Practical Experiences

  1. The McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve
    McCrae Lake is a small Lake, less than 2 hours north of Toronto, easily accessible off Highway 400, pretty and thus has been a mainstay for southern Ontario canoeist for as long as I can remember. It now is being protected as part the Living Legacy land use strategy. But, just a few days prior to getting OLL protected status, a local snow mobile club got permission from the MNR to build a road right beside that reserve, with a bridge to mar the area's most beautiful spot. For the background, read "The Bridge at McCrae Lake".
    Since then, the area has been subject to Living Legacy consultation. Click here for the announcement, and comments that were submitted to the MNR.
  2. Kawartha Highlands (P26): MNR's efforts to gather stakeholders in the area
    Observe how the process starts, with forms and correspondence. My thanks to King Baker for alerting me that the local ministry office has was started to "go public". The MNR's glossy flier for the area indicates that
The MNR will establish a local stakeholder committee to work with the ministry and Ontario Parks to determine the most appropriate protection designation for the area provincial park or conservation reserve. The committee will also assist in finalizing the protected area boundary; developing management policies; and developing and implementing costewartship management of the area (Feb 2000)
new.gif (941 bytes)In August 2001, the Local Stakeholder Committee published their draft recommendations. A meeting was called for August 25 (I was notified too late to attend) but one can submit further input until Sept. 30, 2001 and possibly Oct. 31. The draft stresses conservation and I urge you to submit your comments to support that approach. Click here to see how the Wilderness Canoe Association has replied.
  1. Spanish Forest: the review of a logging plan

The Spanish Forest covers an area between Sudbury and Chapleau, about 200 km diagonally across. This is a much as five Algonquin Parks would cover, and contains prime canoeing country that includes the Spanish, the Mississagi, the Aux Sables, and a host of lesser known rivers. It is Domtar's "turf", i.e. they log the crownland there, have a huge mapping data base that shows the resource (we call it trees) and have filed plan that explains how they will go about their business over the next 5 years. The MNR's Espanola's office is responsible for maintaining the values data base (with canoe routes, portages, moose feeding areas, hawks' and eagles' nests, areas significant to the natives, etc), for running a process of review by the public of this plan and  ultimately its approval.

The Spanish Forest - five times the size of Algonquin Park
The Draft Forest Management Plan - 5 binders and maybe 10 lbs of maps
Written Critique - what a canoeist finds wrong...
... and the MNR's written response - don't get discouraged!
A follow-up meeting - there's futility and there's hope!
The Final Forest Management Plan - some changes were made
Next steps
  1. The Credit River at Norval: a failed legal challenge
    (or: What happens if you let them build a dam and didn't get documented portage rights)