British Columbia

Retiree ticketed for clearing trails in Kootenay National Park

A retired road engineer from Radium Hot Springs is in trouble for using his saw and wheelbarrow to maintain local national park trails without permission.

David Pacey caught using a Swede saw to clear trees without permission on Kindersley Trail

David Pacey says he has some expertise at trail building. (David Pacey/Facebook)

A retired road engineer from Radium Hot Springs is in trouble for using his saw and wheelbarrow to maintain local national park trails without permission.

David Pacey, 69, lives near Kootenay National Park and he is passionate about trails.

He says he grew tired of waiting for Parks Canada employees to clear overgrown, fallen trees or fix eroding walkways which he described as hazardous.

"There are a number of places where I would literally say it's dangerous," Pacey told CBC.

The trails around Floe Lake in Kootenay National Park can get overgrown, as shown in this image of an unidentified hiker ducking a fallen tree. (Adam Kahtava/Flickr)

So the former professional forestry road engineer rolled up his sleeves and did the work himself.

He says he's done this since 2013 in the southern parts of Kootenay National Park.

Pacey was warned to stop when he was caught brush clearing in April but insisted that the trails were getting so overgrown they were dangerous to the average hiker.

For his efforts, the retiree — who was recognized by the park warden — was given a trip to the courthouse.

He was given a ticket for two counts of damaging flora, fauna or a natural object, which is a contravention of the Canada National Parks Act.

A person can face a $300 fine for this if convicted of the summary offence, akin to speeding or littering.

"I'm clearing the trails for them, and they end up giving me a double-count ticket which I find amazing," Pacey said.

"People are disgusted," he said.

Pacey plans to fight the tickets.

Parks Canada is not commenting so far on the case, which is scheduled for a hearing in Invermere court on  Aug. 29.

David Pacey got in trouble for trying to maintain trails without permission like the one pictured above in Kootenay National Park. (Adam Kahtava/Flickr)