Grinch charged with poaching Christmas trees
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A modern-day Grinch has been caught taking Christmas trees not from Whoville, but from Crown lands without a permit, the province says.
The Natural Resources and Northern Development department said Tuesday that a suspect was caught green-handed last week with 30 black spruce trees and a chainsaw at a Crown land plantation north of Marchand.
The department said another 18 trees had already been cut down but not yet removed from the forest. A total of 167 trees had been recently harvested, most being between six to nine metres tall. Only the tops were removed.
Instead of a cave on a mountain, this suspect told conservation officers he was selling the trees at his business in Steinbach.
The suspect has been charged under the Forest Act of Manitoba. The offence which carries penalties of a fine up to $50,000, a jail sentence of up to six months, or both.
In an ending that will make your heart grow three sizes, the trees were donated to a Ukrainian church in Winnipeg to help Ukrainian newcomers here celebrate their first Christmas in Canada.
Manitobans can legally harvest trees in certain areas but must buy a $9.75 (plus GST) permit and cut only one coniferous tree up to three metres tall in a designated area. To buy one, go to the province’s e-licensing portal or call 1-877-880-1203.