Man charged with destroying public land

The Alberta government and RCMP have charged a man with damaging public land.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government and RCMP have charged a man with damaging public land.

The province says between May 2011 and November 2012, several individuals used off-highway vehicles to damage sensitive public land and water bodies in Clearwater County.

It says video footage showing one individual engaged in these activities was uploaded to a social media site.

The areas affected include Swan Creek, a stream that the province says supports a unique trout population.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development says using vehicles in the stream destroys the spawning ground of these fish, limiting their ability to reproduce.

Andrew Holland Sharpe was charged under the Public Lands Act and the Water Act on Sept. 17.

Jacalyn Ambler with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development says the Swan Creek damage was particularly bad.

“So what the video showed was vehicles running up and down the stream. And what that does is it destroys the riverbeds, destroying the spawning grounds and also causing silt to be introduced to the water, which can literally suffocate the fish eggs.”

Ambler did not know where Sharpe was from.

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