Tuesday, January 11, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 2 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“The main part of this job is working with people, both at their best, and at their worst.”
- Kirk Olchowy  
- Fish & Wildlife Officer   


Kirk Olchowy, a long time member of the Blairmore Fish and Wildlife team, is retiring this month, after serving the community of the Crowsnest Pass for the past 25 years.
“I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in this part of the province, with this community,” said Olchowy. “The main part of this job is working with people, both at their best, and at their worst.”
Olchowy graduated from the Biology Sciences program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton in 1975.
“As a kid, I was involved in a lot of outdoor activities, and in school I was interested in biology and science,” he said. “It was sort of a natural progression for me to take those interests into my career.”
He then began working for the Provincial Parks department in Slave Lake and Long Lake for the first year of his career.
From there, he went on to work as a Fish and Wildlife officer in the communities of Drumheller, High River, and Lach la Biche, prior to relocating to the Crowsnest Pass in 1985.
According to Olchowy, getting to work with large carnivores such as bears and cougars was one of the main highlights of his career.
“The high point in my career was becoming qualified as a bear response team leader,” he said.
He was also involved in the design and implementation of the Karelian Bear Dog Program a decade ago, which was implemented after the province recognized the need to deal with human/bear conflicts.
Olchowy said this was probably the most interesting thing he has done throughout his 25 years in The Pass, and 34 years as a Fish and Wildlife Officer.
Pass Powderkeg
Kimberley Massey photo
It’s also how he met his partner of the past 10 years, a Karelian Bear Dog named Mica, who is retiring with his handler.
“He’s been with me every day, and he’s coming with me,” said Olchowy.
The 55-year-old father of two lives in Hillcrest with his wife, and says he is excited to be able to appreciate the area from a different angle now that he is retiring.
“I have been over every inch of the area, but in a totally different way,” he said. “This is such a beautiful part of the province, and I’m excited to enjoy it from a different perspective.”
He said he also appreciates having been able to stay in The Pass for the past 25 years, as Fish and Wildlife officers are normally transferred out of a community after five years or less.
“I consider myself very fortunate to have landed here, and that I have been able to stay,” he said. “I am happy that this has become home.”
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   Volume 81 - Issue 2 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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