Walk-in services ending at Environment Offices in Shaunavon, Leader and Maple Creek
Walk-in services at the Ministry of Environment Field offices in Shaunavon, Leader and Maple Creek will no longer be offered effective May 14.
The three Southwest locations were among 19 ministry field offices where front counter services are being discontinued. The service reduction will impact 16 part-time and three full-time staff. Ten of the impacted offices are currently only open two days a week.
In making the change, the Ministry of Environment noted the 19 impacted offices only accounted for two per cent of the 409,000 hunting and angling licences sold in the province.
Conservation officers will remain working at the offices impacted by the reductions.
The lone Southwest location with front counter service is now Swift Current, and after October 1 there will be 10 remaining locations province wide down from their current list of 29 offices.
The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation has expressed their concern over the closures.
“For many communities, these offices are the only point of contact between the public and ministry staff,” Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation Executive Director Darrell Crabbe stated in a press release.
“Over 70,000 hunters and 250,000 anglers enjoy our natural resources each year, and generate over $600,000,000 annually. The majority of this money flows to the rural sectors of our province. These Customer Service Representatives are an integral part of that support infrastructure.”
Crabbe added “if the Ministry were to reconsider their position to provide free licences to various demographic groups, revenue generated would easily cover costs to operate offices and retain these positions. Revenue may even be enough to provide funding for additional conservation officers, improving enforcement and compliance for our wildlife resources, as well as deliver support for the rural crime initiative.”