Become a Warden

The Volunteer Warden Program


In order to effectively manage the increasing numbers of ecological reserves, a volunteer warden system was initiated by the government in 1980.

The objectives of the Ecological Reserves Volunteer Warden program are to:

. assist BC Parks in the protection and management of ecological reserves;
. increase public understanding of the Ecological Reserves Program;
. provide liaison between the general public and BC Parks by providing information; and,
. provide input into the management plan for each ecological reserve.

Volunteer wardens represent a wide spectrum of the public-from naturalist clubs, to foresters, biologists, and interested individuals living in the vicinity of ecological reserves. They assist BC Parks staff in ensuring that ecological reserves are protected and managed in accordance with the objectives of the Ecological Reserve Act and Ecological Reserve Regulations.  The revised Volunteer Warden Handbook provides more information on the work of the Wardens.

Here are examples of some of the warden reports on this website:

Handy Links

The Ecological Reserve Warden Handbook [PDF 12MB] provides a description of duties and responsibilities of volunteer wardens and their status and functions in managing the reserves.

How to become an ER Warden

If you want to volunteer to become an Ecological Reserve Warden see this BC Parks webpage:

It would also be good if you could visit the Friends of Ecological Reserves and the BC Parks ER web pages to familiarize yourself with ERs that either need a warden or might be of interest. (Even in areas that have wardens, additional wardens help to increase attention to these ecologically special places).

Volunteer Wardens are not empowered as peace officers. Their role is to observe, record, and report issues and incidents (such as vandalism) that occur within ecological reserves. BC Parks staff handle management and enforcement issues.

Based on the warden’s availability and interests, each warden meets with parks staff to develop a work plan and maintains a close contact with his or her Area Supervisor. Vandalism or other serious issues that may threaten an ecological reserve should be reported immediately.

Wardens are required to visit the ecological reserve at least twice a year, after consultation with the Area Supervisor, to monitor activities that are taking place within or on the periphery of the Reserve; to report to the Area Supervisor on the condition of the ecological reserve and any violations of the Ecological Reserve Regulations. As well, under direction from BC Parks staff, they may place and maintain signs along reserve boundaries at normal access points; greet and provide information to visitors encountered in the ecological reserve and provide management activities under direction of BC Parks staff.

Wardens are required to report to the Area Supervisor on research and educational activities taking place in the ecological reserve; to inform BC Parks, researchers and the public about potential research projects. They may make recommendations for suitable candidate ecological reserves and/or suitable research topics and may, if qualified, conduct scientific research in reserves, provided they hold a valid research permit.

Under the guidance of BC Parks staff, the warden may act as a liaison between the local community and BC Parks by providing information to interested persons and groups (e.g., naturalist clubs, senior citizens, and school groups) about the warden program and ecological reserves, through public presentations, slide programs and field trips.

Wardens have a role in assisting BC Parks with biological inventory and monitoring. They may assist Parks staff in setting up permanent research plots, or scientists with research permits who are conducing studies within the ecological reserve.

Wardens are required to submit a written annual report to their Area Supervisor by December 31 of each year, which includes information about activities or issues within the reserve; and records of any management, research or liaison projects implemented.

Workingclosely with wardens, Parks staff provide direction to the wardens on their role of assisting the management of ecological reserves by providing individual work plans, feedback and supervision. Staff answer questions and investigate complaints; ensure the wardens are trained and equipped to perform their duties safely.

Staff also organize joint field trips between the wardens and BC Parks staff; approve, permit, and monitor research initiatives for wardens conducting scientific study in the ecological reserve and act as liaison for the program between District and Headquarters.

Warden District or Area Meetings

The different areas for BC parks occasionally get the chance to get together for meetings where wardens can discuss issues and concerns as well as taking field trips to various ecological reserves.

This link lists some of the area meetings of the last few years

Currently there are a number of
Ecological Reserves in need of volunteer wardens


South Vancouver Island
None currently in need.

North Vancouver Island

. ER 2 East Redonda Island (N end of Georgia Strait)

. ER 105 Megin River (NW of Tofino)

. ER 119 Tahsish River (S of Port McNeill)

. ER 120 Duke of Edinburgh (Pine/Storm/Tree Islands) (NW of Port Hardy)

. ER 123 Mount Derby (S of Port McNeill)

. ER 125 Mount Elliott (S of Port McNeill)


. ER 143 Liumchem (S of Chilliwack)

. ER 153 Francis Point (35 km north-west of Sechelt)


. ER 35 Westwick Lake (S of Williams Lake)

. ER 53 Narcosli Lake (between Coglistiko and Baezaeko rivers)

. ER 64 Ilgachuz Range (N of Anahim Lake)

. ER 110 McQueen Creek (N of Kamloops)

. ER  65 Chasm Ecological Reserve, (N of Clinton)


None currently in need .


Portage Brule Rapids Ecological Reserve #149 , 110 km SE of Watson Lake
Smith River Ecological Reserve #80 , near junction with Liard River
Grayling River Hot Springs Ecological Reserve,,#147  67 km NE of Muncho Lake
Cecil Lake Ecological Reserve, NE of Fort St. John
Clayhurst Ecological Reserve, S of Clayhurst
Kotcho Lake Ecological Reserve, 100 km ENE of Fort Nelson
Ospika Cones Ecological Reserve, 50 km ENE of the N end of Williston Lake
Parker Lake Ecological Reserve, W of Fort Nelson
Sikanni Chief River Ecological Reserve, headwaters of Sikanni Chief River



. ER 85 Patsuk Creek (N of Mackenzie)

. ER 91 Raspberry Harbour (W side of Williston Lake)

. ER 107 Chunamon Creek (NE of Germansen Landing)

. ER 152, Ospika Cones (ENE of the N end of Williston Lake)

. ER 50 Cecil Lake(NE of Fort St. John)

. ER 62 Fort Nelson River (N of Fort Nelson and Muskwa rivers)


. ER 71 Blackwater Creek (NW of Mackenzie)


   ER #25 Dewdney and Glide Islands Ecological Reserve, eastern Hecate Strait
   ER #102 Charlie Cole Creek Ecological Reserve, S of Teslin Lake

. ER 9 Tow Hill, NE Graham Island (Haida Gwaii)

. ER 10 Rose Spit, NE Point of Graham Island (Haida Gwaii)

. ER 133 Gamble Island (E of Prince Rupert)

. ER 146 Catherine Creek (S of Hazelton)


None currently in need but let us know if interested!!