A world-renowned Alberta ski resort has pleaded guilty to cutting down a stand of endangered trees.

The Lake Louise ski resort in Banff National Park was expected to go to trial today after it came to light in 2013 resort employees had cut down a stand of trees alongside a run that included at least 39 whitebark pine.

Instead, a representative for Lake Louise Ski Area entered guilty pleas to two charges — one under the Species At Risk Act and the other under the Canada National Parks Act.

The case has been put over for a week while the prosecution and defence finalize an agreed statement of facts.

The whitebark pine tree, native to high elevations, is threatened by invasive disease, fire and climate change.

Both sides will bring in expert witnesses at a later date to determine how much of a fine the resort should pay.

Beetles Dying Forests

Whitebark pine is at risk because of many factors, including the mountain pine beetle infestation. In this file photo, whitebark pine have succumbed to mountain pine beetles in the Gros Ventre area east of Jackson Hole, Wyo. (The Associated Press)