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News Release: Crackdown on Destruction of Public Lands

July 13, 2016

A recent  Order in Council will allow enforcement officials to issue violation tickets under the Public Lands Administration Regulation. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) appreciates measures which provide officials with enforcement capabilities to protect our public lands.

“Enforcement officials are now able to write violation tickets on the spot, rather than sending people to court months from when the offense occurred,” says Andrea Johancsik, AWA Conservation Specialist. “This Order in Council will help deter further destruction, mismanagement, and lawless behaviour in Alberta’s public lands – it likely won’t take people long to learn when they have to pay fines.”

Enforcement of environmental regulations in public lands is an ongoing issue along Alberta’s Eastern Slopes. “AWA welcomes the much-needed enforcement capacity this order provides and adds to the strength of rulings like the $1500 fine levied last year against OHV joyriders in the Clearwater River,” says Joanna Skrajny, AWA Conservation Specialist.

The Order in Council was announced July 7, 2016 and will come into effect 30 days after it is filed under the Regulations Act. It specifies 41 penalties which are payable in respect of a contravention of a provision of the Public Lands Administration Regulation, which range from $100 – 500. For example, a 250 dollar violation ticket can be issued for an individual who will ‘damage, deface, or destroy any resource within a public land recreation area’.

Other offenses for which officers can now issue violation tickets include sections 197(1) ‘A person using a public land recreation area shall keep the land and resources on it in the same condition as that in which they found them’ and 198 ‘no person shall interfere with the right of others to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of any public land recreation area unless such interference is incidental to an activity or use of public land that is the subject of a disposition’ of the Public Lands Administration Regulation.

For more information contact:
Andrea Johancsik, Alberta Wilderness Association, (403) 283-2025
Joanna Skrajny,     Alberta Wilderness Association, (403) 283-2025

With rare exception cattle ranchers have been the best of guardians of the land entrusted to them. May we continue to be conscientious caretakers of this precious resource and hand it on to another generation unspoiled.
- Gerald Brewin, Rancher in the Taber area 1929 - 2016
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