A B.C. man is before the Calgary courts Wednesday (Feb. 2) as he faces several charges against the Canada National Parks Act.
Greg Ovens, from Canal Flats, and Zachary Fowler, from the U.S., filmed a 30-day survival challenge on YouTube back in 2019. Some of the footage was captured in Banff National Park, where part of their challenge took place.
Both Ovens and Fowler were contestants on the History Channel TV show ‘Alone’.
According to a written statement from Parks Canada, following a public report in July of 2019, a lengthy joint investigation by Parks Canada and the BC Conservation Officer Service has resulted in park wardens laying several charges in relation to the ‘30 Day Survival Challenge in the Canadian Rockies’ YouTube video series featured on the accounts of Ovens and Fowler.
Parks Canada says that wardens have laid six charges against Ovens and seven charges have been laid against Fowler. Charges include the illegal catch and retention of Yellowstone Cutthroat trout and other fishing offences, hunting in a park, discharging a firearm in a park, illegal fire, damage/destroying natural objects and unpermitted use of a drone under the Canada National Parks Act.
“Greg Ovens has had multiple court appearances to date with the next scheduled for February 2, 2022 in Calgary Regional Disposition Court,” said the statement from Parks Canada. “Zachary Fowler currently has an arrest warrant outstanding in relation to his charges.”
Parks Canada could not comment further, as the matter is before the courts. Ovens and Fowler have been reached for comment.
According to the Banff National Park regulations, a specific national park fishing permit is required — provincial fishing licenses are not valid. The possession limit for all fish caught in Banff National Park is zero, with the exception of lake trout caught in the Lake Minnewanka reservoir (limit of two).
The regulations also state that the use of firearms (including pellet guns, bows, bear bangers, slingshots, etc.) and hunting are not permitted in the park.
Drones are also prohibited in all national parks.
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