More fines, tickets await land abusers on Alberta public lands this summer

File: Parks Canada. Parks Canada

Alberta provincial officers with the power to hand out more fines at heftier costs will be out again this summer on public lands and protected areas.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said tickets will be used instead of summons to cut red tape and keep officers in the field for longer periods of time.

Phillips said a number of problems continue to occur, including driving a car, truck or off-highway vehicle through streams and creeks and cutting down trees to make unauthorized trails.

Dumping garbage on public land is another long-standing problem and now carries a $250 penalty.

The fine for driving a highway vehicle off road on land zoned for public use is $350 and camping overnight within 100 metres of a lake shore in those areas will cost $250.

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Albertans who are so inclined will face a $500 fine if they decide to land a helicopter on water or close to shore.

Phillips said the higher fines are expected to deter offences.

“It’s not our intent to be heavy-handed, but firm and fair,” she said Monday.

“Our ultimate goal is to see a significant decrease in public land abuses through a co-operative partnership approach to education, awareness and enforcement.”

Watch below: There are dozens of fire bans and advisories in Alberta right now and while investigators are still working to determine exact causes, some of them were likely sparked by humans. Sarah Kraus reports.

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Fire officials issue warnings to public amid wildfire season – May 14, 2018

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