A valued mentor known for his passion and dedication to his work, James Barber has been named the B.C. Conservation Officer Service Outstanding Officer of the Year for 2016.
A respected investigator recognized for his fair and consistent approach, Barber is well known in the Creston community he has served for more than 25 years. His experience and approachability has led to strong relationships with the public, partner agencies, First Nations and fellow conservation officers, who often turn to him for advice and mentorship.
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. A familiar face throughout Creston, it is not unusual for residents to approach Barber in public to report an incident or ‘talk shop.’
Barber is a Predator Attack Team instructor for the COS, and the cougar hound handler for the Kootenay region. He is well-versed in decoy techniques, having led numerous decoy operations around Creston. He is always willing to lend a hand or share his knowledge with fellow officers.
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.
His selfless contributions have earned him the respect of his peers and supervisors, who describe Barber as the epitome of what a conservation officer should be.
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.
George Heyman, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“My sincere congratulations to James Barber on being recognized for his outstanding work in his community of Creston and for his dedication and passion toward protecting our natural resources and preventing human-wildlife conflicts. Conservation officers are often faced with challenges in the field, and it is important we have officers like James who are quick to rise to these challenges and provide inspiration to everyone. I want to thank James – and all conservation officers across the province – for the important work they do every day in B.C.”
Doug Forsdick, chief conservation officer, B.C. Conservation Officer Service –
“James is a highly experienced, dedicated and respected conservation officer who is deserving of this prestigious recognition. 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.”
To learn more about the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, please visit: