VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – The 20 conservation officers who were sworn in during the spring are now installed at their postings across the province.

According to the provincial government, the major influx of new officers is the largest British Columbia has seen in ten years.

The new officers will fill vacated positions and newly-funded spots.

“We have some communities that haven’t seen a new conservation officer for a very long time so these new recruits will significantly improve services,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in a release.

“Our government recognizes how important it is to put more boots on the ground to help protect our natural resources and wildlife, and lessen human-wildlife conflicts.”

Sixteen of the new recruits will work with the a field trainer for the next six months. This follows training at Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy in Hinton, Alberta. The other four officers come from law enforcement jurisdictions elsewhere.

The new positions are located in:

-Grand Forks
-Bella Coola
-Port McNeil
-Vernon
-Mackenzie
-Chetwynd
-Haida Gwaii
-Duncan
-North Fraser zone (two positions)
-Chilliwack
-Atlin

The remaining eight conservation officers are going to fill positions in Quesnel, Terrace, Creston, Prince George, Merritt, Fort St. John and two positions in the Lower Mainland.