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Last updateThu, 24 Nov 2022 3pm

Fines doled out for illegal possession of wildlife

Copy of court

Two people have been fined for possession of wildlife not lawfully hunted.
Jayme Piepke and Todd Piepke appeared separately in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, November 18. Both were charged with an array of wildlife offences.
Both entered guilty pleas.
The court heard how on February 22 of this year a Fish and Wildlife Sergeant was reviewing taxidermy records and discovered in December of 2020 Todd and Jayme delivered trophy deer heads to the taxidermist.
Further investigation revealed between November 1 and November 30, 2021, they had hunted without the appropriate licencing.
The prosecutor said, under the act, that constitutes unlawful possession of wildlife.
Defence for Jayme Piepkie noted the entire time Ms. Piepke believed she had the appropriate license but did not. They were very cooperative with the officers.
The Crown and defence proposed a fine of $1,000 each, inclusive of a surcharge.


Kneehill County prohibits wild boar within county boundaries

wild boar

Wild boar, also known as feral pigs, have been declared an invasive species and a pest where at large in Alberta, and Kneehill County is taking steps at a municipal level to protect agricultural operations through a new bylaw prohibiting these pests within county boundaries.
Kneehill County council were presented with the Prohibited Animal(s) Bylaw, which would prohibit anyone from keeping these pests, either permanently or temporarily, within the county during the regular Tuesday, November 15 council meeting.
“Wild boar at large have the potential to cause significant damage to agricultural operations due to their biology and behaviours,” explained Parks and Agriculture manager Shelby Sherwick during the meeting.
Although the bylaw could have potential future impacts, both financially and on department resources, Ms. Sherwick noted it would also allow the county “get ahead” of the wild boar issue before it becomes “a major concern within Kneehill County.”
While some agricultural producers in other municipalities do keep wild boar as livestock, Deputy Reeve Ken King noted this bylaw would prohibit any production of wild boar within Kneehill County.
Council, with unanimous consent, passed all three readings of the Prohibited Animal(s) Bylaw.

Starland support RMA resolutions

StarlandCounty 2021

Starland County showed its support for two resolutions passed by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA).
Members of Starland County Council attended the RMA conference in Calgary last week. One resolution they supported was to address the disparity in electricity distributions and transmission rates. It was sponsored by the County of Grande Prairie and reads, “Be it resolved that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta advocate for the Government of Alberta to adopt a new electricity pricing model for transmission and distribution that eliminates the disparity in pricing across Alberta.”
It notes transmission charges are typically between 14 per cent and 20 per cent of a customer’s total bill, and distribution costs are often between 22 per cent and 47 per cent of a bill, which make up nearly 70 per cent of the bill.
“Business and residential customers endure economic penalties based on geographical and population density disadvantages in large areas of the province. This advantage can be as high as three to one…” read the resolution.
“As the electrical grid for Alberta operates as a single entity, it would be reasonable to distribute costs equally across the province. Alberta’s model disadvantages communities at the border between service providers. In doing so, it minimizes competitiveness to attract businesses in Alberta outside of urban centers. Continual increases in transmission and distribution rates, in areas already experiencing a disparity, result in increased energy poverty for many Albertans.”
The resolution had 91 per cent support.
The second resolution that Starland showed support for was on the Financial Burden of Emergency Service Response on Crown Lands. This resolution was sponsored by the MD of Big Horn and seconded by Starland County.
It reads, “Be it resolved that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta request that the Government of Alberta develop a fee for service/compensation schedule for emergency services dispatched to respond to calls on Crown Land.”
“Emergency responders go to these Crown Lands and they are not able to bill the province for their time. The County eats the fuel and everything else and wants to be compensated for it,” said Starland County Reeve Steve Wannstrom.
He notes this has happened when the Emergency services have been dispatched to incidents at the Rumsey Natural Area.
“There was a fire out there one year, and they told us too bad, and we weren’t compensated for fighting that fire,” said Wannstrom.


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