James Barber named B.C. Conservation Officer Service Officer of the Year for 2016
James Barber has been named the B.C. Conservation Officer Service Outstanding Officer of the Year for 2016.
(The award was announced late due to the provincial election and other circumstances, according to media relations with Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy)
An investigator recognized for his “fair and consistent approach,” Barber is well known in the Creston community he has served for more than 25 years, the province stated.
“It is not uncommon for Barber to go out of his way to ensure a query has been answered or a phone call returned. Even on days off, Barber spends time at community events to enhance the COS presence in the region. He has contributed countless personal hours toward projects, such as the annual Duck Lake Derby and the construction of the Flathead and Christian Valley cabins,” according to the press release.
Barber is a Predator Attack Team instructor for the COS, and the cougar hound handler for the Kootenay region.
For the last several years, Barber has been involved with the South Selkirk Trans Border Grizzly Bear Project team, whose goal is to increase the grizzly bear population in the south Selkirk Mountain range.
“It is in part due to Barber’s relationships with area farmers and ranchers – educating residents on how to peacefully co-exist with grizzlies – that a number of grizzly bear deaths have been prevented,” the province added.
“James is a highly experienced, dedicated and respected conservation officer who is deserving of this prestigious recognition,” said Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer, B.C. Conservation Officer Service. “He is a fantastic role model who takes great pride in mentoring new conservation officers. James always puts community first, and his willingness to go the extra mile is inspiring. On behalf of the entire B.C. Conservation Officer Service, I want to thank James for his outstanding service.”
Barber is the 25th recipient of the Outstanding Officer the Year Award. Since 1992, the designation has been awarded annually to a conservation officer for going above and beyond the typical call of duty, exemplifying the values of the Conservation Officer Service: integrity, public service and protection of the environment.