Bill Graveland, Canadian Press
Posted Friday, November 30, 2018 4:32 EST
CALGARY – Judge today condemns the world-famous ski resort of Alberta to cut off threatened trees five years ago.
The Lake Louise Resort in Banff National Park was held guilty in December that it will be built alongside a tree, including a white pine tree, along the slopes in 2013.
The center is to be sentenced in Calgary's courtroom on two charges – one under the Endangered Species Act and the other under the Canadian National Park Act.
In total, 132 trees were removed, but the actual number of endangered ivy was questioned. The crown originally stated that 39 had been removed, but the defense said the number was much lower.
The maximum amount of the fine under the Endangered Species Act for each destroyed tree is $ 300,000, while the maximum per tree is $ 250,000 under the National Parks Act.
"We'll be relieved when it's over," said Dan Markham, communications director for the Lake Louise ski resort.
"Lake Louise desires to move forward and launch a corrective action plan on which we cooperated with Parks Canada."
Long-lived five-pinch ivy pine is indigenous high altitude and is at risk of invasive disease, fire and climate change. This is considered essential because it provides food and the environment for animals and helps stabilize steep subalpine slopes.
The tree exists at high altitudes in the western part of North America near the treeline. It has been on the continent for over 100,000 years, and it can be between 500 and 1000 years.
According to the agreed statement of facts, a maintenance crew consisting of six employees, including a trainer, began work in Ptarmigan Ridge at the ski center in the summer of 2013 at the ski resort. Work involved cleaning, repairing and lifting fences, and trimming and removing some trees.
The document states that at the end of September of that year workers took off a number of trees, including endangered pine trees, without permission.
A Statement of Facts says that until August 12, 2014, Parks Canada and resort staff who rated the site for a new hiking trail discovered threatened trees.
The DNA analysis confirmed that the trees were pine pine. The matter was turned to Parks Canada for investigation and charges were filed.
The court document states that Lake Louise has cooperated in investigations and has taken steps to prevent similar events. It says the resort also spent money on initiatives involving pine trees, including extensive mapping of this tree in the area.