Long Lake clearcut leads to charges against Dexter Construction

The Department of Environment announced Monday it had charged Dexter Construction, Scott and Stewart Forestry Consultants, and a subsidiary of Scott, Resourcetec.

Scott and Stewart Forestry also charged after nearly four hectares cut in provincial park in November

Naturalist Martin Willison expects it will take about 10 to 20 years for the trees that were chopped down to return to their previous state. (Allison Devereaux/CBC)

Nova Scotia's Department of Environment has laid charges in connection with a clear cutting incident inside Long Lake Provincial Park.

Charges under the Crown Lands Act were laid Friday against Dexter Construction, Scott and Stewart Forestry Consultants, and a subsidiary of Scott, Resourcetec Inc.

The damage was discovered in November inside the 2,095-hectare park. About 3.8 hectares of park land just off Old Sambro Road was cut.

If convicted, the companies could face penalties such as fines or an order for land remediation.

"In the end it's going to be up to the judge, but the site will be remediated one way or the other," Environment Minister Margaret Miller said.

"We've actually seen people come forward like the Boy Scouts who say that they want to plant trees."

Company says it co-operated

The president of Scott and Stewart Forestry and of Resourcetec Inc. said in a statement Monday that both companies have fully co-operated with the investigation.

Shaun Scott said the charges relate to land-clearing work "near" Long Lake Provincial Park. He said the companies will not be commenting further until the legal process unfolds.

Dexter Construction declined to comment.

'It's clearly an infraction'

Environmentalist Martin Willison was the first to raise the alarm about the clearcut. He said there was some skepticism that the government would ever act.

"A number of people said to me: 'You know they'll never do this,'" Willison said. "And I thought no they have to go ahead. They really have to. It's clearly an infraction."

Miller said her department has determined the value of the timber that was cut down is about $4,000. Under the Crown Lands Act, she says the province could collect $8,000 if the companies are convicted.