Panel: Gerry Burch, Kristen Eirikson, Bruce Devitt
Keywords:Forest Act – s. 138; timber trespass on Crown land; balance of probabilities.
A determination was made against the Appellant for unauthorized cutting of Crown timber in violation of section 138 of the Forest Act and he was fined $12,118.75. The determination was confirmed by a Review Panel and appealed to a Panel of the Forest Appeals Board. The Appellant appealed the review decision on the grounds that the cedar blocks in question were cut from his Timber Sale License (TSL) A50956 or were retrieved by him after being dropped on forest roads by other operators.
The Board found that, on a balance of probabilities, the Appellant had committed the violation. There was strong evidence to link the Appellant to the two illegal cutting sites, including the matching of cedar blocks from one of the sites with a block bearing the Appellant’s TSL Timber Mark that he had delivered to a local mill. The area was snow-bound at the time and the tracks of the Appellant’s skidoo also tied him and his workers to the illegal activity at the site. The Appellant’s fine for wilful trespass was upheld and the appeal was dismissed.