More fines, tickets await land abusers on Alberta public lands this summer

By The Canadian Press
May 14, 2018 - 3:55pm

EDMONTON - Alberta provincial officers with the power to hand out more fines at heftier costs will be out again this summer on public lands and protected areas.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says tickets will be used instead of summons to cut red tape and keep officers in the field for longer periods of time.

Phillips says a number of problems continue to occur, including driving a car, truck or off-highway vehicle through streams and creeks and cutting down trees to make unauthorized trails.

Dumping garbage on public land is another long-standing problem and now carries a $250 penalty.

The fine for driving a highway vehicle off road on land zoned for public use is $350 and camping overnight within 100 metres of a lake shore in those areas will cost $250.

Albertans who are so inclined will face a $500 fine if they decide to land a helicopter on water or close to shore.

"These new procedures will allow our officers to operate more effectively when it comes to protecting the integrity of Alberta’s beautiful lands and waterways. Any process that increases efficiency in our day-to-day duties frees officers to better serve their communities in other capacities," said John Ferguson, Assistant Commissioner with the Alberta RCMP.

Last year, provincial enforcement officers issued 6,595 charges and warnings for various offences on public land. Of those, 644 were for offences under the Public Lands Act and Public Lands Administration Regulation.

Anyone who witnesses a serious public land abuse can phone the Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800 or visit the Report A Poacher website.

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