Endangered Experts

What is BC’s most endangered species?
Government scientists & experts.

Tell your MLARead the report

Our safety, our environment and our economy are being put at risk by the elimination of BC’s government scientists and engineers.

A year ago, our report issued warnings over a 15% decline in the number of licensed science officers employed by the provincial government between 2009 and 2014. One year and one major environmental disaster later, further cuts continue to erode the number of science officers entrusted to keep British Columbia's most valuable natural resources sustainable and safe. This includes a 10% cut to professionals in the Ministry of the Environment.

See our new 2015 numbers

The Endangered Forester

Each government professional forester is now responsible for an average of 104,000 hectares of provincial forest - an area the size of 256 Stanley Parks.

This seriously undermines stewardship, the monitoring of logging activity, and data collection and analysis—all of which are essential for good forest management. These cutbacks threaten not only the forest environment, but $500 million in annual provincial revenue from forestry operations that are not being properly monitored and recorded.

Forestry is one of the bedrocks of BC’s economy.

Our forest product exports are worth over $10 billion annually and the total value of BC’s timber supply is estimated to be a quarter of a trillion dollars. The long-term sustainability of this industry will be determined, in part, by how we respond to ecological challenges like the pine beetle, which now affects an area 5 times the size of Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, the government has limited information on areas affected by pests, diseases, wildfires and other natural disturbances.

“We expected the ministry to have sufficient information, particularly in priority management areas, to support well-informed decisions.”

-Report from the Auditor General of British Columbia, 2012 (PDF)

Not enough professional foresters on the ground.

There aren’t enough professional foresters on the ground to provide the government with the information it needs to manage our forests. This means that the government must rely on data and information provided by the companies they are regulating.

“Existing management practices are insufficient to offset a trend toward future forests having a lower timber supply and less species diversity in some areas.”

-Report from the Auditor General of British Columbia, 2012 (PDF)

Geologists and Engineers

The number of mines in BC continues to increase while the number of licensed science officers in the public service is reduced. These cutbacks threaten our environment and economy.

Running mines requires oversight.

Running mining operations in British Columbia requires an adequate number of geologists and engineers who can provide independent review, analysis, research, advice and monitoring services to help ensure the efficient and effective management, utilization and oversight. Since 2004 the BC Government has cut the number of licensed science officers responsible for mining in the BC public service by 21%. These are the engineers and geologists responsible for oversight of all of the mines in BC.

Gross mining revenues for the BC mining industry were $8.5 billion in 2013

- PwC Digging Deep: The mining industry in British Columbia 2013

Not enough professionals on the ground.

Our members have told us that the number of regional mines inspectors in regional offices have been reduced from 11 in 2003 to only 3. The number of mine inspector visits in BC dropped from 2,021 in 2001 to only 399 in 2004. While numbers of inspections have increased to 1,163 in 2012 this is far from where it was before the massive cuts to experts in the BC public service.*

*Mine inspection data provided by the Ministry of Energy and Mines

As of late 2010, there are 9 major metal mines and 10 major coal mines operating in BC. There are also 35 major industrial mineral mines, 2 smelters and numerous smaller mining operations throughout the province

- http://www.trcr.bc.ca/mining-in-bc/

The Endangered Engineer

There are now only 16 government forest engineers responsible for the safety of the hundreds of resource roads and bridges across BC.

Keeping our province connected.

Engineers that work in the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations are responsible for the oversight of the resource roads and bridges that are built by the industry, utilities and government on public land. These roads and bridges are also used by the public to access resources, recreational opportunities and to connect to remote communities.

The safety of our province is at stake.

The Forest Practices Board released an investigative report examining 216 bridges built on resource roads since January 2010 in five districts around the province. Only 85% of these bridges were deemed safe while another 40% did not meet planning or environmental standards. The Board deemed these findings a “reasonable sample of what is happening throughout the province.”

“Of significant concern to the Board are the poor safety results. 19 bridges were obviously unsafe and investigators had serious safety concerns with a further 13 bridges.”

-Report from the Forest Practices Board, 2014 (PDF)

Act now

Tell your MLA that our safety, our environment and our economy are being put at risk by the elimination of BC’s government scientists and engineers.

Fields marked with a * are required.

If you're unsure you can use this tool.

What else is at stake?

Many other government professionals that British Columbians rely on are also endangered.


23% reduction since 2009.

Agrologists play a key role in the protection and good management of B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve and other farmed land and waters, which is crucial to ensuring the health of the agri-business sector, and the safety and security of the food we eat.


32% reduction since 2001.

Government geoscientists help balance BC’s economic and environmental interests. They facilitate mining, and oil and gas development by mapping the province's geology and groundwater resources at a landscape scale. They identify gravel and rock sources for capital works projects and for the opening up of new areas for development. Government geoscientists also conduct hazard assessments for public safety and environmental protection.


26% reduction since 2001.

Government psychologists assist children and youth with mental health issues. These are the most vulnerable and at risk children and youth in BC, including those in Ministry care. Psychologists work to address multiple challenges and barriers to healthy living and their responsibilities include assessment, treatment, consultation and education.


31% reduction since 2009.

Government veterinarians are an important link between animal and human health. They work to understand wild animal behavior, health and trends to prevent attacks on members of the public. Additionally, they run diagnostic labs that identify emerging animal and plant borne diseases such as avian flu. They use this knowledge to advise the Ministry, government partners, and the general public.


41% reduction since 2001.

Government pharmacists work predominantly in the Product Distribution Centre (PDC) for B.C. The PDC is a full-service dispensing pharmacy that serves BC Government ministries, municipalities, the broader public sector and publicly-funded agencies. They also contribute towards drug information research; assistance in the development of drug distribution policies and procedures and customization of treatment protocols.