The Spanish River
under threat from the Lands for Life proposal of Oct 30,
Sample Letters that demand preservation of the lands
This is what some folks wrote.
You may write your own letter as fancy or as simple as you like, but Do write....
* from Gord Gallant:
Dear Mr. Harris, I am sending you this e-mail as a response to an e-mail I
received from a friend of mine, Erhard Kraus, who is genuinely concerned about our natural
heritage and preservation of a river system that is vital to ecotourism in Ontario - and
now so am I.
His website address is http://www.interlog.com/~erhard/lfl1.htm
I strongly urge you to visit it - it is very thorough and informative!
I am responsible for the "Birding in Canada" and "Ontario Birding Home
Page" websites (URL's list at end of e-mail). They play a big part in ecotourism in
Ontario and Canada.
As a contributor to ecotourism and nature awareness in Ontario, and Canada, I ask that ALL
the river is designated as park, not just the river below the forks, but also: the East
and West Branches, and the Side Trip Route (that leads through Lake Pogomasing, Kennedy
Bluewater Lake and the Mogo River).
I also insist that the park extends beyond the narrow shore strip to include large areas
of the valley, such as the proposed Spanish River Valley Old Pine Park.
Many naturalists and birdwatchers throughout the globe visit my website and often request
natural areas in which to pursue their hobbies, be that nature photography, birdwatching,
canoeing, fishing, or hiking. Destruction of vast areas of natural habitat will have a
negative effect to not just our natural beauty that we are proud of, but also to all of
the flower and fauna that currently exists in the targeted areas.
Leaving small portions untouched will not help much. The damage will have been done
upstream and saving a very small visible portion will have little effect in preserving
natural habitat for birds, animals, and the natural forest growth and associated
ecosystems that at this point we can be proud of.
Destroying our precious natural habitat of Northern Ontario - especially around the
Spanish River, will adversely affect tourism and commerce in Ontario. There will be a huge
ripple effect if plans continue to go the way I have heard that they will. I am personally
very disappointed with the narrow-minded experts making the decisions that will destroy so
to create a few jobs for a short period of time. What a waste! We should all be ashamed to
be Canadians if the plans for the rape of the lands around the Spanish River are allowed
to be carried through. I have been silent for the most part up to now - but I have a stake
in what happens to our beautiful country - and I am not going to just sit back take it
Your serious consideration will be greatly appreciated.
Gord Gallant: www.interlog.com/~gallantg/websites-naturally.html
Birding Canada: http://www.interlog.com/~gallantg/canada/
Ontario Birding Home Page: http://www.interlog.com/~gallantg/ontario.html
* email, from Blair Caron
I send this email as a plea for the Ontario government to consider the status of the
Spanish River with regards to the pending changes brought about through the Lands For Life
process. This river is a valuable recreational resource, close to much of the provinces
population. This has traditionally been a popular canoeing river a fact that is lost on
the LFL roundtable. I would like to see ALL the river is designated as park, not just the
river below the forks, but also: the East and West Branches, and the Side Trip Route (that
leads through Lake Pogomasing, Kennedy Lake, Bluewater Lake and the Mogo River)
The park MUST extend beyond the narrow shore strip to include large areas of the valley,
such as the proposed Spanish River Valley Old Pine Park. Without this type of protection
the park and river will only have a facade of wilderness.
These areas will serve as the base for future economic stability in the area through
NO ONE will come to Ontario in the future to enjoy our fake wilderness...they can get that
Looking to the future is only common sense. We only have one chance to save wilderness.
Lets make sure we do it right.
* from Erhard:
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
cc: the Globe and Mail
Subject: Consolidated Report of November 30 defines inadequate protection for the Spanish
I have reviewed the "Lands for Life" Round Tables Consolidated Report of October
30, 1998, its appendix and the map, and conclude that this river will not receive the
protection it deserves. Even though I commend the proposal of two parks along the river by
the the Great Lakes Round Table, I am appalled that the remainder of the river and the
lands shall be open to resource extraction.
Here is the conclusion that I draw from the report:
East Branch (Duke Lake to Forks) and West Branch(Lake Biscotasi to Forks):
are designated as "Heritage Waterway" surrounded by "General Use Area"
and are afforded no protection at all. All this area can be logged and mined, the woods
will be carved up by roads, and ATV trails motorized craft can freely dominate the waters.
Only the building of new cottages along the river is curtailed.
Spanish River, Forks to Agnew Lake:
As a commendable first step, there are park designations that protect the immediate shores
of the lower river from encroachment by roads, cottages, lumber operations, mining and
hydro development. Less protection is given to the five conservation areas as mineral
exploration will be
permitted. And worst, anything that is not in light or dark green on the map, i.e. the
lion share of the land, has no meaningful protection at all.
It is clear that logging and mining cannot provide sustainable employment (e.g. in the
forest industry, employment has dropped by about half in the last 20 years due to the need
for automation). As it is the government's mandate to lay the base for jobs of the future,
you will note that the consolidated report condemns the Spanish River wilderness areas to
become a third-rate tourism area, one that will not be able to compete in the
international market of ecotourism. This is unacceptable to me and should be the same to
Ontario's government. I am urging you to preserve the Spanish River as an area with full
potential for future ecotourism:
* designate all the Spanish River as a park: the East and West Branches, and the Side Trip
Route that leads through Lake Pogomasing, Kennedy Lake, Bluewater Lake and the Mogo River)
* extend such a park beyond the narrow shore strip to include large areas of the valley,
such as the proposed Spanish River Valley Old Pine Park
I appreciate your patience to listen and hope you will act.
For comments, email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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