Keywords:Forests Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss.74; range use plan; grazing;
Trifon Vlachos appealed the District Manager’s determination, which was upheld by a Review Panel, that he contravened section 74 of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the “Code”). The District Manager found that Mr. Vlachos was responsible for conducting grazing operations contrary to approved range use plans. The District Manager imposed a total penalty of $500. Mr. Vlachos sought an order to reverse the decision of the District Manager and overturn the $500 penalty.
The issues in this appeal were: whether Mr. Vlachos contravened section 74 of the Code; and whether the penalty was appropriate in the circumstances.
The Commission found that the evidence supported the findings of the District Manager, that Mr. Vlachos contravened section 74 of the Code. The evidence clearly demonstrated that Mr. Vlachos contravened sections of the range use plan relating to range development, the grazing rotation schedule and the safe degree of forage use, by allowing his cattle to graze in restricted areas of the grazing pasture, on a number of occasions. Furthermore, the Commission found that the evidence did not provide proof of due diligence on the part of Mr. Vlachos.
The Commission also found that the penalty amount was appropriate in the circumstances. The Commission determined that the penalty was warranted because the incidents were significant and repeated, Mr. Vlachos was not duly diligent and he had a previous contravention of a similar nature. In addition, the Commission found that there was no evidence that Mr. Vlachos appreciated the consequences of his actions, nor was there any evidence that he had taken steps to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.