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

It is currently December 10th, 2019, 11:31 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 83 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: November 8th, 2011, 2:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 941
Once again, the Ontario Government is pushing to remove protection from the world's largest remaining Old Growth Red Pine forest, smack dab in the middle of the Chiniguchi Waterway Park, thus opening this popular paddling destination up to industry and resource extraction.

The Ontario MNR has been pushing to remove the Forest Reserve protective status from this Old Growth forest for years... and they've always been met with considerable resistance against this initiative.

After the last public outcry, the issue died down for a couple of years...

Then out of nowhere, the issue is back in the spotlight again: a quiet EBR posting was issued in June, with a short comment period, and local environmental groups weren't even informed... :tsk:

... Must have thought we weren't paying attention anymore... :lol:

The full story is posted here:
http://ottertooth.com/Temagami/newsbriefs.htm


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 8th, 2011, 4:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8937
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Well were we paying attention? Or is it no accident these comment periods coincide with peak paddling season?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 8th, 2011, 6:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 16th, 2010, 8:46 am
Posts: 299
Location: Ontario
This is a very special area….well worth protecting….as described by Brian Back on Ottertooth, http://ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini5.htm:

"THE WORLD'S LARGEST remaining old-growth red pine forest surrounds Wolf Lake, containing trees between 140 and 300 years old. Canoeists paddle through, captivated by the rugged ridges, crystal-clear water and quartzite scarps, oblivious to the ecological treasure surrounding them."

Maybe it is worthwhile reviewing this situation as outlined originally last summer:

The issue in a nutshell:

The Forest Reserve land use designation that protects Wolf Lake is proposed to be dropped where it coincides with mineral exploration leases, but not where it coincides with mineral exploration claims. The Forest Reserve for south Matagamasi Lake where the land issue is all mining claim, is proposed to be removed. Reasonably equivalent features in a land replacement area of 2195.7 ha will be added to the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park. Commercial forestry and commercial aggregate extraction will not be permitted within the mining lease area.

Background:

Under Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (1999) forest reserves were created where potential protected areas coincided with pre-existing mineral exploration tenure such as mining claims and leases. Forest reserves recognize these exploration and mine development rights, but other industrial uses (forestry, commercial aggregates) are not permitted. The intention was that forest reserves would become individual or additions to provincial parks or conservation reserves if the tenure lapsed through normal processes. The forest reserve designation would remain as long as the mining claim or lease was in good standing.

Organizations like Friends of Temagami and Earthroots opposed the proposed changes....FOT's response was:

"FOT is concerned to read on the Environmental Registry that the proposal intends to remove Wolf Lake and south Matagamasi as a Forest Reserve from the waterway park by reclassifying it as a General Use or Enhanced Management Area. We have been concerned with the Wolf Lake disentanglement process since being made aware of the issue in 2007.

Since that time we submitted a joint Application for Review on January 8th, 2008 with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) that requested that the Minister of Natural Resources undertake to regulate the Wolf Lake Forest Reserve (F175) as a protected area under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act 2006 (PPCRA). Following this Application for Review, we were invited to attend a stakeholder’s meeting on May 6th, 2008 at MNR offices in Sudbury. FOT has now submitted our continuing concerns to MNR and are described below.

Our goal for this area and for all of the Temagami backcountry has always been to preserve the natural environmental and wilderness recreational values for future generations. The Wolf Lake Forest Reserve’s international significance as the largest contiguous Old Growth Red Pine Forest – arguably in the world – dictates that the Province must do everything in its power to minimize the threat of mining and development and to regulate it as a protected area.

Upon reviewing the proposed major amendment to this area, we have expressed to the MNR the following comments:

1) As stated in the EBR description, the Ontario Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (1999), created forest reserves where there was conflict with existing mineral explorations claims and leases and potential protected areas. So it must have been accepted that the leases would be included from the start of the Living Legacy process.

2) A number of the Wolf Lake claims/leases have fallen in and out of good standing over the years. (The claim history information is available on the MNDMF Mining website) Many of the claims have been extended such that claims filed in 1980 are still in effect now in 2011, a total of 31 years. FOT senses some of the mining claims do not appear to be lapsing in the normal manner. After 31 years of exploration effort, nothing of value has been found on the Wolf Lake claims. The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forests (MNDMF) has told us that the area has mineral potential. This appears to be based solely on the quantity of exploration activity and not on any mineral findings and confirming studies.

