Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Ski Resort Faces Trial Next Month; Charged with Cutting Endangered Trees

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Ski Resort Faces Trial Next Month; Charged with Cutting Endangered Trees

Article excerpt

Alberta ski resort loses bid for tree trial stay

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LAKE LOUISE, Alta. - A company accused of cutting down endangered trees at a popular ski resort in Banff National Park has lost its bid to avoid a trial on a charge laid under the federal Species at Risk Act.

Lake Louise Ski Area Ltd. was charged in 2015 after national park wardens noticed that 140 mature trees, including endangered whitebark pine, had been cleared from the land near the Ptarmigan Chutes ski run.

Lake Louise pleaded not guilty in 2016 and went to court to seek a judicial stay of the trial, arguing that the case has taken too long to resolve.

Court proceedings have so far included disclosure of expert opinions about the cut trees and DNA tests requested by the company's lawyers.

The DNA tests came back positive for whitebark pine.

Provincial court Judge Heather Anne Lamoureux has denied the company's application for a stay.

"The court rules that the defence had sufficient (evidence) disclosure as of December 2015, including an expert opinion report on the species of the trees removed," Lamoureux said in a written ruling. …

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