News release

Fines Increased for Illegal Cutting on Crown Land

Government has increased fines for illegally cutting timber on Crown land.

"Government knows that Nova Scotians care a great deal about our forested Crown land, so we are updating regulations with tougher penalties to prevent illegal cutting on Crown land," said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. "This includes provincial parks and all forested lands administered under the Crown Lands Act."

Individuals could be fined up to $50,000 for a first offence. For each subsequent offence, they could face up to $100,000 in fines, imprisonment for up to a year, or both.

Companies could be fined up to $250,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for each subsequent offence.

Before this change, the penalty options included a possible fine of just $2000 or imprisonment of up to six months.

"The protection of forested Crown land continues to be a priority and the new regulations will support our efforts to enforce unlawful timber removal," said Kerry Miller, director of enforcement for Department of Environment. "The increased fines send a clear message that will help to deter illegal tree cutting on Crown land."

The change to the Crown Lands Act regulation puts Nova Scotia's fines for this offence in line with other jurisdictions across Canada.

It does not apply to illegal timber removal that is less than 25 cubic metres solid. Removal of this lesser amount could be subject to a summary offence ticket and/or payment of restitution and/or payment to the Crown of double the current stumpage rate.

"We take great care in monitoring authorized timber harvesting practices on Crown land which is carried out professionally in accordance with sustainable, legal practices," said Mr. Hines.

Companies removing timber from forested lands may be engaged in things such as forestry, land clearing for commercial development or agriculture, or road building.

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Government has increased fines for illegally cutting timber on Crown land.

Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines says the heavier penalties will apply to cutting on forested Crown land anywhere in the province, including provincial parks.

Individuals could be fined up to $50,000 for a first offence. Second offenses could result in a $100,000 fine or imprisonment for up to a year, or both.

Companies could face fines as high as $250,000 for a first offence. And up to half a million dollars for each subsequent offence.

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