Historic Banff National Park lodge fined $27,000 for destroying swallow nests

Source: edmontonjournal.comGORDON KENT, June 29, 2018

Historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge beside Bow Lake in Banff National Park. PROVINCE

An historic Banff National Park lodge built by one of the country’s most famous mountain outfitters has been fined $27,000 after staff illegally destroyed bird nests.

Officials investigating a report in August 2016 that barn swallow nests had been removed at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge discovered one egg and four nests had been destroyed by maintenance staff, an Environment Canada news release said Friday.

The lodge, 40 kilometres north of Lake Louise on Highway 93, was built in stages by legendary mountain guide Jimmy Simpson, who set up a base for his outfitting operation at the site beside Bow Lake in the 1920s.

By 1940, the facility had six guest rooms, and a decade later a 16-room stone-and-log hotel was completed. The family sold the operation in the 1990s.

Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge Ltd. pleaded guilty in provincial court this week to disturbing a migratory bird nest, contravening a licence condition and disturbing or destroying a nest in Banff National Park.

The fine will go to the federal environmental damages fund. As well, the company must write an article about the incident for a local newspaper.

Barn swallows were designated as a threatened species under the federal Species at Risk Act last November.

It’s an offence under migratory birds regulations to damage or remove migratory bird eggs and nests without a permit.