The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area's Wildlife Interpretation Centre.

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area's Wildlife Interpretation Centre.

Creston wildlife centre seeking operator for Wildlife Interpretation Centre

Web Lead

  • Nov. 3, 2013 8:00 a.m.

After more than two decades of running it, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority is looking for a credible and experienced organization to operate its Wildlife Interpretation Centre.

While the CVWMA will run the centre in the immediate future, provincial legislation is expected to rescind the Creston Valley Wildlife Act and bring it under the B.C. Wildlife Act and the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations.

That would align the local area with other wildlife management areas in B.C. but won’t allow it to operate the centre, nor does the mandate of Ducks Unlimited Canada, which will begin operating the area once the legislation changes.

“Everybody really wants to make it work,” said manager Marc-André Beaucher. “Even though they don’t want to operate it doesn’t mean they want to shut it down, because they recognize the importance of it.”

In addition to future legislation, the decision to outsource the operation stemmed from a 2008-2012 governance review, which indicated better financial stability for the CVWMA if it weren’t operating the centre.

The Canadian Wildlife Service built the centre in the early 1970s, and ran it until the CVWMA took over in the mid-1980s. Up to 2,500 students and 13,000 visitors go through the centre each year to take in interpretive programs that promote and educate about wetland conservation and biodiversity.

The interpretation centre currently runs from mid-May to mid-October, five days a week in the off-season and seven from July through Labour Day. It has a full-time manager who works year-round, and employs three or four summer students.

Whatever happens with the centre, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area’s trails network would remain open, as most of them are actually cleared to provide staff with access to the vast area.

“The biggest value of the visitor centre is education for students,” said Beaucher. “It’s certainly very valuable for the valley and the region.”

Ideas and suggestions for the future operation of the centre can be sent to Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority, P.O. Box 640, Creston, BC, V0B 1G0, or biology@crestonwildlife.ca.