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Placer miner fined for debris, road-clearing at camp

Bill Uloth appeared in court on March 9
A placer miner was charged under the Placer Miner Act and Environment Act on March 9. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

A Dawson City-area placer miner has been fined $8,500 under the Placer Miner Act and Environment Act.

Bill Uloth appeared in Yukon Territorial Court on March 9.

According to an agreed statement of facts read before the court, Uloth had established a camp in July 2018 under a Class 1 operation license.

Later that summer, a natural resources officer noted the camp was littered with a variety of debris, including mattresses, furniture, water pumps, batteries, a camper trailer and miscellaneous garbage.

Uloth also used a bulldozer to clear what he claimed were pre-existing roads — work that requires a Class 2 operation license.

Uloth was issued an Environmental Protection Order in June 2019. Uloth neither complied with the order nor contacted officials from the Energy, Mines and Resources Department that summer. The statement of facts claimed that Uloth had not completed any of the requirements to date.

The court heard that Uloth had spent various periods between July 2018 and the present receiving treatment for cancer in Vancouver, which compromised his ability to contact officials and attend to his camp.

Judge Michael Cozens said Uloth’s medical travel was a mitigating factor, but not an excuse.

Uloth was charged with 10 counts under the Placer Mining and Environment acts. He pleaded guilty to six of those charges and the remainder were stayed.

Crown counsel recommended an $8,500 fine and advised that Uloth’s case should be used as a deterrent to others, because the territory’s placer mining legislation is easily abused.

Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Uloth pleaded guilty to seven charges, and identified governmental officials as reporting to the Department of Environment. Uloth pleaded guilty to six charges, and his case was managed by officials from the department of Energy, Mines and Resources.

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