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Building dirt jump in national park results in $21,600 fine for B.C. man

Building dirt jump in national park results in $21,600 fine for B.C. man

Sending a clear message that rogue trail building is not welcome, B.C. courts have handed down a huge $21,600 fine for the construction of an illegal dirt jump in Yoho National Park.

The feature was constructed using a front-end loader by a CP Rail worker in 2019. Neither the construction or the use of the heavy machinery were approved. By Parks Canada or CP Rail. This led to the man’s firing.  Though CBC reports that a union grievance was filed that led to the employee’s reinstatement at CP Rail.

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Heavy machinery leads to heavy fines

The use of heavy machinery and the damage caused to a national historic site contributed to the substantial amount the court fined the CP Rail employee. Nearly half of the fine will go towards the restitution of the area damaged by the jump.

“The judge was very clear that he felt that this was a serious offense and the punishment that he provided backs that up,” Paul Friesen, a Parks Canada warden supervisor for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay, told Rocky Mountain Outlook.

The offending dirt jump. Photo: Rocky Mountain Outlook

“This is not something that Parks Canada runs into on any sort of a regular basis,” Friesen added. “But obviously we take it seriously, the courts take it seriously and because of the work that was done, the damage was significant. It’s just fortunate to get a conviction and to get a significant penalty.”

RELATED: The five best Canadian national parks to mountain bike in

The questionably constructed wood-to-dirt jump was built, according to 2021 arbitration records reported by Rocky Mountain Outlook, because the employee was bored after work.

While rogue trail building has a long history in mountain biking, illegal building in a national park is different. It carries potentially significant fines and damages the potential for future access for all other mountain bikers. Building a sketchy, one-off dirt jump with equipment “borrowed” from an employer is, of course, much worse.

Mountain bike access is limited in most of Canada’s national parks. There are several places where trails are open to bikes, though. That includes nearby Banff National Park.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…