A fresh face will be representing WildSafeBC in the Columbia Valley.

Andrea Smillie has recently been appointed as the WildSafe BC community co-ordinator for Invermere, Radium and Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Areas F and G.

I started my training on May 24th, said Ms. Smillie. I went to Kamloops for a week of training with all of the other new co-ordinators in the province.

Now, she is eager to help reduce confrontations between the human race and the animal kingdom.

The ball is just starting to roll but everybody has been really responsive to the program, she said. Everybody seems really excited about it, so its been great.

Andrea Smillie

Andrea Smillie

Ms. Smillie will be providing information about the WildSafeBC program to everybody in the valley, including what to do if animals confront people living within the community and how to avoid it.

(The program) used to be available to Invermere and Radium Hot Springs, but RDEK gave us some funding which has been really exciting so Area F and Area G are now funding the program as well, which means we go as far as Spillimacheen down to Fairmont, she said. The program has really expanded.

She will be attending farmers markets within the Columbia Valley to meet locals and tourists alike. In addition, Ms. Smillie is optimistic she may have an opportunity to speak to new staff at Panorama Mountain Resort during their annual orientation and speak to students at some of the schools during the fall.

We try to cover all of our bases at home, work and (during) recreational activities, she said. If youre growing crops, berries or fruit trees, too.

The contract that Ms. Smillie has secured will continue until the end of February 2016.

I think in the past, its been a summer position, but the new funding has allowed us to continue right into the winter as well, she concluded happily.

For more information about the program, visit www.wildsafebc.com.

To contact Ms. Smillie with any questions, call 250-409-4712 or email invermere@wildsafebc.com orradium@wildsafebc.com.