A Chinese woman has been fined for digging up and taking two trees out of Banff National Park.
Through a Cantonese interpreter, Shao Yi Pan pleaded guilty in Canmore Provincial Court to removing a natural object under the National Parks Act.
Crown prosecutor Danielle Szabo said Pan came to the attention of the RCMP during a traffic stop near Lake Louise.
She said a member noticed two small coniferous trees inside the vehicle that appeared to be pulled from the ground.
“During discussions with the occupants of the car, the officer determined Ms. Pan had pulled the trees from the ground in Banff National Park,” Szabo said.
Duty counsel Anne Wilson explained to Judge Les Grieve that Pan was unaware it would be against the law to take the two small trees from the park.
Grieve explained to the woman that allowing one person to take trees is a slippery slope.
“We are trying to preserve all the wilderness in a national park because that is what we have been doing for 100 years here,” he said. “This is why people come from China, Europe and Africa to see the wild forests.”
Grieve noted the irony of being caught means those trees are likely dead now, before fining Pan $150.