Three North Bay men have been fined a total of $3,000 for damaging beaver dams in the North Bay, Powassan and Mattawa areas using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Mark Piche pleaded guilty to damaging a beaver dam on September 28, 2013 on the Voyageur Multi-Use Trail, Trail 70, in Olrig Township.

Chris Forsyth pleaded guilty to damaging a beaver dam on September 21, 2014 in Boulter Township.

Mark Perron pleaded guilty to damaging a beaver dam on June 27, 2015 in Widdifield, Stewart and Blythe Townships.

Each man was fined $1,000.

Court heard that ministry conservation officers received information about online videos and photographs showing individuals using their ATVs to damage beaver dams. With the assistance of the ministry’s intelligence unit, the videos were located and the ATV riders were identified. The videos showed the ATV riders driving on the beaver dams and spinning their tires. This caused the dams to open up, which allowed large volumes of fast-flowing water to flood and wash out the trails and surrounding area.

Justice of the Peace Lauren Scully heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, North Bay, on December 16, 2015.

The public is reminded that it is an offence to damage or destroy a beaver dam without the ministry’s authorization. Destroying a beaver dam can cause flooding, property damage, public safety concerns and fish and wildlife habitat damage. The ministry encourages the public to use public lands respectfully and responsibly so that they are preserved for future generations.

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).