls, through a permit system, on the international trade and movement of animal and plant species that are endangered, or have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive commercial exploitation.
As you can see, Environment Canada’s Enforcement Branch has an important role in the Canadian landscape. It is responsible for the protection andconservation of both the environment and wildlife for future generations of Canadians to enjoy.
Environment Canada now offers a subscription service for our Enforcement Notifications. The service provides subscribers with an email alert whenever Environment Canada posts a new Enforcement Notification to our website.
As the name suggests, Enforcement Notifications are quick briefs about arrests, or convictions, under the environmental and wildlife protection laws that are administered by Environment Canada.
Subscribing to our Enforcement Notifications is easy, and free. It is simply a matter of clicking the link below and following a few simple steps: http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=9D8DD8F7-1
- Date Modified:
- Enforcement blitz occurred during September 12 to 24, 2010 at the border between the Yukon and Alaska.
- More than 350 persons or vehicles carrying wildlife or wildlife parts were inspected.
- The blitz uncovered over 50 violations and resulted in 23 seizures or detentions under federal or territorial law.
- Aside from these seizures officers also handed out written warnings, or tickets issued under the Yukon Wildlife Act.
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