Alberta enduro race earns $70k in fines

The Brooks Motocross Club and its executive director David French have been fined a total of $70,000 for a race that happened five years ago.

CBC is reporting the club earned the fines for an August, 2014 offroad race. During the event, authorities said riders crossed streams which were not properly bridged.  Bull trout and at-risk westslope cutthroat trout were killed as a result of the lack of proper bridging, said the prosecution, who filed charges under the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act.

Provincial court Jerry LeGrandeur agreed, saying in a December 2018 decision “It is clear that, but for the race and the failure of Brooks Motocross Club to prevent or adequately mitigate the effects of the stream crossings, both species of fish died.”

The prosecution wanted to fine the club $70,000, and to fine David French $$40,000, says the Lethbridge Herald, while the defence wanted much more modest fines than what was handed out. In the end, the club was fined $45,000, and French was fined $25,000.

At this point, the club and French have 30 days to appeal the decision, and per the club’s Facebook page, “It is far from over.”

3 thoughts on “Alberta enduro race earns $70k in fines”

  1. I think it’s good they had to pay a penalty. I’m a avid dirtbike rider myself I didn’t realize it was illegal to ride in water I went through some this summer in Alberta on some trail’s. I didn’t think of the environmental impact I could of left I feel like I should turn myself in and be penalized. Definitely need more atv and dirtbike enforcement and start forfeiting ATV’s and Dirtbike’s. If they are caught wrecking the environment destroying land why not have the machine impounded then destroyed.

  2. On a motorcycle site, I expect a more accurate headline. The event was an off-road cross country race – far different from a MX. However, that’s a small nit to pick, I know.

    There is a lot of information missing in all of these articles, but it does raise concerns for any club executive member. Does this ruling follow multiple warnings to the club? If not, it seems harsh for a first time offender, and a non-profit club at that. Why not require the club to invest money into building bridges for all future users to benefit from, rather than money going into a generic ‘Environment Damages Fund’ ?

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