REGINA ‑ In separate legal proceedings, two forestry operators and a contractor each took responsibility for their roles in road repairs gone wrong that resulted in a significant release of water and sediment into Nesslin Lake in July 2019.
As part of an alternative measures agreement that concluded April 5, 2022, A.C. Logging Ltd. of Spiritwood accepted responsibility for its role in the incident and contributed $20,000 to the provincial Impacted Sites Fund. As part of a previous court agreement, Carrier Forest Products Ltd. of Big River accepted responsibility for its role and contributed $75,000 to the fund. The fund helps support the cleanup of contaminated sites across the province. Carrier has also completed work to stabilize the road and decommission the creek crossing.
Additionally, OS-ARC Enterprises Ltd. pleaded guilty to one count under The Environmental Management and Protection Act. The Big River contractor was fined a total of $17,500 in Prince Albert Provincial Court on Oct. 25, 2021.
According to a press release, in July 2019, OS-ARC, working on behalf of Carrier and A.C. Logging Ltd., began to repair a road and crossing required for forest operations. The removal of a beaver dam resulted in a rapid release of water and sediment into a creek that flowed south into Nesslin Lake. This altered the creek channel and caused the lake's water level to rise significantly in a short time, causing flooding and reduced water quality.
Saskatchewan's forests, and the water bodies within them, play an essential role in the province's environment and economy, the Ministry of Environment states in the release. When damage occurs, even inadvertently, it is important that parties involved acknowledge their responsibility and take steps to mitigate impacts, the ministry says.
Anyone who suspects forestry, wildlife, fisheries or environmental violations is encouraged to report them to the nearest Ministry of Environment office or to call the province's toll-free Turn In Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for SaskTel cell phone subscribers. Violations can also be reported online at www.saskatchewan.ca/tipp.