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In The News
FOT Responds to Sudbury FMP
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 14:21

In reaction to the Sturgeon River Crossing Proposal as part of the Sudbury Forest Management Plan, FOT has responded with three letters that address our concerns.

FOT has reviewed the proposal in depth and has concluded that a new crossing would negatively effect the Park.  The principle behind our decision is the fact that this particular stretch of river is truly the last stretch of untouched wilderness in the Sturgeon River Waterway Park, and needs to stay that way.

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User Conflicts in the Temagami Area.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 17:18

by Ed MacPherson

camp In early May this year, I went into Yorston Lake planning to travel up the Yorston River to Talking Falls and then go into Mudchannel Lakeand crossover into the Pinetorch Conservation Reserve.  I arrived on Yorston Saturday, May 9th planning to stay for Sunday as well, before heading into Seagram Lake. 

The area in and around Yorston, Linger and Seagram Lakes is classed as an Integrated Management Area, under the Temagami Land Use Plan.  That means that many activities are allowed……including logging, mining, hunting, fishing, motor boating, motorized camping, public motorized access, new motorized and non-motorized trail development etc, etc.  So I was expecting to see some motorboats, ATVers , fishermen, maybe, remnants of past logging activities, etc.

Yorston at one time was a very pretty lake, but a fire in the NW corner has taken a toll on the landscape, that is now slowly coming back with new growth. Unfortunately the fire also wiped out the few campsites located on the islands in the upper narrows, such that there are only 2 campsites remaining in the north end of the lake. 

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MNR loses forestry
Monday, 27 July 2009 12:52

If you search natural resources on You Tube there is a video of the present Minister of Natural Resources, Donna Cansfield planting trees. Ironic, considering that her legacy as the Minister of the MNR will be that she was the Minister who allowed forestry to be removed from the MNR.

By separating the management of forestry from the rest of the natural ecosystem Dalton McGinty and his Liberal government of Ontario have made a move that is not scientifically or logically sane. Scientifically, forestry management is integral to the management of all the natural resources in the natural ecosystem. Our natural resources are interdependent and should be managed as such. The way the forests are managed affects the fish, animals, birds, land and the water. Properly managed forest cutting for example can be used as a moose management strategy. Improper cutting can raise water temperature or pollute water and destroy fish stocks.

Giving forestry to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines with the mandate according to the Deputy Minister of stimulating it back to some form of profitability is nothing more than an excuse to rape the forest resource. Accountability to the public for forest management has been a serious concern with the MNR in Northern Ontario but at least there is legislation in place to allow for public involvement.  The MNR’s public involvement process has been far from perfect so why would the Liberals give forestry to MNDM a Ministry with an even more dubious record of allowing public involvement.

When the North American economy recovers demand for wood products will increase and the forestry industry will recover. If there has been incompetence in the MNR’s forest management then why wasn’t there a Minister of Natural Resources appointed capable of doing the job and correcting the problems? Where is the wisdom in creating a whole new bureaucracy to manage the forest? Why are the politicians of Ontario bent on destroying the Ministry of Natural Resources?

For all of us who use and value the natural resources of Northern Ontario it is time to stand up and be counted. A viable MNR, accountable to the public is the best way to protect our natural resources. Act before our natural resources go from the fry pan into the fire.

Gaye Smith
Former Chairman  -  Temagami Stewardship Council

 
Temagami Forests Under New Management
Friday, 03 July 2009 18:56

"Forestry has been carved off to renew itself.” said Minister Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay, referring to the recent transfer of Forest Management from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to the new Ministry of Northern Development Mines and Forestry (MNDMF).

This resource-based super Ministry has been facilitated to maximize forestry opportunities in Ontario.  This is resting on the reputation of the former MNDM, a ministry that has been very successful and with ministry staff known to battle other departments for the best interest of the mining industry.   Details have not been announced, including which files and responsibilities will move over to MNDMF and what roll MNR will play if any.

The political belief is that MNDMF, as with mining, must have the authority over forestry’s guiding legislation, in this case the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA), forest management planning, industry relations, forest operations and related approvals processes.

Of concern for Friends of Temagami are the implications and potential to lessen the voice of concern for natural heritage and cultural values found within the forests of Temagami.  Will public input still be considered valuable and relevant is the big question for Temagami recreationists and environmentalists.  Will the newly appointed steward of the forests administer the forests of Temagami in a responsible and environmentally sustainable fashion that is fair for all the area stakeholders’ interests?

Though everyone is still awaiting more details, those across Northwestern Ontario with a direct stake in forestry are reacting favorably to having forestry under the direction of a local government minister who knows the industry. This is of course understandable as northern communities have been hit hard by the economic downslide.

The Ontario forest industry has spent decades ensuring the highest sustainable forestry standards in the world. The new economic development focus in the government is expected to promote and market that side of the forest industry now with a clear mandate to promote economic development and improve our competitiveness.  All this is consistent with Premier McGuinty’s promise to make the economy a priority and to make Ontario ‘Open for Business’.

 
Pinetorch Creek
Thursday, 28 May 2009 14:05

 

pinetorch_creek

Pinetorch Creek above Twinkle Lake

This picture was taken May 15, 2009.  While much of the district is experiencing high waterlevels from the freshet of a higher than average snow pack, Pinetorch Creek flow is quite low.  This is typical of a head water watershed with a small drainage area.  Pinetorch Creek flows into Ames Creek. 

 

 
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