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Conservation officers report 45% jump in charges last year

snowmobiling

There was an increase in charges laid in 2015 over the previous year by conservation officers. (Newfoundland Snowmobile Federation)

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Illegal wood cutting, sawmilling and operating all-terrain vehicles without wearing a helmet all warranted charges by conservation officers in 2015, and the number of charges laid went up sharply.

Conservation officers with the forestry services branch of the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency reported a 45 per cent increase over the previous year.

In a news release Friday, the agency said there were more than 1,100 charges laid in 2015 under the Forestry Act and Regulations, and the Motorized Snow Vehicles and All-Terrain Vehicles Act and Regulations.

Drop in human-wildlife complaints

Christopher Mitchelmore, minister responsible for the agency, said an increase in ATV and snowmobile accidents last year led to an increase in enforcement."

"Conservation officers worked closely with the RCMP and the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation and took a lead role to ensure the trails are safe for the public to enjoy," Mitchelmore said in a news release.

A total of 1,934 calls for assistance were registered last year when it came to complaints of human-wildlife interaction.

That number is down from 2014, when there were 2,198 calls related to moose-vehicle accidents, reports of wildlife roaming in communities, and injured wildlife.

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