Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nearly a Year before Parks Canada Discovered Endangered Trees Cut at Ski Resort

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nearly a Year before Parks Canada Discovered Endangered Trees Cut at Ski Resort

Article excerpt

Lake Louise 'co-operative' in tree-cutting case

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CALGARY - It was nearly a year before Parks Canada officials realized that a world-renowned Alberta ski resort had cut down a stand of endangered trees.

An agreed statement of facts filed in court Thursday says a trail crew, consisting of six employees including a supervisor, began maintenance in the summer of 2013 on Ptarmigan Ridge at the Lake Louise ski resort. The work involved cleaning up, repairing and erecting fences, and trimming and removing some trees.

The document says that in late September of that year, the workers cut down a number of trees, including endangered whitebark pine, without a permit.

The facts statement from federal prosecutor Erin Eacott and defence lawyer Alain Hepner says it wasn't until Aug. 12, 2014, that Parks Canada and resort personnel were assessing the site for a new hiking trail when they discovered the endangered trees had been cut.

DNA analysis confirmed the trees were whitebark pine.

The matter was turned over to Parks Canada for an investigation and charges were laid.

The court document says Parks Canada had met with the resort just before the trees were cut down to discuss endangered species.

Lake Louise Ski Resort has entered guilty pleas to two charges: one under the Species At Risk Act and the other under the Canada National Parks Act. …

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