Conservation officers are provincial peace officers who work in Alberta’s parks and protected areas to ensure that visitors have safe and pleasant visits. Their main roles are to
Alberta’s parks have many lakes and rivers in or near them. Conservation officers conduct patrols on these bodies of water and along shorelines. Boat safety checks are conducted on many busy lakes to ensure boaters have safe and adequate equipment.
The Lifejacket Loaner program increases awareness about the importance of wearing lifejackets. Conservation officers and volunteers help maintain unmanned kiosks in some parks where lifejackets are borrowed at no cost and then returned after use.
Under certain circumstances, the actions of humans and wildlife may conflict with each other, resulting in a threat to public safety, facilities or infrastructure. Conservation officers minimize these potential conflicts through programs such as wildlife aversion and relocation, as well as public wildlife educational programs on topics like the dangers of feeding animals in nature.
A considerable amount of land within Alberta’s parks has no road/vehicle access. Conservation officers use horses to patrol remote areas of parks to ensure public safety, monitor backcountry use, and evaluate environmental conditions.
The Park Watch program is an extension of Rural Crime Watch. The intention is to prevent incidents of vandalism, theft and other criminal activity by encouraging park users to report concerns they observe while in the park. Park Watch also promotes local public safety initiatives such as poaching, fire prevention, trail use and bicycle safety in parks.