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Man, company fined for illegal timber harvest

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A Wabigoon man and his company have been fined $5,000 each for illegally harvesting timber in a Crown forest.

Henry Grant Wetelainen was found guilty after the Crown appealed his Jan. 15 acquittal.

He was convicted under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act of harvesting timber in a Crown forest without a licence, and has been given a year to pay the fines.

Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, 2005, timber was harvested from a group of mining claims west of Highway 622 near Bending Lake. The timber and the right to use the surface of the land on these claims belong to the Ontario government.

Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers from Dryden District shut down operations, seized the timber, and laid charges against Wetelainen and his company (1584859 Ontario Inc.)

At the original trial, both Wetelainen and his company pleaded not guilty and were acquitted.

The ministry subsequently appealed the decision, which was overturned.

Judge Peter T. Bishop heard the appeal on Oct. 6 and handed down his ruling Nov. 3.

Justice of the Peace Daisy Hoppe had heard the original case on Oct. 30, 2007 and acquitted both Wetelainen and his company on Jan. 15.

To report a natural resource violation, call toll-free 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

any time or contact your local MNR office during regular business hours.

You also can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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