November 28, 2016 9:07 pm
Updated: November 28, 2016 10:41 pm

High-tech tool makes it easy to report poachers and polluters

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It’s good news for people who care about our wilderness areas and an unwelcome development for people who take advantage of the back-country environment.

At an illegal garbage dump site Monday off Postill Lake Road near Kelowna, the BC Wildlife Federation demonstrated its new smart phone application that makes it simple and effective to report environmentally destructive activity.

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“We get feedback all the time about poaching and pollution, people get very frustrated, they want to be able to help the resource and this gives them the perfect tool to do that,” said federation spokesperson Jesse Zeman.

App users take a photograph or video of back-country offenses and with a few more clicks of their smart phone all the pertinent information, including date and location, is sent to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

“It’ll be extremely helpful for us,” said Sgt. Josh Lockwood of the Conservation Officer Service. “People can take pictures of license plates or individuals who are doing something illegal and that gives us our best evidence.”

The information about the offense is then posted on a public website.

“So anyone can look through the information on the map and we’re hoping that will raise people’s awareness about environmental violations that we’re seeing in BC and hopefully bring about some change,” said app co-developer Jon Corbett.

It cost about $30,000 to create the app and website.

The system works only on iPhones but an Android compatible version is coming out in the new year.

“Hopefully over the long term people will stop treating the back-country like their own personal garbage dump,” said Zeman.

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