3) If MNR removes the Forest Reserve designations from Wolf and Matagamasi Lakes, it would be extremely difficult to complete the Chiniguchi Waterway Park, when these claims finally lapse.

4) We are pleased with the proposed amendment to keep the Forest Reserve designation for the mining claims within that portion of F175 in Mackelcan Township, and to include these claims into the Chiniguchi Waterway Park in the event that the claims should lapse.

5) Due to the area’s unique ecological characteristics, FOT strongly opposes removal of any protection of the Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest Reserve or in the south Matagamasi Lake area, which is covered by the current mining leases. The fact that the Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest is ecologically unique makes it simply irreplaceable. In addition, due to the area’s rugged beauty, the Wolf Lake and the Matagamasi Lake areas have become popular camping, hiking, and canoeing destinations and are already showing signs of overuse, also contributing to the area’s environmental degradation. The removal of the current Forest Reserve designation on these areas with a change to a ‘General Use’ or ‘Enhanced Management’ area is sure to complicate any future plans and necessary regulation of the addition of these areas to the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park. .

6) FOT appreciates the proposal that would convert the East side of Chiniguchi Lake from Forest Reserve to Park status, but question why the entire lake is not being proposed for park status.

7) FOT would like to encourage the Government of Ontario to protect this world-class eco-tourism destination and to maintain status quo on current Forest Reserve designation, until such time as the mining claims and leases lapse, and can be added to the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park."

One of my favourite places in Temagami to canoe trip is the Chiniguchi….for more on the canoe routes through this area see Ottertooth: Chiniguchi, http://ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chiniguchi.htm.

Chiniguchi (/chi-ni-goo’chee/) is described by Brian Back, in Ottertooth: Chiniguchi – A General Overview, http://ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini1.htm, as:

"There are plenty of canoeists who have never heard of Chiniguchi — Temagami West. They’ve missed the royal-blue lakes and relatively easy portaging between its good-sized lakes.

Crystalline lagoons, old-growth red pine, aboriginal pictographs, and hilltop lookouts keep most canoeists on an easy-to-reach band of lakes — Chiniguchi, Wolf and Matagamasi — at the core. A quartzite band of rock running from Chiniguchi to Wolf Lake makes it reminiscent of Killarney, but without the travel restrictions of a park. Get off these often-bustling destinations and the rest of the area is yours."

If you haven’t been to the Chiniguchi area, then plan on taking a canoe trip there….and add your voice to others who love this very special place. Even if you haven’t yet experienced Chiniguchi for yourself, your comments are very welcome. It is very important that we protect….and continue to do so….such beautiful natural areas.

There is a need to protect the whole Temagami area….I think about the possibility of all of Temagami becoming a national (or even provincial) park, similar to the Adirondack Park in New York….how doing so could provide for better protection of Temagami as a whole.

But the truth of the matter is that such a process will likely take several years to achieve….if it ever is to happen. In the meantime, it is imperative that we find a way to protect those gems to be found in Temagami….to maintain the best protection of such areas as possible.

One such gem is the area around Wolf Lake.

Please add your voice to those of such groups as the FOT (in fact if you aren’t already a member of the Friends of Temagami, consider joining)….let the MNR know what you think should be done to protect such a very special place.

Paddles up until later then….don’t hesitate to voice your opinions on this matter….maybe together we can keep the changes proposed for Wolf Lake from any further ‘howling at the door’....the fight is not over yet....far from it....even if the MNR and others think that paddlers 'hibernate' for the winter....we are very much awake....and paying attention....

_________________
[i]And the paddle, in the water, is a long, lost friend.
There are times I’d like to wander down a river without end,
In a hull of flowing cedar, carved by knowing hands....[/i]
From [i]Shield[/i] by Dave Hadfield

http://reflectionsoutdoors.wordpress.c


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 8th, 2011, 7:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 16th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1488
Location: Ontario, Canada
Mike McIntosh wrote:
Then out of nowhere, the issue is back in the spotlight again: a quiet EBR posting was issued in June, with a short comment period, and local environmental groups weren't even informed... :tsk:

... Must have thought we weren't paying attention anymore... :lol:

Maybe "must have hoped we weren't paying attention anymore" might be a better term. That seems to be the method of choice for the MNR on these types of issues.

From my visit there a few years ago, the area around Wolf Lake was subject to many core samples drilled into the land over many years that are still present today. Rusty pipes of metal strewn everywhere. But nothing of real value was ever found that would have made the mining lease worth perusing.

