Decision Date: August 18, 1999
Panel: David Ormerod
Keywords: Cutting of Crown timber without authorization; trespass; penalty; stumpage; surveying costs.
This was an appeal by Laurie Parker and the Family Cattle Company Ltd. (“the Appellants”) from an Administrative Review decision of March 18, 1999. The Administrative Review upheld the Feb. 10, 1998 determination of the District Manager finding that the Appellants had contravened section 138 of the Forest Act, which prohibits the cutting of Crown timber without authorization. The Administrative Review also upheld the District Manager’s decision to assess stumpage, a penalty, and surveying costs for the contravention.
The Appellants appealed the decision of the Administrative Review panel to the Board, submitting that they accepted that trespass had occurred, but denying that they were responsible. They submitted that they had sold the standing timber on three properties they owned to a representative of a local logging company. These properties were adjacent to the area of Crown land at issue. They submitted further that they had shown the “compassed boundaries” of these parcels to the representative of the logging company. This person was also responsible for ensuring that the logging operation did not cross these boundaries. The Appellants submitted that they knew nothing about the subsequent logging operation that resulted in the trespass.
The Board found that that the Appellants and the logging company representative had a high degree of familiarity with the boundary locations and that therefore it was not possible for the logging company representative to have mistakenly logged to a different boundary from that shown to him by the Appellants. The Board found further that there was a serious error in locating the boundary in question, in that the line was not straight as would be consistent with an operational plan to log a private lot. The Board found that the mis-location of the boundary was deliberate. The Board also found that the Ministry of Forests erred in issuing a timber mark to the logging company for the three properties, as none were owned by the company. The Board ordered the Appellants to pay stumpage, a revised trespass penalty, and the survey costs. The appeal was dismissed.