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Man found with chainsaw in forest reserve won’t be fined: FOI documents

Municipality says illegal cutting had not yet begun

A man who planned to remove wood on Mount Prevost — in violation of municipal bylaws — won’t be charged because authorities arrived before he actually started cutting, freedom-of-information documents reveal.

A municipal bylaw report obtained by reads: “We arrived at KM 3 of the Mainline and found the police talking to a male beside a Uhaul Rental Vehicle.

“The police took that persons information and ran him through their database. I asked the Male what he was doing up here. He stated to me that he was going to cut some wood for firewood.

“I advised him that it was illegal to cut any wood standing or dead fall in the Municipal Forest with out a permit. He said that he did have a permit. I asked him what it was for.

“He stated that it was not for this area but for Crown land by hill 60. I stated to him that it was not a municipal permit and that at this time no permits were being issued. I asked if he had done any cutting of the wood yet.

“He stated that he had not. He was just sharpening his saws and was looking at a dead fall that he was going to cut up.

“I advised the SOC (subject of complaint) that He was lucky, if there was any cutting he would have been charged under our forestry bylaw, which brings a fine of up $50.000,00 and if he had fallen any trees he would have been criminally charged for Theft over 5000.00 Which is an Indictable Offense under the Criminal Code.

“I took his name and information and advised him to leave the Property. The police also talked to him about the issue. He understood and got into his vehicle and we escorted him off the mountain.”

Authorities investigated the man after receiving a tip on the afternoon of Dec. 15, 2021.

Poaching of wood has been an issue in the 5,000-hectare forest reserve for months, prompting council to increase its bylaw fines. Further details:

Anyone witnessing or having knowledge of tree poaching in the reserve is asked to call 911 or municipal hall at 250-746-3106.

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— Larry Pynn, Jan. 21, 2022


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