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Landowner fined after trees cleared near Martindale Pond in St. Catharines

Penalty for the unauthorized tree removal includes a $5,000 fine and replanting of 25 trees
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In September 2018, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) laid charges under the Provincial Offences Act, for a clearing of trees within protected woodland without authorization.

The incident occurred along a section of forested slope adjacent to the Martindale Pond in St. Catharines. A 40-meter wide section on the slope was cleared of trees in April 2018. The slope along the west side of Martindale Pond is covered with mature hardwood forest comprised of old red oak, sugar maple and black walnut trees.  

The NPCA laid charges under the Provincial Offences Act and a conviction was obtained prior to going to trial on Dec. 10, 2019. The penalty for the unauthorized tree removal includes a $5,000 fine and replanting of 25 trees on the slope, as prescribed by NPCA Forester, Dan Drennan.

“It was unfortunate there was tree clearing on an environmentally sensitive forested slope along the Martindale Pond,” says Dan Drennan, NPCA Forester. “Land owners are advised to contact the NPCA or the Niagara Region before cutting trees in forested areas to see if works can be conducted and if permits or other approvals are required. The NPCA has online mapping services that land owners can utilize to see what environmental constraints are on their properties.”

The NPCA administers the Niagara Region Tree and Forest Conservation Bylaw since August 2008 under a Service Level Agreement with the Region. One of the roles of administering the Bylaw is its enforcement, which is required when there is a contravention of the Bylaw. 

Since 2008, there have been 10 cases where Part 3 charges were laid under the Provincial Offences Act, with two of them still before the court. The eight cases that were resolved also resulted in convictions where fines were applied, and reforestation work was ordered.

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