Parks enforcement boosts cleanup efforts
As the August long weekend approaches, enforcement officials are reminding Albertans to call the Report a Poacher hotline to report serious public land abuses.
Enforcement officers have made 27,000 contacts with the public this season, resulting in 2,400 enforcement actions, prosecutions or written warnings.
Officials have also received complaints about the illegal dumping of 55 commercial air-conditioning units, half a dozen kitchen appliances and multiple abandoned vehicles on public land.
“Respecting our wild spaces and leaving them in pristine shape is an Albertan thing to do. While summer cleanup campaigns are underway, our enforcement officers are cracking down on individuals caught using public land as their personal dump.”
So far this year, the Report a Poacher hotline has received 100 calls reporting public land abuses. In addition to suspicious hunting and fishing activity, the 24-7 Report a Poacher line (1-800-642-3800) is used for serious public lands abuses like large amounts of litter or driving vehicles into closed areas, water bodies or sensitive alpine areas.
Individuals caught dumping garbage on public lands can be ordered to remediate the land or face fines of up to $100,000.
Regional cleanup campaigns continue, with local volunteers joining staff from Environment and Parks, Agriculture and Forestry and Fish and Wildlife.
On July 21, an effort to clean up public lands around Fort McMurray cleared out more than 2,400 kilograms of debris from the Highway 63 Trout Pond, including a truck bed and an engine block. Cleanup efforts at Hilda Lake near Cold Lake in June led to the removal of two abandoned RVs, broken appliances and furniture and enough garbage to fill four industrial-sized dumpsters.
In Red Deer, volunteers from the Turning Point Society of Central Alberta helped clean up a small island in the Red Deer River. Volunteers removed several propane and fuel tanks and a discus and javelin believed to be stolen from a local school.