Man fined for skiing in Glacier Park avalanche closure area

Notes from the April 6 sitting of Revelstoke court:

A Duncan, B.C., man was fined $500 after he was caught skiing in a restricted area of Glacier National Park.

The 38-year-old, who spends his winters in Revelstoke working as a ski guide, was caught skiing in the Loop Brook area without acquiring a permit, said crown prosecutor Nicholas Vlahos in Revelstoke Court on Apr. 12.

Vlahos said the issue was a matter of personal safety and it affected avalanche control operations in the area.

The man’s lawyer, Melissa Klages, said the violation was a misunderstanding and that he agreed to pleaded guilty and accepted the sentence.

He was ordered to pay a $500 fine, of which $400 was to go to the Canadian Avalanche Association and the remainder to the government.

Nineteen charges have been handed out since the winter permit system in Rogers Pass went into effect in November 2009, according to Parks Canada spokesperson Jacolyn Daniluck.

She said half were for entering restricted or prohibited areas and the rest were for contravening permit conditions, such as not displaying a parking pass. Thirty-one written and verbal warnings were also administered, Daniluck said.

She said the man’s annual winter permit was cancelled as a result of the charge.

The winter permit system in Glacier National Park was implemented to prevent people from entering avalanche areas above the Trans-Canada Highway while control work is being conducted.

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Man pleads not guilty to animal abuse charges

A plea of not guilty was entered in Revelstoke court last week in connection with an animal cruelty charge dating to Jan. 7, 2011.

According to the information filed in court, the man “caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury” to a dog and “did cause or permit the animal to be or to continue to be in distress.”

Revelstoke RCMP provided few details about the case, citing the fact it was before the courts.

“On January 7, 2011, police received a complaint of animal cruelty,” wrote Cpl. Rod Wiebe in an email. “The subsequent investigation provided enough evidence to request charges under both the criminal code and the provincial act.”

Charges were laid on Mar. 1, he added.

Brian Harrop, a local animal control officer, said the dog suffered no lasting injuries.

“I know the dog is fine, it was seized and it’s been adopted out,” he said in an interview.

Robert Clarence Tippe is charged with causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal and causing an animal to continue to be in distress.

The date for the trial was not set as of press time.