Alberta beefs up public land rule enforcement

There will be more official boots on the ground this year in Alberta to enforce the rules on public land and in provincial parks.

The provincial government announced today that it will hire eight new “seasonal problem wildlife” personnel, five new “seasonal recreation engagement officers” and re-hire approximately 20 seasonal park rangers who will enforce laws governing public land use.

“More than 300 fish and wildlife officers, conservation officers and seasonal park rangers will patrol public land, parks and protected areas this summer to keep Albertans safe, enforce rules and raise awareness about the regulations that protect the land,” said a government news release.

There is a newly created fine of $287 for leaving a campfire unattended, and enforcement officials will also be monitoring compliance with a law enacted earlier this year requiring helmet use when riding an off-highway vehicle on public lands. Failing to wear a helmet can net a fine up to $155.

The announcement of more officers and rules was timed just before the May long weekend, which generally signals the start of the camping season and has historically been a busy time for enforcement of regulations in parks and on public lands.

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Last year, between May and December, more than 6,800 charges and warnings were issued for such things as operating OHVs without registration or insurance, cutting down trees, fishing without a licence and entering closed areas, said the news release.

This year, the environment and parks department intends to post statistics every two weeks of warnings and violations issued on public land and on calls to the Report a Poacher hotline. The latter phone line, at 800-642-3800, is the same number to call to report public land abuse of any type.

The number to report a fire is 310-FIRE (3473). Fines of up to $100,000 can be applied to individuals who start a wildfire. Corporations who do so can be fined up to $1 million.

Among the most common abuses of public lands are garbage dumping, camping in environmentally sensitive areas and using OHVs around streambeds and wetlands.

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  • old grouchy

    And the nanny state rolls on at ever higher speed! Pity nothing useful is considered. The watching of crown lands used to be done in conjunction with grazing lease holders – – – but of course – – – farmers/ranchers and now deemed inadequate so we must needs hire a boatload more bureaucrats (often at princely salaries!). Isn’t it wonderful how a government can show the way on how to waste more and get less done with more resources!!

  • Kissing optional

    When you read about quadders ripping up river bottom, destroying spawning gravel beds and chasing nesting shore birds off their nests and then when one of the self entitled fools falls off and has to ‘rescued’ by fellow habitat destroyers, only for them to be labelled heros, as happened by Prince Albert a couple years ago, I wish this environmental hating government in Saskatchewan would take a stand beyond its sell off money grubbing. Yet in this backwards province, no legislation restricts these destructive fools.

    • Harold

      Let me share a fact with you. If you were elected, you would soon find out how powerless you truly are, and like the rest of your politicians, fill the empty time listing to everyone else’s “superior” opinions and voting on Bills of everyone else’s “expert” opinion and what you entered into politics to do is radical and left undone. What is backwards is not the Government; it is the people of Saskatchewan. (not by fault of their own) Time and time again they vote based upon a politicians speech/platform and nothing concrete in four years is ever done, yet backward voters keep doing exactly the same things and expecting a change as voters sit four years in their Pubs of choice and drink. In their voter illusion (backward) they cheer wildly when their politician or party is elected as if the game is won when in fact they have not yet even entered the field of play. How about those Roughriders eh? In kind, Politics/Government is nothing more than a game to the spectator (Saskatchewan voter) so a game they shall have, and so the Saskatchewan Education System by omission has so taught the public. (the student is not to blame) In constant disappointment the public consensuses is to wait for the next election and repeat.
      Government is a reflection of its people and it seem to me that you and others are unaware that you are looking in the mirror, but even more so, a reflection of the education system. After leaving the so called learning Institutions, why do so many people say – “what can be done; it’s Government”? They are certainly intelligent enough to notice but obviously still lack in knowledge. (the student is not at fault)
      So how about those Roughriders eh? Everyone paid to get in. Every spectator has a seat to sit on. Every spectator has picked/voted a favorite team. Everyone including the trained players has a hope of a win and is now starting on the field. Once in a while spectators may witness a disruptive fan who takes upon the liberty to enter onto the field, but they are quickly arrested and taken away, and its game on. During the game a “bad call” creates loud and aggressive booing, but regardless, the game is played on without interruption. Instead of consistent booing, what would happen if the spectators tired of watching the game dropped their clamor, and 5,000 got of their ass and led by one, and without the groomed stupidity of hostility, honorably entered onto the field of play? The game being played would stop. What message would the referee hear coming from the one who leads the OBVIOUS and undeniable (5,000) majority. Change of rules?
      Signed Petitions are the OBVIOUS majority entering onto the field and your Lieutenant Governor IS the Referee. What is truly backwards is not government; it is Saskatchewan’s inability to come together to sign and deliver a simple document. None of this requires any of the petty minded anger stunts or parading with picket sighs spouting foolish chants and coming to rest on the street curbs like the uneducated and homeless and like the TV coverage has educated the public to do. Further, there is a reason why sports casts and sports babble casts flood the TV and radio; politically we feel more at home.
      Incidentally, the one of liberty entering onto the field and arrested (held back) was the newly elected you. The one on the field standing with the 5,000 was also the newly elected you. Which one of the “you’s” represents the voters who meaningfully got things done? What’s backward?
      Any thoughts on what to do to honorably (without chaos) get a simple document signed by 50,000 people and have it delivered to the Saskatchewan legislature? They came from the same school did they not?