View topic - Wolf Lake is back on the "Chopping Block"

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 1:22 pm 
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JF wrote:
WnC, I was refering specifically to the comments posted by local residents to the article you linked to from Northern Ontario Business. Some were in complete support of mining and other resource extraction to boost the economy.

I will not dispute the fact that this area needs protection. I do not know the area well and cannot comment. However I do know small town realities and I find it hard to believe that ecotourism by and of itself is the answer to all the economic and social hardships. Personally, I find the mayor's approach at looking at all possibilities (balancing resource industry, ziplining, cell service, cottage lot development, etc.) rather refreshing.


JF, resource based industries only last as long as resources do....so limited in amount of time that such industries can exist....and at what cost????....the destruction of old growth forests....unique environments....even wild places....

As Mike M. points out the Wolf Lake area is closer to Sudbury....and needs to be protected for the sake of its old uniqueness....including the old growth red pine....

My point about the report in Northern Ontario Business about the mayor's remarks on natural resources jobs in the town of Temagami was in regard to my comment about the need to hopefully have all of Temagami region eventually declared a park of some kind....so the type of issues illustrated by this situation in Wolf Lake might not have to be considered....that such a designation as a park of all Temagami could very well benefit the town of Temagami as a base for such a park....despite the mayor's thinking, that natural resource jobs in mining and forestry are limited....those that result from a park....including eco-tourism....but also service industries etc. too....are more likely to last longer....JMHO....my comment regarding this article in Northern Ontario Business also was to illustrate the fact that there might likely be 'roadblocks' to a full designation of a park for all of Temagami....an issue that would have to be overcome if such park designation was to be granted....

I think back to the Red Squirrel blockcade....to the Temagami Wilderness Society's means for protecting Temagami....especially after hearing Brian Back speak at the recent FOT AGM....there are still hard feelings locally in Temagami to this day as a result....but the environmental preservation was imperative....and benefits all....not just a few canoe trippers....or tree huggers....not just those from southern Ontario....but locals too....and if we work together on preserving Temagami region....not looking to destroy what's left of it....by making what really amounts to 'quick money' through forestry and mining....as opposed to sustainable economy based on wise land use....with First Nations being part of the whole process too....in the end it could be a 'win-win' situation for all....OK I'm getting off my soapbox now LOL LOL....

So Mike M. is correct in his last comment here....and I do apologize if I got up on a soapbox and confused the original issue a bit....Wolf Lake is very much important as an issue....as is all of Temagami too....

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 1:28 pm 
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I think the point JF brings up is a valid one. We can ask for protection for areas but as non-residents of the area in question, we hardly have to worry about any economic impact those requests might have.

But to further this.

Wolf Lake and the area around it border on the Chiniguchi Waterway Park. IIRC, you have to travel through Wolf Lake to access the rest of the park from the Kukagami Lake access point. And the area harbours one of the few remaining old growth red pine stands left in Canada.

To ask for the Wolf Lake area to be saved is not saying there can't be mining or forestry elsewhere. What it does say is this area is already being used as part of the waterway park and has been for many years. So would it not be prudent to include this area as part of the park and make the entire Chiniguchi Waterway Park complete?

I'm quite sure there are many areas in Temagami that can still be mined and logged. Logging goes on in the Temagami area every year anyway. But to destroy an area that has old growth red pine on it, borders an existing park and is an area used to access the park by many people is nonsense. It should be part of the park and something worth saving and adding to the existing park structure.

We can't walk a mile in one step. We have to take many small ones to cover any distance. Saving Wolf Lake and the surrounding area is just one small step on the road to preserving what is left of the natural world in Temagami we love to explore. And this issue to me is one worth fighting for.

If there are any inaccuracies in my stated facts, please feel free to correct me.

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 2:23 pm 
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Market Profile
Industry History
The adventure sport and ecotourism market is considerably young. Statistics show a steady rise in adventure sport sales and tours. In 1970, the industry grossed approximately five million dollars. By 1983, it grossed more than five hundred million dollars. Ecotourism is considered the fastest growing market in the tourism industry according to the World Tourism Organization. It has an annual growth rate of 5% worldwide, representing 6% of the world gross domestic product and 11.4% of all consumer spending.
Consumers are more environmentally conscious. They are travelling to locations that have natural attributes related to environmental conservation. More people are looking for ways to incorporate an active lifestyle into their vacation and experiences.

Temagami benefits from its well-known destination brand “name.” This is a real asset in marketing tourism in Ontario. An adventure based operation based at Caribou Mountain/White Bear Forest will benefit from the brand and the natural setting of the old growth ecosystem.

Industry Scope
The target market has been defined as special interest "adventure sports and travel/ ecotourism." This market is growing rapidly. Nature tourism generates 7% of all international travel expenditures and this number increases each year. Ecotourism and other forms of nature-related tourism account for approximately 20% of total international travel, 40-60% of which are nature tourists while 20-40% is wildlife-related tourists. This is reflected within OTMP statistics (following).

