Keywords:Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act – ss. 74, 117, 119.1; protection of riparian areas; livestock salting; due diligence; penalty varied; overgrazing.
An administrative review panel confirmed the District Manager’s determination that the Appellants had contravened section 74 of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (the “Code”) by conducting grazing operations contrary to their approved Range Use Plan. The Appellants filed an appeal of the decision to the Commission.
The main issues in this appeal were whether the Appellants contravened section 74 of the Code, and if so, whether the penalty of a $500 fine was reasonable in the circumstances.
The Commission found that the Appellants had contravened section 74 of the Code. In reaching its conclusion, the Commission found that the Appellants were responsible for damage caused to riparian areas as a result of their cattle grazing operations. The Commission also held that the Appellants did not establish a defence of due diligence, as they did not undertake reasonable measures to avoid or prevent damage to riparian areas.
The Commission found that a deterrent penalty was appropriate in this case. However, based on the circumstances of the case and a review of previous Commission decisions, the Commission held that the penalty should be reduced from $500 to $250.