The Skyline Reserve is unique to Lake Temagami and preserves old-growth red and white pine. It was not created by government but with a 1935 handshake between the lake's property holders and the local pine sawmills, which were entering the lake for the first time. Industry agreed not to cut timber within the Skyline — any land and trees seen from the water of the lake — but it would be able to cross the Skyline to access timber behind it and boom timber on the lake.
Prior to 1935 the Skyline was protected from pine cutting because the lake was part of the Temagami Forest Reserve created in 1901 and property sales and development were prohibited. (Prior to the forest reserve there was a shoreline timber reserve in the southern half of the lake covered by an 1898 pulpwood agreement with the Sturgeon Falls pulp mill.)
In 1906, an exception to the forest reserve policy, like the one along the railway line, was made to lease islands on Lake Temagami. Leases were restricted to islands.
Exceptions back then to mainland landholdings were Camp Wanapitei*, aboriginal homesteads (Austin Bay, Peshabo Point, Friday's Point — all no longer inhabited), and the townsite at the railway station.
Later exceptions were made on Inlet Bay adjoining the highway and the former jack ladders at Sharp Rock Inlet and Jackladder Bay (both closed today). The opening of the Copperfields' mine road in 1958 led to the end-of-the-road exceptions: Mine Landing, Boatline Bay Marine, Temagami Lakes Association building, junior ranger camp, and Milne's Landing for logging support.
The Skyline Reserve received written recognition, however tentative, from Ontario in the 1973 Lake Temagami Land Use Plan. It was tightened in the 1997 Temagami Land Use Plan.
*An aboriginal homestead bought by Father Paradis in 1890. He essentially squatted and operated an orphanage farm from 1891 to 1924. Because its use had pre-dated island leasing and the forest reserve, in 1931 it was converted to a lease as an honourary island. The founder of Camp Wanapitei requested the lease.
NOTE: Two patented mining claims from 1887 at Ferguson Point and Ferguson Mountain pre-date the forest reserve and have never held a mine, any structures or been occupied, except briefly to prospect. They were among the first claims in northeastern Ontario.
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