Manitoba man charged with illegally cutting Christmas trees

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A Manitoban is charged with illegally cutting Christmas trees

The trees were part of an experimental area intended for the renewal of the province's forests.

A man from Steinbach, Manitoba, could bail a heavy fine for illegally cutting down trees that he sold as Christmas trees. These trees were on an experimental area intended for the renewal of the province's forests.

The illegal logging took place on federal lands north of Marchand in southeastern Manitoba.

Officers began their investigation following a report. On December 13, they observed a suspect extracting trees from the plantation, which is a valuable test area for planting quality trees used in forest renewal projects in southern Manitoba, indicates a statement from the province.

This represents a significant loss and is detrimental to southern Manitoba's long-term sustainable forest management plans, the statement continued.

Officers seized 30 black spruce trees and a chainsaw.

They also seized 18 cut trees that had not yet been moved. In all, 167 trees were cut, most of which were between 6 and 9 meters tall. Only their tops had been removed.

The suspect indicated that he was selling the fir trees at his business in Steinbach.

He was charged under the Manitoba Forest Act. If found guilty, he could face a fine of up to $50,000, a six-month jail term, or both. They will also have to pay provincial stumpage fees.

Companies can be fined up to $250,000 for a first offence.

The province donated the seized trees to a Ukrainian church in Winnipeg to brighten the holiday season for Ukrainians who fled the war.

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