And if I have my facts straight, the original owner of the mining claims who's name escapes me did another inventory of the area not that long ago using high tech equipment and found other metals that might make the claims worth something? Palladium and platinum? With the word "might" being the key one.

Given that the Ring of Fire in the further reaches of Northern Ontario now in the steps of being developed holds this valued palladium and is drawing high dollars from the mining companies to get to it, finding similar metals like this in a low hanging areas might prove far more lucrative to the mining companies.

I wonder if this inventory may have sparked the latest round from the MNR to exploit the area?

If I am mistaken on any of these statements, please feel free to correct me.

Regardless, the Wolf Lake area needs voices to speak out for it more so today than ever before if it is to ever be protected and become part of the Chiniguchi Waterway Park. The home it should have had years ago. Along with the ancient forests that live in it.

It would be a sad thing to loose this environmentally significant and beautiful area that could be part of a larger waterway park many use as an escape from the world only to find it eaten up by the same world they tried to escape from. :(

_________________
The Wilderness needs strong voices to protect it. And yours can be one of them.
Visit the Friends of Temagami website to learn more.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 8th, 2011, 7:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8937
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Quote:
.I think about the possibility of all of Temagami becoming a national (or even provincial) park, similar to the Adirondack Park in New York


There is no shreiking icon..NO NO NO. Temagami is NOW like the Adirondacks. Its been an uphill battle with land use regulation and the ADKs remain a patchwork of public and private interests.

The Adirondacks are NOT a singular protected park.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 9th, 2011, 8:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 16th, 2010, 8:46 am
Posts: 299
Location: Ontario
Kim, my understanding of Adirondack State Park was that there were regulations in place to protect the entire area of the park....including private and public lands....I don't know about the entire Adirondack region....I assume not outside the park....my point regarding Temagami is that it is a patchwork of several parks, reserves, preserves etc....as well as crown land and of course private lands....and the result is different levels of protection....different levels of use....with various regulations involved....as a result we can have situations like Wolf Lake occur....with so many different designations and each classification with a different set of rules....the result (in JMHO) is that it can be kind of like a 'divide and conquer' mentality....if such and such an area is 'under attack', then it's kind of like a brush fire....'put out' one problem and another one can 'ignite'....and the energy of like minded volunteer groups such as FOT is spent taking on MNR in protecting each and every situation....which can sap into the energy of the individuals involved in such groups...and in such action....

If we had a mandate that protected ALL of Temagami, there would still be issues....that would still require attention....but there could be a more uniform set of regulations dealing with any problems....there could be more environmental controls in place....public and private interests (such as cottagers, camps, even resource interests such as logging companies) would still be in place....but with better environmental protection....and the overall development of Temagami area as a full park could also contribute to a better economy for the town of Temagami as a potential base for park operations....

_________________
[i]And the paddle, in the water, is a long, lost friend.
There are times I’d like to wander down a river without end,
In a hull of flowing cedar, carved by knowing hands....[/i]
From [i]Shield[/i] by Dave Hadfield

http://reflectionsoutdoors.wordpress.c


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 9th, 2011, 9:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8937
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
There is no such thing as Adirondack State Park. It is not a single entity. It is a patchwork of and private and public holdings. Several agencies oversee regulations that are sometimes conflicting. The Blue Line as defined in Wikipedia does not really exist on the terms that is given. Several thousand people own private property within that boundary. Once upon a time I was one of them.

Natural resource extraction continues with in the Blue Line. This article gives an overview of the patchwork of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

http://offices.colgate.edu/bselleck/Rea ... ndacks.pdf

In some ways formation of a "Park" in both the Adirondacks and Temagami faces similar concurrent challenges.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 9th, 2011, 9:51 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 16th, 2010, 8:46 am
Posts: 299
Location: Ontario
Thanks Kim for clarifying that....certainly does sound like situation in Temagami....

It is still my personal opinion that overal protection of Temagami....all of Temagami....not just piece meal sections....is essential for the preservation of this amazing area....whether this is through designation as a National Park or whatever it may be called, I believe it is imperative for the long term protection of Temagami....

_________________
[i]And the paddle, in the water, is a long, lost friend.
There are times I’d like to wander down a river without end,
In a hull of flowing cedar, carved by knowing hands....[/i]
From [i]Shield[/i] by Dave Hadfield

http://reflectionsoutdoors.wordpress.c


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 10th, 2011, 11:29 am 
Offline

Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 941
The sad reality with the Wolf Lake issue, is this whole problem exists because of some old prospector who believes that he's sitting on a gold mine (or a platinum mine... depending on who he's trying to convince to invest in his mine...)