Nature tourists can be defined as tourists visiting a destination to experience and enjoy nature, whereas wildlife-related visitors, for example, can be defined as tourists visiting a destination to observe wildlife (E.g. birdwatchers). Caribou Mountain will promote the natural environment. Promoting the “old growth ecosystem” of the White Bear Forest becomes an important aspect for the operation of an adventure-based activity and for marketing.

The ecotourism / “soft” adventure tourism (low-risk) industry in Northern Ontario averages approximately 30% of the current tourism industry and 15-20% of employment opportunities. Forecasts predict an annual growth of 6 - 10% over the next decade led by the 40 – 60 yr old demographic (Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership).

These niche product offerings have above average potential to be continually competitive when coupled with existing natural features such as the White Bear “old growth” forest.

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 5:38 pm 
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An MNDMF Geologist writing to Mayor Hodgson said “the Town of Temagami sits in a unique geological environment that has demonstrated significant mineral potential.” He went on to cite a wide range of mineral occurrences in the area including copper, gold, copper-zinc, nickelcopper-platinum, silver-cobalt and copper-gold.
There was also considerable diamond exploration in the ‘90’s.
Virtually the entire Temagami area has already been staked and claimed by prospectors as shown in the claims map available from MNDMF. However, there is very little exploration work being conducted by the claim holders.
The Temex Latchford Gold Project is in the early stages of exploration and is a long way from actually becoming a mine, if indeed it ever will. MNDN reports that only 1 prospect in 10,000 will ever become a mine and each mine in operation today represents about $200 million in exploration.
A clear indication of the seriousness of a prospect is the number of metres of diamond drilling the exploration company is conducting. Core samples are used to profile the extent of the ore deposit in three dimensions. As a result, diamond drilling represents approximately 80% of exploration costs. It costs between $100 to $150 per metre to drill, depending on the terrain and the type of material being drilled, and a rig costs about $40,000 per month to be on site.
There have been no reports of extensive diamond drilling anywhere in the Temagami region so despite the fact the minerals are in the ground, it appears there is very little exploration activity.
There is a diamond drill contractor located in Temagami, Longshot Diamond Drilling, which should be consulted. A strategic objective of the Town could be two fold, to raise the profile of the Temagami region among prospectors and exploration companies, and to better understand the trends in the industry and when and what role the Town could play.

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 5:40 pm 
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Tourism is big business in Ontario.
It is valued at approximately $22 billion and employs more than 200,000 people directly with another 100,000 employed indirectly. The Ontario Ministry
of Tourism and Recreation reports that for every $1 million in tourism revenues there are 14 jobs created, generating wages and salaries of $553,000.
Temagami’s tourist industry comes in several different parts:
- Seasonal Residents – there are approximately 908 summer cottages on Lake
Temagami according to MPAC, with an estimated population of approximately 2100.
- Visitors to the Provincial Parks – Marten River and Finlayson Park receive approximately 45,000 each year.
- Visitors to the Lodges/Housekeeping Cottages – we have no information suggesting how big this market is.
- Houseboating/Wilderness Camping/Fishing and Hunting parties – we have insufficient information to estimate the size of this popular activity.
The loss of jobs in the Accommodation and Food Services sector is reflected in the visitor statistics from the Marten River and Finlayson Provincial Parks which are also showing a gradual decline.

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 5:44 pm 
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Introduce “Yurts” to Temagami.

Time Frame – Long Term
A yurt is an eight sided, semi-permanent canvas-covered structure, mounted on a wooden deck about two feet off the ground. Yurts can accommodate up to six people. They have two sets of bunk beds, a table and chairs, plywood floors, electric heat and lighting. They
can also be insulated for winter use.
Nine of Ontario’s Provincial Parks now offer Yurts, including Killarney and
Algonquin Parks. They command a premium price ($91.50 per night) and offer superior comfort and a fair degree of luxury (some people refer to this as “Glamping” – glamorous camping). :D

Yurts are surprisingly affordable. There are several Canadian companies selling them in kit form ranging from $5,500 for a 12 foot yurt to $17,750 for a 32 foot model.
The Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron in Southern Ontario has had the most success with them. The Pinery currently has 14 yurts including two in the handicapped accessible area and they are fully booked six months in advance for a minimum 3 nights each

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 6:38 pm 
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So .......before someone asks?.......

I got the info from Temagami Economic Development .
The entire report is available here

2011 Economic Development Strategy
http://www.temagami.ca/pagesmith/69

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PostPosted: November 12th, 2011, 1:12 pm 
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Thank you HeavyK. That brings a little more perspective to the area. I always have trouble connecting the dots when it comes to how eco-tourism benefits the local municipalities and residents. Sure, it helps those (relatively few) tourism business owners, and the local support industries (food service, fuel, souveniers, etc). It is certainly nice as an option for the tourists. Maybe Temogami iis situated close enough to higher populations to make it work and to provide more of a tax base. I just haven't seen too much of it working further north, so am a little sceptical.


