Athabasca County sentenced $300K for illegal activity in Meanook National Wildlife Area

Edmonton, Alberta – June 11, 2019 – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Enforcing Canadian environmental and wildlife laws is one important way that Environment and Climate Change Canada is taking action to protect wildlife and nature.

On June 10, 2019, Athabasca County, a municipal district in Alberta, pleaded guilty to violating the Wildlife Area Regulations, contrary to the Canada Wildlife Act. Athabasca County was ordered to pay a penalty of $300,000 which will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

In September 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers conducted an inspection at the Meanook National Wildlife Area following a report of suspected unauthorized activities. An investigation revealed that Athabasca County had conducted industrial activity between August 24 and September 27, 2017. During this period, trees were felled and burned, and other vegetation and soil were removed without authorization. Fencing, signage and scientific equipment was also destroyed. This activity affected approximately 2.5 hectares of land within the National Wildlife Area, causing risk to wildlife and damage to wildlife habitat.

Call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) to anonymously report wildlife crimes. You may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

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