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Salmon Arm man fined $55K for cutting down 167 trees without permit

Fined $55K for cutting trees

A Salmon Arm man has been handed a $55,000 fine for cutting down 167 trees without receiving a tree removal permit, according to the city.

The City of Salmon Arm has announced the results of its case against a property owner who cut down 167 trees in contravention of the city’s tree protection bylaw.

“In early June 2023, the city was notified by neighbours in the area of 2391 26 Avenue N.E. that a significant number of trees had been cut from the property,” reads a statement from the city, which was posted to social media on Saturday.

“As an application to permit the tree cutting had not been made, the city promptly investigated. When staff attended the site on June 5, 2023, the contractor cutting the trees was instructed to stop work, which they did immediately.”

When city staff reviewed the extent of the cutting and collected evidence, they determined 167 trees were cut down in total.

In August the city filed 167 individual offence notices under the Offence Act in provincial court, alleging that the owner of the property had violated the city’s tree removal and protection bylaw.

In order to lawfully cut down trees in Salmon Arm, an application for a permit to cut or remove trees must be obtained.

The city said the offender pleaded guilty last week to 55 individual offences and was ordered to pay a $55,000 fine.

“The city is committed to protecting trees and the tree canopy in the community," the city's post said.

"We are hopeful that this outcome acts as a deterrent to others who intend to cut trees without the necessary approvals.”

Salmon Arm’s tree protection bylaw has been under review this year and a public consultation event was held in February of this year. The revised bylaw will need to go before council for first, second and third reading before it can be put in effect.

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