A local cottager has been fined by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Marc Rajotte of Winnipeg has been convicted of conducting work on his Lake of the Woods cottage property without a work permit. Rajotte pleaded guilty and was fined $1,500. He has also been given a court order to bring his property into compliance by removing landscaping material, crushed gravel and non-native plants and replacing them with soil and native tree species.

Rajotte is the owner or a large cottage property in the Echo Bay area, and the property is within the Clearwater Bay restricted area order. Between 2013 and 2015, Rajotte was responsible for having 60 per cent of his cottage property landscaped, over the allowed limit for cottage lot development of 20 per cent.

Guidelines under the Public Lands Act are in place to ensure that development on public and private lands will not harm the natural environment. The ministry reminds the public to contact their local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry office prior to starting work on cottage properties.

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).