A northern forest company was recently fined $18,200 in Prince Albert provincial court after pleading guilty to charges under The Forest Resources Management Act.
Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp was convicted on two counts of failing to comply with the terms of its approved operating plan. The company was fined $8,000 for failing to screen the harvest visually from a nearby lake and $5,000 for harvesting too close to a lake. A 40 per cent surcharge was applied to both fines. The offences occurred in the Big River area during the 2011-12 operating season.
At a public meeting in Big River in March 2012, a member of the public alerted Ministry of Environment staff that forest harvesting was clearly visible from Cowan Lake. As a condition of its operating plan approval, the company had committed to leaving a visual screen between the lake and the harvesting area. Forestry and conservation officers investigated and found that harvesting was indeed visible from the lake. Additionally, the logging contractor had harvested right up to the edge of Pankoski Lake, causing damage to the riparian area.
“The public has an expectation that companies harvesting in publicly owned forests will follow approved plans and abide by all licence conditions,” Ministry of Environment Forest Service Branch Executive Director Bob Wynes said. “The public also trusts that the ministry will hold companies accountable and we take this trust very seriously.”
If you suspect wildlife, fisheries, forestry or environmental violations, call your local Ministry of Environment office, Saskatchewan’s toll-free Turn in Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for SaskTel cellular subscribers, or report a violation online at www.saskatchewan.ca/conservation. You may be eligible for cash rewards from the SaskTip Reward Program.