mmi-whitehorse-ski-trail-charge

The trail in question is 2.5 metres wide. Trails wider than 1.5 metres need to go through an environmental screening before they're made. (CBC)

The Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club faces charges over a trail its volunteers built last year.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.

Last summer, ski club volunteers cut a new trail in the bush above Fish Lake, which links with an existing ski loop on Mount MacIntyre. A local resident complained, and when the lands branch investigated, it found the trail was 2.5 metres wide.

Regulations stipulate that anything wider than 1.5 metres has to go through an environmental screening.

The ski club has been charged under the territorial Lands Act and the Forest Resources Act. 

Ski club president Anne Kennedy said the board is distressed.

"The club’s worked very closely for many years and had mutually cooperative relationships with the lands branch, with conservation authorities, forestry officials, the City of Whitehorse. Those relationships are very important to us and we certainly intend to do our part to continue to maintain those relationships; they're critical to us," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said they are treating it as a very serious matter.

Dan Shier, a member of the club who is also a lawyer, is representing the 1,200-member club.

The club could face fines and remediation orders. It will appear in court to enter a plea on April 30.