Released on November 10, 2017
An American cabin owner and his contractor recently pleaded guilty to environmental charges related to an incident this spring at Madge Lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park that damaged the shoreline and park property. The individuals were fined a total of $22,400.
During construction of a new cabin in the park’s Benito Cabin Subdivision, a large amount of clay fill from the basement excavation was placed between the leased property line and the bank of the lake. This fill destroyed the natural park vegetation in the area.
Instead of removing the fill as instructed, it was used to landscape beyond the property with a gradual slope to the lake. Up to four feet deep in places without vegetation, the slope caused sediment to run into Madge Lake.
Cabin owner Dr. Stanley Riddell, age 62, of Sammamish, Washington, and his construction contractor, Jeffrey Dahl, age 34, of Aspen Builders in Swan River, Manitoba, pleaded guilty to altering the configuration of the bed, bank or boundary of Madge Lake, contrary to the Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010, and unlawfully damaging trees and other natural vegetation on park land contrary to The Park Regulations.
Riddell was fined $12,600, with Dahl receiving a $9,800 fine.
In addition to the fines, an Immediate Environmental Protection Order was issued with conditions to remediate the damage and put the area back to a natural state. This includes removing the earth fill placed near the water, placing rock riprap to stabilize the bank, laying geotextile fabric on the damaged area, and re-establishing a naturally vegetated bank and boundary.
A court order was also issued to plant five white spruce trees, 10 to 12 feet in height, between the cabin and the shore of Madge Lake.
In Saskatchewan, permits are required before any work near the shoreline of a lake or any work on provincial park land can begin.
If you suspect wildlife, fisheries, forestry or environmental violations, please call your local Ministry of Environment office, Saskatchewan’s toll-free Turn In Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for Sasktel cellular subscribers, or report a violation online at www.saskatchewan.ca/tip. You may be eligible for cash rewards from the SaskTip Reward Program.
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