A barrel of unknown substance burns as empty containers lay scattered amongst auto wreckage in the MacRae East industrial park on July 12, 2018. At that time, conservation officers had killed three bears due to the poor storage of the waste. Now, Joszef Suska of Whitehorse and Michele Palma of Dawson City, are facing a slew of charges under the Wildlife Act, Special Waste Regulations and Environment Act. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Two men charged in 2018 incident that saw bears attracted to cooking grease in MacRae

Conservation officers killed three bears that had become habituated to eating improperly stored grease

Two Yukon men and their companies are facing charges after an incident last summer that saw conservation officers kill three bears in Whitehorse’s MacRae subdivision that had become habituated to eating kitchen grease.

Yukon chief conservation officer Gord Hitchcock told media at a bear safety event on May 7 that conservation officers received calls about a property in MacRae in July 2018, with reports that there were “large quantities of used cooking grease” being improperly stored there.

Officers following up on the reports saw bears “accessing and feeding” on the grease, Hitchcock said, and a higher number of bear sightings in the area was attributed to the unsecured attractant.

Hitchcock said conservation officers had to turn to legislative tools after spending the summer “attempting to achieve compliance and safety,” including the issuing of a dangerous wildlife protection order.

The News reported in July 2018 that conservation officers had killed three bears at a site in MacRae that had become attracted to large burning barrels of grease at an automobile junkyard, and spent two days at the site dealing with the situation.

Joszef Suska and 535802 Yukon Inc., of Whitehorse, and Michele Palma and Dawson Group of Companies Ltd., of Dawson City, are facing a slew of charges under the Wildlife Act, Special Waste Regulations and the Environment Act.

According to court documents, Suska and 535802 Yukon Inc. — which operates as Budget Towing & Auto Services — are alleged to have released “special waste” and handled it without a management plan or permit, violations of the Special Waste Regulations, at a lot in the MacRae subdivision between July 20, 2017 and Aug. 1, 2018.

Both are also alleged to have failed to mitigate a spill, contrary to the Environment Act, within that same timeframe, and, between July 5 and Sept. 6, 2018, are alleged to have encouraged a grizzly and black bear to become nuisances in violation of the Wildlife Act.

As well, Suska is facing an additional charge under the Wildlife Act for allegedly having made a “false or misleading statement to a conservation officer.”

Palma and the Dawson Group of Companies Ltd. are facing two charges each under the Wildlife Act — failing to comply with a dangerous wildlife protection order on both July 17 and Aug. 22, 2018.

All four made their first court appearance in Whitehorse on May 7.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

Connie Peggy Thorn, 52, pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to manslaughter in the 2017 death of Greg Dawson. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of Greg Dawson

Connie Thorn, 52, was arrested in October 2019 and pleaded guilty in Supreme Court on Jan. 27.

Abigail Jirousek, left, is tailed by Brian Horton while climbing a hill during the Cross Country Yukon January Classic in Whitehorse on Jan. 23. Jirousek finished second in the U16 girls category. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Cross Country Yukon hosts classic race

Cross Country Yukon hosted a classic technique cross-country ski race on Jan.… Continue reading

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver talks to media on March 5, 2020. The Yukon government said Jan. 25 that it is disappointed in a decision by the federal government to send the Kudz Ze Kayah mining project back to the drawing board. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Territorial and federal governments at odds over Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The federal government, backed by Liard First Nation, sent the proposal back to the screening stage

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Jan. 27, 2021

Yukon RCMP said in a press release that they are seeing an increase in tinted front passenger windows and are reminding people that it is illegal and potentially dangerous. (RCMP handout)
RCMP warn against upward trend of tinted windows

Yukon RCMP are seeing more vehicles with tinted front passenger windows, prompting… Continue reading

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old man facing two tickets violating the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em>. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Arrest warrant issued for CEMA violation

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ansh Dhawan over two tickets for violating CEMA

The office space at 151 Industrial Road in Marwell. At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 25 meeting, members voted to sign off on the conditional use approval so Unit 6 at 151 Industrial Rd. can be used for office space. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Marwell move set for land and building services staff

Conditional use, lease approved for office space

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

Most Read