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2011, 2:38 pm 
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Costa Rica was a floundering nation until they decided to get into the eco tourism business.
They have set aside (and protected) a huge portion of the entire country as "eco reserves" for the tourism industry.

Seems to work for them?

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PostPosted: November 15th, 2011, 7:45 pm 
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Nice info Kim. It certainly says there is profit to be made in the north by tourism that is sustainable rather than logging which we all know is not. Thanks for sharing that.

And to Mike McIntosh.

If more needs to be done to help save the Wolf Lake area, please let us know so we can help.

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PostPosted: November 18th, 2011, 10:31 am 
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Tripper wrote:
And to Mike McIntosh.

If more needs to be done to help save the Wolf Lake area, please let us know so we can help.


Here's the thing: The Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) posting that allowed for public comment is now closed.
They kind of sprung this on us in June - right at the beginning of paddling season (just as I was preparing to leave on a month-long canoe trip)... :tsk:

Luckily, Friends of Temagami, in their capacity as a "watchdog" over issues that affect the Temagami wilderness, were on the ball, and submitted comments to the EBR posting, addressing the concerns of their membership.

Here's where it gets interesting:
One of our contacts at MNR has told us that they received about 350 comments to the EBR posting...
And get this: ALL of the comments were AGAINST removal of protection for the Wolf Lake Forest Reserve.
100% of public comments were against the proposal.
Not a single comment was submitted in favour of dissolving the Forest Reserve.

Now, we're simply awaiting MNR's decision on the issue.


Here's my prediction: (anyone wanna place bets? 8) )

I suspect that despite this enormous outcry of public concern for this proposal to remove protective status, MNR will ignore public input - even though they requested public comments - and go ahead with their proposed plan to strip Wolf Lake of it's current Forest Reserve status, and open it up to industry.

If that happens, then that will be the time for more public support, letters, call your MPs, voice your concerns, etc...

Until MNR makes any decision public, (and when they do, they will likely do it very quietly, just like they did with the EBR posting and "forget" to inform any of the environmental NGO groups) we will just have to wait and see.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

Mike


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2011, 10:48 am 
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Mike:
As I have said previously, I can not comment on the merit of this proposal, but I am curious. You have made a couple of references to the method and nature of this posting that suggest a rather secretive notification strategy on the part of MNR. The EBR posting stated the following:
Direct mail notification to provincial, regional, and local stakeholders, this mailing will include maps and a cover letter describing the proposal in detail.

Did this notification to stakeholders not take place? Were environmental groups not on the mailout list?


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2011, 11:28 am 
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JF wrote:
Mike:
As I have said previously, I can not comment on the merit of this proposal, but I am curious. You have made a couple of references to the method and nature of this posting that suggest a rather secretive notification strategy on the part of MNR. The EBR posting stated the following:
Direct mail notification to provincial, regional, and local stakeholders, this mailing will include maps and a cover letter describing the proposal in detail.

Did this notification to stakeholders not take place? Were environmental groups not on the mailout list?


This seems to be a trend. See MNR's actions re the Black Fox Portage. Algonquin Backcountry Recreationalists (who were supposed to be notified, were not)

This is background.

http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... ge#p362094

There never was much discussion here but there was plenty over at Algonquin Adventures

http://www.network54.com/Forum/352882/t ... ox+Portage


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2011, 11:52 am 
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Before we start generalizing too much, I would point out that there is a difference between the two. One had an EBR posting, one did not. (I am not suggesting for a moment that the Black Fox portage did not require notification and/or more consultation). But the EBR posting for Wolf Lake clearly stated that stakeholders would be notified by mail. Mike suggested that the the ENGO stakeholders were not notified. I was simplay asking for confirmation that this was indeed the case.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2011, 2:13 pm 
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JF wrote:
Did this notification to stakeholders not take place? Were environmental groups not on the mailout list?


No, this notification did not take place.

The only reason we even heard about it because one - yes, only one - member of Friends of Temagami received a notice by mail. This member contacted Friends of Temagami, to inquire about the situation, and this was the first we had heard about it.

In 2007, Friends of Temagami and CPAWS launched a legal "Application for Review" with the Environmental Commisioner's Office of Ontario. These two NGOs went through all the proper legal channels to voice our concern over this environmentally unique area.

MNR's official response at the time was that they would hold off on any decisions that would affect this area. They specifically asked all stakeholders "not to go back to our various interest groups and stir up support"
We obliged, and waited patiently to hear back from MNR on this matter.


Then, a quiet EBR posting pops up out of nowhere.

Friends of Temagami were not notified.
Earthroots were not notified.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society were not notified.
I was on the MNR mailing list in 2008, however, I wasn't notified.

Who knows how many other "stakeholders" were not notified?
or
Maybe MNR dosen't consider the above mentioned organizations and individuals to be "stakeholders", which begs the question: if we aren't, just who is a "stakeholder"?


JF:

I am not suggesting that MNR did not notify these groups: I know this to be a fact.
I sense from your tone that you are defending these actions on behalf of the MNR. Please clarify if I am misunderstanding your statements.


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