|Temagami’s Most Endangered Wilderness 2008|
|Sunday, 06 April 2008 00:00|
This is the third annual edition of Friends of Temagami’s Most Endangered Wilderness. For 2008 we changed the focus from “Canoe Routes” to “Wilderness” to more accurately reflect the mission of the Friends of Temagami. Endangered wilderness can be found across Temagami from Chiniguchi to Matachewan to Marten River. Of course, we are seeking your assistance in protecting Temagami’s Most Endangered Wilderness. With each area you will read about what actions you can take.
The world’s largest old growth red pine forest may be have its protected status revoked and be opened to logging? Sounds unlikely? Think again. The Wolf Lake area, along the Chiniguchi River in Temagami’s western backcountry contains the largest contiguous old growth red pine forest in the world. Unfortunately, new developments threaten this global treasure. For years, Wolf Lake’s old growth has been protected within a Forest Reserve. This area was to be included in the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park, elevating its level of protection. However, due to mining claims which overlap the area, the Ontario government amended its park plans and left Wolf Lake out. Recent communication from Ontario Parks and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines indicate that Wolf Lake will be stripped of its Forest Reserve protection and will become an “Enhanced Management Area.” This would leave the world’s largest stand of old growth red pine open to cutting.
What you can do? The Minister of Natural Resources has written that; “Final decisions will not be made until there is a broad public and Aboriginal consultation opportunity.” Now is the time to speak up. Write a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources, Mrs. Donna Cansfield. Tell her that you support including the Wolf Lake Forest Reserve in the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park so that the world’s largest old growth red pine forest will exist in its unspoiled state for future generations.
Hon. Donna Cansfield
Located immediately east of the Obabika River Provincial Park, Chee-skon-abikong Lake and Spirit Rock; the Spirit Forest is comprised of old growth red and white pine in the western half and old growth jack pine and spruce in the eastern half. MNR Foresters have indicated that the Spirit Forest must be harvested due to the scarcity of old growth jack pine and spruce in Temagami. FOT believes that when old growth of a certain species becomes rare, logging it should slow down or stop, not accelerate. Furthermore, logging may take place as close as 600 m from Spirit Rock, a site of great spiritual significance for the Anishnabeg and non-natives alike. Spirit Rock is a fifty-foot high monolith that stands next to the Chee-skon-abikong cliffs. Within living memory as many as three pillars of rock stood there. Concern is growing that industrial activity, including skidders and feller-bunchers may cause Spirit Rock to topple into the lake. The MNR has had plans to log the Spirit Forest before. In 2002-2003 the area was known as Block 30, earlier this year it was called Block 400 and recently the MNR changed the name once more to Canton-60. What you can do? Write a letter to:
Do this before June 17, 2008, the final date for public comment at this stage of the planning process. Ask him to remove the Spirit Forest from the 2009-2019 Temagami Forest Management Plan.
Lady Evelyn Lake (north basin)
This is a continuation of the massive - Leo, Van Nostrand, and Klock Township clearcuts, which will be clearly visible from Maple Mountain. Four portages between Lady Evelyn, Slade and Lady Sydney Lakes are slated for logging. This area comprises one clearcut from the early 2000’s sandwiched between two massive new cuts. If completed, this will be Temagami’s largest contiguous clearcut, stretching from the border of the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Park to the Montreal River. (some 23 km by 10 km—a staggering 230 km2!) Compare this to the 290 km2 of proposed logging in the entire Temagami Forest Management Unit for the 10-year period from 2009-2019! Our advocacy efforts will focus on both mitigating the visual impact of the logging, as well as protecting the portages. What you can do? Write a letter to:
Update on the 2007 Most Endangered Canoe Routes
Update on the 2006 Most Endangered Canoe Routes