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PostPosted: November 5th, 2012, 2:51 pm 
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I'm looking into a river which flows through private property. There is a waterfalls on the river which is impassable except to experts (who would presumably have to scout it from shore anyway). There is a historic portage on the property, but this has been lost over time. There is no way to bypass the private property and continue on down the river.

I've read Erhard's synopsis of the Credit River case, and there are obvious similarities and a few differences (e.g. there is no dam in this circumstance).

http://www.interlog.com/~erhard/credit.htm

Can anyone provide me with an opinion as to what navigation and portage rights paddlers might have in this situation? If you want to look up the spot on the Crown Land Use Atlas or Google Earth, it is where the Jocko River flows into the Ottawa River. This is north east of North Bay, downriver from Temiskaming Quebec.

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PostPosted: November 5th, 2012, 5:32 pm 
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As in other threads recently what is happening now is really up in the air.
I would contact someone in Quebec about it.
And on the political side email Cheryl Gallant MP (con) she is the one who stated in the house that they where not trying to stop us from using our routes....
Maybe she will have a good answer for you.... but I am not holding my breath.
Jeff

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 8:37 am 
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I have been thinking about paddling the Jocko, but I can't find any information on it. Odd, as it is a provincial park. I also had not noticed the parcel of private land at the end. Personally I would probably just go for it and rely on the Ontario Lands Act for protection if there was any issue. It is hard for me to see how they could argue that it wasn't a canoe route at the same time it is a Provincial Waterway Park! But I am no lawyer.

If you have any information about the rivers, please let us know. It looks like a spring run to me, and it does appear on the Nostawgan map as such I think.

Kinguq.


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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 8:57 am 
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For a scholarly look at the question in the US:

http://www.monocacycanoe.org/Dick_Pierce_Article.htm


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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 12:43 pm 
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Location: Wawa, ON
I copied the following from the Public Lands Act, section 65(4), on the Ontario government website today:

Right of passage over portages
(4) Where public lands over which a portage has existed or exists have been heretofore or are hereafter sold or otherwise disposed of under this or any other Act, any person travelling on waters connected by the portage has the right to pass over and along the portage with the person's effects without the permission of or payment to the owner of the lands, and any person who obstructs, hinders, delays or interferes with the exercise of such right of passage is guilty of an offence. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.43, s. 65 (4); 2000, c. 26, Sched. L, s. 9 (11).

So the general answer should be yes you can use the portage. But we don't know what the history is for this piece of private land and if there is something on the title of the property that would restrict use of the portage and make this private land exempt from 65(4). Such an exemption would be very rare.

I would suggest that you contact the MNR North Bay District Office for that area and send them a letter describing this situation and can you legally portage around the falls.

North Bay District Office
Ministry of Natural Resources
3301 Trout Lake Road
North Bay, ON P1A 4L7
(705) 475-5550


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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 1:56 pm 
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Thanks JCooper. Interesting. So the difference between the Jocko case (private land surrounding waterfalls) and the Credit River case (private land surrounding a dam) is that because there is, or was, a portage around the falls, the public has a right of passage. But in the Credit case, there is/was no portage, so there is no right of passage. I can think of a number of places where a historic portage has been sold and the new owners have been hostile to any continued use of their property. Most times, paddlers simply use an alternative rather than ruffle feathers.

To be clear, I have not spoken with the landowner at the Jocko, and do not know if s/he is supportive or not.

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 3:21 pm 
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Good discussion. And a few thoughts:
* collect any documentation you have on the historic or other use. Make that documentation formal - if it is a witness account have it submitted as a trip report on CCR (a 5-liner is good enough as long as it states who traveled there when, and make sure CCR sticks around long enough to be of future significance)
* talk to the owner, either before or after the MNR inquiry. You are a good example of a responsible canoeist that might sway any fears they have of yahoos.
* get the MNR to include it in their NRVIS data base

Any other tips from folks out there?

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 4:56 pm 
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Quote:
Any other tips from folks out there?
Establish on which Forest Management Unit (FMU or MU) the canoe route exists. Look up the current Forest Management Plan and study the appropriate "values" maps to ensure the canoe route is included, viz., that it has been 'recognized' by the MNR and entered into its Natural Resources Values Information System (NRVIS) data base.

Electronic versions of current FMPs including Contingency Plans (interim plans in place to bridge the gap between an expired Plan and development of a new Plan) are available on the internet at: http://www.appefmp.mnr.gov.on.ca/eFMP/home.do.

Use the pull-down menu to choose the FMU on which the canoe route exists. When the relevant documents appear, choose the FMP or Contingency Plan--usually the first document listed. When the standardized menu of the Plan contents appears, choose the "Maps" link and then choose the "Values" link.

Canoe routes are depicted on the Resources Uses Values Map and/or the Resource Based Tourism Values Map. Study both carefully to ensure the canoe route is included. If not, write the Manager of the MNR District responsible for planning the FMP to point out the omission following Erhard's advice given above.


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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 7:21 pm 
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I do think people are missing the point that this entire river system except for the small parcel at the end, is the Jocko Rivers Provincial Waterway Park. It was set aside primarily to be a canoe route. Therefore there should be no question that it is one.

Kinguq.


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PostPosted: November 6th, 2012, 9:09 pm 
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No, I didn't realize that. In that case I would expect the Parks folks to be the main driving force to remove any obstacles - this is an access route to the park and they have a responsibility to maintain a legally guaranteed access open.

Aside from that, I still think it is prudent - if possible - to establish good relations with the property owner and find out what makes them take a hard stand regarding the blocking of the portage.

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PostPosted: November 7th, 2012, 9:05 am 
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The first post did not state that the land owner was taking "a hard stand regarding the blocking of the portage".

I interpret the first post as understanding that there is private property but is there a right to portage around the falls. This situation is not simple in that there has not been an obvious recent use of this portage.

I am not familiar with the Jocko River, so am I missing something about this portage situation?


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PostPosted: November 7th, 2012, 11:11 am 
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I contacted the landowner yesterday and am awaiting a response. I suspect that canoeists have not paddled this river in recent times, but that fishermen probably portage around the falls to fish upstream. I just wanted to get a handle on our rights and responsibilities before contacting the owner. I do not anticipate problems.

Yes, it is a waterway park, and appears in the MNR's NRVIS and in the FMP value maps as a canoe route. BUT I can't find any evidence that the river has been travelled recently, no portages that I've been able to find, no one seems to know anything about it.

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PostPosted: November 7th, 2012, 2:13 pm 
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I have paddled a short distance downstream from the highway crossing of the Little Jocko, and there was a useable portage trail around the first waterfall we came to. So I suspect there must be ones further downstream also.

Kinguq.


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 4:40 pm 
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Following my own advice posted earlier on this thread, I attempted to access the "Values" maps for the current Nipissing Forest Management Plan (FMP) on the MNRs Electronic Forest Management Plans website. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered none were posted.

I contacted the MNR North Bay District office and spoke with the forester in charge of the FMP. She was aware the maps were missing and offered to send me electronic versions of the Resources Uses Values Map and the Resource Based Tourism Values Map. I declined and asked instead that they be posted to the MNRs website for public review. She promised to inform me when this oversight (?) was corrected. I'll let CCR readers know through this thread when that happens.


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PostPosted: November 9th, 2012, 8:48 pm 
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You rock, Phil.

I have an electronic copy of my own. It was posted at one time, just after the FMP was approved. Let me know if you want a snapshot.

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