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Sunday December 2, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The Canadian resort is fined aftter pleading guilty to cutting down trees, including 38 endangered whitebark pine. NEW

The resort is in the Banff National Park where strict rules are in place.

Lake Louise failed to ensure its employees knew the whitebark pine was endangered.

The trees that were cut down near the ski runs were all healthy.

The whitebark tree takes 40 years to reach cone-producing age.

Then it's another 60 to 80 years to have any significant number of cones.

"The Crown has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of Lake Louise Ski Area and its employees were reckless given their knowledge of the constraints of operating a commercial ski hill in a national park," said Judge Heather Lamoureux

The five-needle whitebark pine is considered crucial because it provides food and habitat for animals, as well as helps stabilise sub-alpine slopes.

Whitebark pinesWhitebark pines

Whitebark pineWhitebark pine

The trees exist at high elevations in western North America.

They have been growing on the continent for 100,000 years and can grow to be between 500 and 1,000 years old.

The fine amounts to $55,000 per tree.

The resort says steps have been taken to ensure no other whitebark pines are cut down.

There are a further 7,000 whitebark pines within the resort.

Lake Louise Resort is considering an appeal as it was expecting a much smaller fine.

Lake Louise in summerLake Louise in summer

Lake Louise in winterLake Louise in winter

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