The truth of the matter is, this Calgary based mining company - Flag Resources - has been de-listed from the stock exchange, and the company's CEO has been fined and prevented fom ever running a publicly traded company, due to his numerous financial wrongdoings.

And the people of Ontario have to lose another piece of wilderness, all for the benefit of some mining speculators...

You've got to ask:
What are MNR's priorities? This is the Ministry that is supposed to be protecting our Natural Resources... :tsk:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 10th, 2011, 11:50 am 
Offline

Joined: August 25th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2129
Yes, it appears the MNR's original concept and plan for protecting this unique and valuable natural asset has somehow been changed to support the rights of this Calgary based mining company. Perhaps MNR staffers who first supported long term protection of the area through the expansion of Parks and protecting unique ecosystems have all since moved on, that and the original intent and mandate of Lands for Life is no longer of interest to the MNR.

_________________
www.friendsoftemagami.org


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 10th, 2011, 12:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 16th, 2010, 8:46 am
Posts: 299
Location: Ontario
Wolf Lake needs better protection....and maybe alscool is right regarding 'MNR staffers who first supported long term protection of the area through the expansion of Parks and protecting unique ecosystems have all since moved on'....we need to be remain vigilant in protecting Temagami....especially given a report earlier this year out of Temagami, http://www.northernontariobusiness.com/ ... urism.aspx:

With a municipal economic development strategy being developed over the spring, Hodgson said he’d like to see the community’s growth to be focused primarily around the natural resource industry.

“By making ourselves more competitive by adding cell service and things of that nature, we’ll have that other plank so we can go from not only a cottage and tourist destination, but hopefully, to a natural resource destination also,” said John Hodgson, mayor (of Temagami).

“I want it all.”

With 50 kilometres of frontage along the TransCanada Highway, as well as access to rail and services, the community has demonstrated mineral potential through a series of historical, past-producing mines, including the Sherman iron mine. It’s something he prepares to preach as he gears up for the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention in Toronto, and as he looks at similar opportunities in the forestry sector.

To help stimulate those and other developments, town council is looking to reduce property taxes by six per cent, a target he admits may be too lofty, but one worth striving for regardless.


There is still obviously a desire to see natural resource based industries such as mining and forestry in Temagami....and a move away from tourism....which is an obstacle possibly in a future full park status for the area....

_________________
[i]And the paddle, in the water, is a long, lost friend.
There are times I’d like to wander down a river without end,
In a hull of flowing cedar, carved by knowing hands....[/i]
From [i]Shield[/i] by Dave Hadfield

http://reflectionsoutdoors.wordpress.c


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 10th, 2011, 1:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: February 20th, 2008, 6:05 pm
Posts: 494
It is interesting to note that some comments from local residents at the bottom of that article (link provided by WnC) support the idea of a mine - not all, but some. The fact is that small northern towns, and probably sounthern ones as well, are searching for any source of revenue to survive. Mines obviously create jobs, which secure a more stable population base, which generates tax dollars. You can't blame the mayor for searching for alternatives. If only the creation of parks could do the same thing.....


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 10th, 2011, 5:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 16th, 2010, 8:46 am
Posts: 299
Location: Ontario
Not to get lost in any debate, Wolf Lake still needs protection....

However, JF, I'm not sure what idea you elaborated to in the last post....and the mayor of Temagami also discussed getting a zipline operation going in town....and personally I believe the town of Temagami will be better served as a possible base of operations for a park....far more sustainable....mining and forestry only last as long as the resources do....maybe ecotourism is more realistic than mining or forestry....maybe even longer enduring....

And spots like Wolf Lake could be better protected if full park status is given....

_________________
[i]And the paddle, in the water, is a long, lost friend.
There are times I’d like to wander down a river without end,
In a hull of flowing cedar, carved by knowing hands....[/i]
From [i]Shield[/i] by Dave Hadfield

http://reflectionsoutdoors.wordpress.c


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 10th, 2011, 10:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: February 20th, 2008, 6:05 pm
Posts: 494
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: November 11th, 2011, 9:11 am 
Offline

Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 941
Just to clarify;
The Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest is located on the extreme Western side of what is known as the Temagami Backcountry - this part of Temagami would be accessed from the Sudbury side via Hwy. 17 - not from Temagami.

The argument that a mining operation at Wolf Lake would provide jobs in Temagami is null and void.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 83 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group