For those who enjoy the outdoors, law enforcement and protecting Manitoba's natural resources, you might be interested in becoming a Conservation Officer.

This specialized field of law enforcement is taught at the University College of the North located at The Pas.

Councilor for the RM of Sifton, Scott Phillips, participated in a recent trip up north with fellow municipal leaders from the Westman Region and had a chance to talk to those already in the program.

Phillips says more Conservation Officers are certainly needed across the province, especially now in the summer months when illegal hunting and fishing gets ramped up as more people are on the move.

"From forestry to fishing to fire, it is a very rewarding career," he says, "and is one that I wish I would have gotten into for the good of cause, but I just hope we can help Minister [Jamie] Moses fill these positions in Westman."

Phillips says hiring more CO's would be a huge benefit to Manitobans as we know there aren't enough boots on the ground to protect our natural resources.   The hiring of more officers last year, as well as reopening the Conservation Office in Brandon, and adding CO's to the 911 dispatch in Brandon have all been very positive steps in supporting this sector of law enforcement.

"It's a great job!  It's a rewarding career so we're really pushing to get more people involved to become Conservation Officers," says Phillips.

"When we went to the College of the North for recruitment efforts with a bunch from our municipalities, we talked to a lot of the students, and they never even thought about coming to southwest Manitoba. So, we really sold southwest Manitoba when we were up there, and we've actually had a few emails, and students are coming down here this summer to check it out!"

"We're just trying to do our best to help the government out and fill some of these positions," adds Phillips.

For more on Conservation Officer training visit the UCN website HERE!