Natural Resource Officers

British Columbia has numerous laws to protect its land, water, forests and cultural resources. 95 Natural Resource Officers (NROs) work throughout British Columbia to ensure compliance with legislation and take enforcement actions as necessary.

Mandate of Natural Resource Officers:

Conduct compliance inspections and take enforcement actions, including investigations of commercial business operations and activities of individual members of the public.

Enforce compliance with government regulations that have been established to:

Protect the environment

  • landslide areas
  • streams and fish habitat
  • community watersheds
  • productive forests, biodiversity considerations and sensitive ecosystems

Prevent revenue loss

  • unauthorized harvest of trees or other forest products
  • land use authorizations
  • revenue recoveries related to forest damage from human-caused wildfires

Protect economic or social interests

  • protection of recreation site facilities
  • enforcement of fire use and land use prohibitions

Improve health and safety

  • use of resource roads
  • protection of water sources and streams
  • integrity of resource roads

Natural Resource Officer Brochure (PDF)

Key Functions & Methods

Natural Resource Officers use a range of tools and actions to enforce B.C.’s resource management laws. They include:

  • educating the public and maintaining a presence in the field
  • completing compliance inspections:
    • routine inspections, in response to complaints or incidents
    • scheduled inspections (co-ordinated with Natural Resource Sector partners), in response to the ministry’s identified priorities
  • investigating alleged non-compliance with legislation, when enforcement action is being contemplated
  • taking enforcement actions

Areas of enforcement

Designations, authority and legislation enforced by NROs

Natural Resource Officers are authorized to enforce a broad range of environmental and natural resource laws:

Lead responsibility

Secondary responsibility

Some Natural Resource Officers have also been designated as Special Provincial Constables and some officers have the authority to enforce provisions of the following legislation:

Public feedback

If you have questions or concerns about the conduct of any Compliance and Enforcement Branch staff member, please use the following form to provide feedback.

Becoming a Natural Resource Officer

Learn about the work of Natural Resource Officers and the qualifications needed for the job.