Below are the Wilderness Canoe Association's comments to the MNR's boundary definition, and the MNR's response.
To: October 27, 2000Dorothy Shaver
Parry Sound District MNR
Subject: OLL Area C36, McCrae Lake
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the boundaries for the Conservation Reserve C36. Decisions taken now will affect the long-range future of the Reserve; thus let me detail where I see problems, and suggest possible measures that should be addressed.
2. ATV use of the trails and roads in the Reserve is a severe threat to the ecology, as acknowledged in this years meeting between canoeist, snowmobilers and the MNR. Now is the time to devise strategies that minimize the anticipated damage. An effective measure could be to designate areas that are off-limit to motorized access and setting aside a budget to manage/enforce such restrictions.
3. The last years have witnessed some motor boats being carried into McCrae Lake. Given the extensive use by canoeists and the small size of the lake, no motorized craft should operate on McCrae Lake.
4. Conflicts already have arisen from the different uses and the perceived need to have separate trails/roads. With the anticipated increased use, a trail plan that separates motorized travel from low-impact use (hiking, canoeing, cross country skiing) should be established. Such a plan should also aim at minimizing the number of roads/trails and their impact on the environment.
5. As the area is already heavily used, its formalization as a Conservation Reserve is likely to result in increased usage in the future. A plan must be established that will control degradation of the area from over-use. Re-designation of the Reserve to an operating park may not be a bad idea.
6. Because of the already high use of the area, the management of garbage is a problem that should be addressed by the MNR: especially, the parking lot must have proper garbage disposal facilities.
Environmental Representative, Wilderness Canoe Association
November 7, 2000