By Adam Randell
Outfitter says government should add fish and wildlife officers instead of relocating them.
Talks of centralizing the two Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Offices on the Northern Peninsula to just one in Brig Bay hasn’t been sitting well with some residents.
In last weeks edition Roddickton-Bide Arm resident Earl Pilgrim said the two offices are needed to maintain game populations, strictly because of the vast size involved in trying to patrol the entire area.
Pilgrim also said the move is taking place with a rental arrangement of $800,000 over 10 years, whereas the Roddickton office was rent-free.
The removal has the former game warden stating the removal of the offices opens up the area to poaching.
“Poaching will increase tremendously with the officers moved out of the area and it doesn’t matter who says it won’t,” Pilgrim said during last week’s interview.
Outfitter Barb Genge is in agreement.
The owner of Tuckamore Lodge, in Main Brook, said not only does local fish and wildlife protection help ensure her business’ survival; they are also protecting the species of the Northern Peninsula.
“To have enforcement officers in our area they can tend to an issue right away, instead of having to come from the other side,” Genge said. “In the summer the rivers are filled with people Salmon fishing and not all activity taking place on them is legal, so you’ve got to have a presence to help deter it.”
If anything, Genge said, additional fish and wildlife staff for the area is needed.
“They’ve got a small staff as it is dispatched all over the place, but then you take them and put them into one area the coverage becomes less,” Genge said. “I would rather see additional officers brought in, instead of seeing another building, that $800,000 for rent being talked about can go a long ways in bringing additional enforcement.”