Nova Scotia’s Environment Department is investigating the apparent clearcutting of a chunk of forest in Long Lake Provincial Park, acting minister Randy Delorey said Thursday.

The affected eight-hectare area sits just behind a strip of trees along Halifax’s Old Sambro Road, which runs right through the 2,095-hectare park.

“I do know there was a cut. It appears to be in a park. I’m not sure about the details,” Delorey said.

He said staff must survey the area to figure out how much of the cutting happened inside the park.

Delorey said the park is under provincial jurisdiction. “Penalties can range from warnings up to fines. I’m not aware of what the maximum fine is.”

Anyone who violates the Nova Scotia Provincial Park Act Regulations could face a penalty between $50 and $1,000.

The Act itself says, in addition to a penalty imposed by the Summary Proceedings Act, court may order a person convicted of an offence “to restore the land to a condition as near as practicable as it was before the offence was committed and pay an amount equal to twice the market value of park property which was damaged or destroyed.”

A department spokesperson declined to comment on whether it has identified the people or company responsible for the cutting. She said that is part of the investigation.