View topic - Ontario MNR makes it easier to maintain/work on(?) trails...

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PostPosted: December 19th, 2012, 4:23 pm 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2510
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Phil, your work is always admirable. To date, I haven't had any luck protecting those in-between lake ports. In the area I am in, a minimum buffer on both sides of the port would be 100 meters to minimize blowdown. I'm not saying I was laughed at when I suggested this, but over a 1 kilometer port, the amount of wood not available for harvest is considered to be too steep. In some cases, we have been left with a road that we are forced to relocate on, or more frequently, a road with a series of new trails we try to re-establish through the cutovers. Portages don't survive the skidders, slashers, delimiters, no matter how lofty the intentions. The problem that occurs after we establish the trail is the phenomenal rate of regrowth. If the trail is not used and cut every year, it disappears almost immediately.

There are sections of some routes up here that I have effectively given up on. It takes about 20 years for a cutover to resemble a forest again...that's a lot of yearly or bi-yearly maintenance.

We have in-between lake ports that have been destroyed by forest fires too. They also demand a lot of continual work. The difference is that after a forest fire, sections of the port actually still exist, the path is often apparent, so re-establishing is not as difficult.

I'm always in awe of the folks like Phil who immerse themselves in the Orwellian language of FMP stuff. I'm more of an on the ground kind of guy, but many of our routes have already benefited from Phil's non stop efforts.


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PostPosted: December 19th, 2012, 7:35 pm 
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Joined: February 7th, 2004, 12:37 pm
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Location: Guelph, ON
Curly wrote:
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For instance, portages in Algonquin Park receive, I think, 60 m on either side. Portages in other parks of the province, even on officially-designated routes, receive NOTHING.


Algonquin has some portage protection because there is logging within its boundaries.
Logging does not occur in other Provincial Parks. The portages are protected by the Park Boundaries.


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PostPosted: December 19th, 2012, 9:21 pm 
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Joined: January 22nd, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Ed beat me to one of the points I wanted to make but I'm going to post my response to what Curly wrote earlier anyway. . .
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There are two parts to the solution. First is to have a province-wide organization speak on behalf of canoe routes. There are a small number of regional or local groups doing this work, but this is insufficient. The second part is to have a province-wide minimum standard for canoe route designation and protection. For instance, portages in Algonquin Park receive, I think, 60 m on either side. Portages in other parks of the province, even on officially-designated routes, receive NOTHING.
I am excited by the interest contributors have expressed in this thread. I truly hope that all CCR members are taking the trouble to read them.

I agree that we need a provincial organization to represent the interest of paddlers. Resouce-based tourism operators and their interests are well represented by their well-heeled organization. Alas, paddlers lack the same unity and have little say in environmental issues that affect Ontario’s canoe route values.

Curly’s second point needs clarification. Algonquin is the only provincial park that permits timber harvesting which explains why it has a prescription for the protection of portages. Canoe routes and their land-based values (i.e., portages, campsites, viewpoints, etc.) in all other parks are protected. That said, we should not dismiss this protective measure out of hand--it is an accepted 'standard' that we should adopt in other canoe route conservancy efforts.

Much of this thread is related to the frustrations some contributors have experienced in attempting to win recognition and better protection for canoe routes that lie on the province’s Crown lands and not those that lie within provincial parks and conservation reserves. These routes are subject to the impacts or road development, forestry and mining activities as well as natural disturbances such as blowdowns and forest fires.

I sincerely hope the dialogue begun in this thread will continue and I’m grateful to CCR for providing a venue where we paddlers can gather to discuss these concerns.


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