The Yukon Conservation Officer Services Branch celebrates its 75th anniversary

Director of Conservation Officer Services Branch Gordon Hitchcock and conservation officers Adam Henderson and Tynan Thurmer

Today marks a significant milestone as the Yukon Conservation Officer Services Branch proudly celebrates 75 years of dedicated service in promoting public safety and the protection of wildlife. The Government of Yukon is proud to join in the celebration of this important branch that provides key conservation efforts for Yukoners.

Established in 1949 as the Government of Yukon Game Branch, this specialized agency has been at the forefront of safeguarding natural resources and promoting conservation in the Yukon. Over many decades, the branch has evolved and expanded its leadership and role in protecting Yukon wildlife to continue to meet the needs of Yukoners.

Yukon Conservation Officer Services is responsible for vast areas of the Yukon wilderness and delivers programs and services across the territory, including Whitehorse and nine Yukon communities. Collaboration is key for the conservation officers and staff as they work with a variety of partners across these areas. This includes Yukon First Nation governments, transboundary Indigenous governments, the public, local and cross-jurisdictional law enforcement agencies, boards and councils and other community groups.   

This year, Yukon Conservation Officer Services is hosting the Conservation Law Enforcement 2024 North of 60 Conference in Haines Junction from May 7 to 9. This international conference offers an opportunity for sharing information and fostering collaboration. It will bring together approximately 40 to 50 federal (US and Canada) and provincial, territorial and state resource law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and intelligence analysts from across the Yukon, northern B.C., the NWT and Alaska.

As the branch commemorates 75 years of service, Yukoners are invited to join in reflecting on the remarkable stories and achievements that have defined the conservation officer legacy in the Yukon and their unique connection with communities across the territory.

Throughout the summer season, conservation officers will be onsite at a variety of civic events in the Yukon.  

People can follow Yukon Conservation Officer Services on Facebook for more information on upcoming community events, archive spotlights and other educational content.  

Conservation is a collective effort. We are proud to celebrate 75 years of environmental protection and conservation enforcement in the Yukon. Thanks to the dedicated branch staff for their stewardship of our natural resources, and to all Yukoners for their continuous support and cooperation to fulfill the Yukon Conservation Officer Services’ branch mission to promote safe communities and protect wildlife.

Minister of Environment Nils Clarke

Quick facts 
  • Today’s Yukon Conservation Officer Services Branch traces its history back to the foundation of the Department of Environment Game Branch in 1949 when the original employee was a game guardian, a diverse role that connects to the origins of the conservation officer role we know today.

  • As guardians of the Yukon's wildlife and hunting best practices, conservation officers play a vital role in safeguarding the territory's natural heritage. The Conservation Officer Service in the Yukon has undergone significant evolution since its inception, from its roots in wildlife protection to its modern role in law enforcement, environmental education and human-wildlife conflict resolution.

  • The rich history and ongoing efforts of the Conservation Officer Services Branch highlight its pivotal role in preserving Yukon's natural heritage while navigating the complexities of delivering programs in a wilderness setting.

  • As of 2024, there are conservation officers across the territory, with offices in Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Carmacks, Mayo, Dawson City, Faro, Ross River, Watson Lake and Teslin.

  • Whether it's providing advice about trapping, hunting or fishing, conducting educational programs, or responding to wildlife-related issues and public safety, Conservation Officers are passionate about their work and take pride in assisting Yukoners with their outdoor activities. 

  • Their dedication to education, public safety and conservation law enforcement has been essential to the Yukon over their 75 years of service. 

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications

Mara De La Rosa
Communications, Environment

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