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

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PostPosted: November 18th, 2011, 4:02 pm 
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Mike:
No I am not defending or supporting any action on this issue. On the contrary - I was asking for clarification on what actions were taken. I suppose your experience and history with the MNR is totally differnet that mine. A tone was not intended although I do find it difficult to believe that overt actions are/were knowingly taken by the MNR when it comes to consultation, especially with an EBR posting involved and especially on a known hot topic. By and of itself that is a recipe for failure. It has been my experience that stakeholders on any MNR mailing list will generally keep getting letters after death, until somebody takes the time to update the list. That is why I find it so hard to believe. Have you recieved any reasons explaining why these groups were not included? Has anybody pursued this further? It seems contrary to the fundamental interests of the EBR.


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2011, 10:31 am 
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Let's be honest here...
It doesn't take a genius to figure out why MNR didn't encourage input from the NGO stakeholder organizations:
They knew that organizations like CPAWS, Earthroots, and Friends of Temagami would not be in favour of removing protection from the Old Growth forest, so they were conveniently dropped from the stakeholder list.

Interestingly, even though MNR failed to notify these groups, there was still an outpouring of public outcry over this EBR posting - approx. 350 letters against the EBR posting can't be ignored.


It should also be noted, that it was a member of this forum, whose name was still on the MNR mailing list, that originally brought this issue to the attention of Friends of Temagami. :clap:

Many thanks to that CCR member (you know who you are... :thumbup: )
and to organizations like Friends of Temagami, who keep fighting to save what little is left of the wild areas that we love to paddle.
:clap:


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2011, 5:24 pm 
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
I find the whole idea of removing protection for the Wolf Lake area deeply repulsive. I first paddled through there in August 1982 as a guide for the Taylor Statten Camps (Wapomeo), and was through there several other times up until the mid-80s. The whole waterway from Matagamasi up through Chiniguchi is a real treasure -- on par with some of the fine canoe country in my own backyard, the Boundary Waters-Quetico. To fragment the area is stunningly illogical, and the whole idea of doing so makes me wonder just who is pulling the strings at the MNR.

Back in the day I don't ever remember seeing any other paddlers in the area who weren't from our camp, or on rare occasion, another Temagami youth camp, but improved access to Matagamasi has apparently made the area increasingly popular with the general public and therefor even more important to preserve for future generations.


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PostPosted: November 23rd, 2011, 1:03 pm 
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Thanks for your comments :

I didn’t get to canoe through Wolf Lake for the first time until the spring of 2006, just after the last drilling rig was in there.
I wanted to see what this was all about. During the previous winter Flag Resources had brought in a driller to do some exploration on the West side of the lake on a campsite that canoeists had used in the past. The story, by Brian Back of Ottertooth is here:
http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/News ... fs-052.htm
The picture was taken by Micmac.

The picture tells a lot. What exploration company would hire a rig that looks to be about vintage 1940 to do some serious drilling?
Flag Resources is the holder of the leases on Wolf Lake. The company is/ was run by Murdo McCloud . Murdo has been playing about with Wolf Lake since the early 1980’s. Others with significant resources at their disposal started to explore there long before that, Inco and Falconbridge, but they found little of interest. McCloud subsequently purchased the claims, spent some small amount of money on them and got them turned into leases. Has anything been found? No. But he is hopeful that he will find the motherlode. McCloud is a mining stock promoter. I don’t know how many other claims /leases he holds around the country but he hires salespeople to promote the stock to raise some money...nothing illegal here. By doing that he has made commitments to his investors to at least drill a few holes to see if anything is down there so that he remains legal. So he brings in an ancient drilling rig and bores a few holes. Then he can say to his investors see ” I have made some effort to determine what is there, but I have found nothing of value”. He pays off the salesmen, and the driller and he pockets the surplus. Then he files his drilling report with the MNDM (Ministry of Northern Development and Mines) and everyone is happy.

MNDM tells us that because someone is drilling/exploring on Wolf Lake, there must be potential there. But nothing gets checked out to provide some clarity as to Flag’s findings.

So where are we now…
When you look at the lease history it becomes apparent that McCloud has been in arrears in his lease payments, but MNDM has continued to allow him to renew the leases. Instead of lapsing as they should have over time, they are in good standing. MNDM have been bending over backwards to keep Flag Resources in compliance with the lease requirements by renewing them every time he does a little bit more work.

And what about Flag Resources. Not exactly a stellar organization either. The Alberta Securities Commission removed Murdo McCloud from being able to hold a Director position in another Alberta Company because he failed to file results in 2004 and subsequent years. It took them until April 2011 to reach this decision and work through the appeal process that Flag Resources initiated.

MNDM want to remove the Forest Reserve status from Wolf Lake. Because having a semi protected status like this deters investment in an area due to the uncertainty of the protection in place. But this uncertainty hasn’t stopped McCloud.

So what did I find when I went to Wolf Lake……
In early May of 2006, I went to drilling site and saw lots of steel shells and cores lying about. But every drill hole had been subsequently filled with debris, except one, which had a small tree trunk stuck in the hole. I removed the tree and dropped a small stone down into the hole. Depth , about 10 feet or less. Maybe this was an anomaly hole and all the others went down several hundred feet. It was impossible to tell as they had been filled with debris. Is this standard practice in the industry?

Why would anyone go to the bother of drilling holes only 10 feet deep on a mining lease they were supposedly exploring.

On the basis of this type of work, MNDM is pushing MNR to remove the Forest Reserve Status on Wolf Lake.

MNDM needs to do some homework here and properly check out the validity of Flag Resource’s exploration efforts in this area before harassing MNR into making changes to the Land Use Status.


