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North Vancouver park ranger catches tree cutters red handed in Lynn Canyon

The two had been attempting to remove the tree to make way for cliff jumping.
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Cliff jumpers attempting to cut a tree near Lynn Canyon were caught red handed by DNV park staff. | North Shore News files

An attempt to cut down a tree by Lynn Canyon has left two sham arborists narrowly avoiding a fine.

Around midday on Saturday, a park ranger caught two vandals with pruning and cutting equipment and lengths of rope in Lynn Canyon Park, attempting to remove a tree they believed was dead, said Steffanie Warriner, director of parks.

The two had been in an unauthorised, closed off area of the park and had planned on removing the tree to make room for cliff jumping.

“Luckily, our rangers patrol the park regularly and they were able to intervene and educate the individuals before any damage was caused,” said Warriner, adding how the two were compliant and quickly left the area.

Alongside facing fines upwards of $500, the felling would have been dangerous for the two amateur tree-cutters and harmful to the park itself, said Warriner.

“District of North Vancouver parks are protected spaces. All of them carry ecological sensitivities and Lynn Canyon is certainly one of our most sensitive areas,” she said. “It is also a super risky activity. In an area like Lynn Canyon, it is rugged, rugged terrain with steep, slippery slopes and many cliff areas. Nobody should be going into these areas for any reason.”

Removing any kind of vegetation under any circumstances is strictly prohibited in all district parks, said Warriner, as is the exploration of closed areas.

Within the past week alone, local rescue teams have been called upon three times to the notoriously treacherous portion of the park. First to an unsuccessful rescue of a man who drowned going over Lynn Canyon's Twin Falls, again a few days later to rescue an intoxicated swimmer, and once again on Sunday, to assist a hiker who had slipped and twisted his ankle.

Warriner said she “can’t emphasize enough” that visitors to the canyon need to stay on designated trails in designated areas.

“We want people to enjoy the canyon, but do it safely and respectfully.”

If visitors have any concerns over vegetation or trail maintenance they can report them to the district to have them assessed by trained parks staff. Issues can be reported via the district’s website at dnv.org/report-a-problem. For problems that need immediate attention, call 604-990-2311.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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