The trail to Eva Lake in Mt. Revelstoke National Park. (File photo)

Dog owner fined $1,000 after dog chases bear in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

The incident resulted in the summit being closed to dogs indefinitely

A Revelstoke resident has been fined $1,000 after her off-leash dog chased a bear at the summit of Mt. Revelstoke National Park last summer.

Under the Canada National Parks Act, all domestic animals must be under control while within a park. People who fail to do so can be charged in court, under the act.

At her first court appearance, Feb. 5, 2020, Crystal Angela Gauer pleaded guilty to an incident at Eva Lake where her dog chased a bear, and was then chased by the bear before the bear ran off. Gauer had two dogs off leash, but only one chased the bear.

Part of the evidence used to charge Gauer came from a witness and a wildlife monitoring camera showing the dogs off leash.

“When I did my trip plan initially it was my intention to keep the dogs on leash and I had gotten a special harnesses for them and everything,” she said. “I had never brought my dogs into the park before. I was a little bit surprised at how much effort it was to control them.”

READ MORE: Managing bears a part of daily operations in Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks

Gauer said when she needed a break, she left the dogs off leash. She also let them off leash at the Eva Lake campground as they were barking and getting tangled. She felt they were disturbing the other campers.

“The next day when continued on [after the bear encounter], was exploring new area, had intentions of keeping them on leash but the terrain ended up being quite challenging and I ended up having to take them off.”

Gauer said this was the first time she took her dogs into the park where she is a frequent visitor.

Crown Counsel requested that the sentence be a $500 fine and a one year ban from visiting all national parks, saying there had to be a harshness to the sentence to denounce the behaviour.

Crown Counsel said that having the dog off leash puts not only the dog, the owner and the bear at risk but also the other visitors as these types of incidents contribute to habituation of the bears.

The bear was also negatively impacted as its tracking collar showed it was on the move for 12 hours after the encounter.

Crown Counsel also said that as a result of this incident, the summit of Mt. Revelstoke National Park is closed to dogs indefinitely.

READ MORE: Grizzly bear and off-leash dog encounters have caused some trails to be closed to dogs in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Judge Dennis Morgan decided to increase the fine amount but did not ban Gauer from entering national parks.

“I think she is deterred by this whole process,” he said.

Gauer has until Sept. 1, 2020 to pay the fine.


 

@RevelstokeRevue
editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Parks Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Making Bombs for Hitler at Vernon museum

Published author known for Second World War books for kids to read at museum

First win for longtime New Westminster skip

Donna Mychaluk wins BC Senior Women’s Curling crown after five runner-up finishes

Vernon Panthers roll to second-straight OK Valley crown

Led by Super Seven grads, the second-ranked Cats dumped Kelowna’s OK Mission in championship

Vernon protest draws close to 40 people

Earth Strike Vernon holds peaceful rally in support of Wet’suwet’en people and land

North Okanagan Knights drop playoff preview

Kelowna Chiefs hold on for 3-2 KIJHL victory; best-of-seven series starts Friday in Rutland

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Monday, February 24, 2020

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Hidden treasures of the Okanagan’s Curiosity Shop

A set of celluloid topped glove and collar boxes are some of the many interesting finds in Keremeos

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

B.C. VIEWS: Pipeline dispute highlights need for clarity

As the B.C. treaty process grinds on, uncertainty remains

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Most Read