What is a stakeholder of an area?

If you canoe regularly in an area, your enjoyment of that area will be affected by changes. Turning the area into a park will be a welcome turn of events while the opening of a garbage dump there would give you grief. Thus, you would like to participate in shaping the future of the area. You are a potential stakeholder. Get in touch with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and let yourself be registered as a Stakeholder. The webpages listed on the left side tell you how. This initiative is sponsored by the Wilderness Canoe Association.

The stakeholder concept has been around forever, even though many stakeholders of the north never got a say in its development. What is new is the trend amongst governments to let users share the definition and control of an area's future. This concept will only work if we, as canoeists, are willing to exercise our right.

In Ontario, the Environmental Bill of Rights includes a public registry for governmental activities that have an environmental impact, and Ontario's new land Use Strategy (Ontario Living Legacy - OLL, July 1999) formally recognizes the role of stakeholders. One category of managed land types are Enhanced Management Areas (EMAs) where "Resource Stewardship Agreements (RSAs) process will formalize the relationship between resource-based tourism (that's us, the self-guided canoeists) and the resource industries,  and will encourage the sharing of information and mutual problem solving". Many organizations are experienced and organized for such activity, such as snowmobile clubs and hunter/fishermen's organizations. It is only natural that canoeists should participate in this process. This website is meant to assist and coordinate such efforts in Ontario's canoeing country - where we have a defined set of rules and known set of players in the land use game.