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PostPosted: December 12th, 2011, 10:22 am 
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An excellent article, published in the Toronto Star, about the issues facing the Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest in Temagami:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/110 ... ami-pledge

I particularly liked Mr. McLeod's responses to the reporter's questions about how his company has been delisted from the Stock Exchange... :roll:

Interesting (and very telling) reader comments posted as well.


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PostPosted: December 12th, 2011, 10:57 am 
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8 million spent on exploration ?

hmmmm?

I am smelling something odd here .....and it is not the pine trees.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2011, 12:58 pm 
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Just thought I'd share a bit on the Toronto Star article on Wolf Lake, http://reflectionsoutdoors.wordpress.co ... -the-door/.

And Kim is right....something not smelling quite right in some of comments by Mr. McLeod....such as:

....McLeod said he has no plans to build more roads, just “trails” that are wide enough for a truck. “When we are done, it will all go back to the way it was before.”

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2011, 3:22 pm 
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They want to build "trails" so they can squirt around the costs of putting in proper road drainages and bridges...
I wonder whether the MNR is going to relax the rules around that to..
(the costs for a real road are huge)
You know it is all about jobs and the economy :roll:
Where have I heard these lines before....
Another nail in the coffin on our enviroment.
Jeff
:cry:

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2011, 6:24 pm 
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WOLF LAKE FAX ACTION CENTRE

http://www.earthroots.org/index.php?opt ... Itemid=172


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PostPosted: December 13th, 2011, 8:28 am 
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Congrats to Earthroots for bringing this issue to the public's attention.

Front page news on the Toronto Star! :thumbup: With this kind of publicity, how can MNR continue to keep it's head buried in the sand...?

I think the most telling quote from the article is this one:
Quote:
“Instead of protecting the old-growth forest, they are trying to encourage investment in a company that even the stock exchange won't list,” Sone said.

The TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto delisted Flag Resources in 2005 for failing to meet listing requirements, an exchange spokesperson said. In 2006 the company was ordered to “cease trading” on Alberta and British Columbia exchanges as well.

In a letter sent to McLeod at the time, the TSX Venture Exchange said it found McLeod “unsuitable” to serve as a director and officer of a publicly traded company.




That last line - "The TSX Venture Exchange said it found McLeod "unsuitable" to serve as a director..."

This is who our Provincial Government is catering to? :o


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PostPosted: December 13th, 2011, 8:45 am 
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The plan to destroy old growth forest near Temagami is not a done deal, said the Minister of Natural Resources.

In the wake of a Star story about his ministry’s plans to remove protections for stands of 300-year-old red pine around Wolf Lake in northern Ontario, Minister Michael Gravelle said he will decide soon whether the area will be opened up for increased mining.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/poli ... -risk?bn=1

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PostPosted: December 13th, 2011, 9:32 am 
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Quote:
Temagami plan not a done deal as old-growth red pines at risk
Published On Tue Dec 13 2011
Moira Welsh and Robert Benzie Staff Reporter

The plan to destroy old growth forest near Temagami is not a done deal, said the Minister of Natural Resources.

In the wake of a Star story about his ministry’s plans to remove protections for stands of 300-year-old red pine around Wolf Lake in northern Ontario, Minister Michael Gravelle said he will decide soon whether the area will be opened up for increased mining.

“I will be speaking with my officials soon about that,” Gravelle said.

“There is no question that there is now an elevated interest in this issue,” he added, referring to the Star story.

The ministry wants to change the “forest reserve” designation for 340 hectares around Wolf Lake, located 50 kilometres from Temagami, to “general use,” which puts a greater focus on mining instead of forests and recreation.

The only company drilling in the region is Alberta’s Flag Resources, which has been delisted or forced to stop trading on stock exchanges across the country. It is currently not trading anywhere.

Flag Resources spokesperson Murdo McLeod said Monday he expects the company will begin drilling for gold in January.

Yesterday, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he has paddled the pristine lakes and rivers around Temagami, but was unaware of how threatened they are by his own government’s policy until he read the Star on Monday.

“I have in fact taken my boys — at the end of every summer we take a canoe trip and we’ve been to Temagami. It’s a great place, beautiful forests, great freshwater lakes — clean freshwater lakes – and it’s first I’ve learned about it this morning,” McGuinty told reporters at an Aurora high school.

“I want to make sure that we are striking the right balance when it comes to protecting a rich, natural resource like the forest and the lakes there and ensuring that northerners have an opportunity to grow their economy and to be employed,” he said.

The premier was noncommittal on whether he would intervene.

“I leave it to the ministers to make sure that we strike the right balance,” he said, referring to his two cabinet underlings overseeing the issue. “I’m not aware of all the details.”

The natural resources ministry said it thought it had worked out a compromise by giving a forest reserve designation to a larger area farther north.

But Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller and environmental groups, like Earthroots, say it is impossible to replicate the soaring old pines of Wolf Lake because they are North America’s largest remaining continuous forest of old-growth red pine.

Brian Back of Ottertooth.com, an environmental website, said any new mining will have a “massive impact” on the area’s fragile ecosystem.

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PostPosted: December 13th, 2011, 4:13 pm 
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There is also a petition going around now on the internet as well. More ways to get voices heard.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/pro ... ke-te.html

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PostPosted: December 13th, 2011, 4:27 pm 
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Thanks for the link Stajanleafs.

I signed the online petition. Anything that might help protect the Wolf Lake area is worth a try.

The area should be protected and become part of the Chiniguchi Waterway P. Park.

If anyone else knows of anything else we can do to help, please let us know.

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PostPosted: December 13th, 2011, 7:09 pm 
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Locale media coverage:

http://www.cbc.ca/video/popup_audio.htm ... stnews.wma

http://northernontario.ctv.ca/northbay/ ... deo=585349


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