MNR's letter



MNR has been sending out a standard response to public comments voicing concern over the Sharp Rock logging. If you could read between the lines, this is what you'd learn.

MNR: These blocks were subject to a full and comprehensive consultation process, which included input from public, local citizens, First Nation, industry and environmental organizations... EMAIL CONTEXT

It should be noted that this plan was ordered redone in 1999 by a 1998 court ruling. The court found the existing plan was illegal, as MNR failed to get proper environmental approval and didn't adhere to legal requirements for forest sustainability.

"Consultation" is vague. It is public comment, not public decision-making. MNR still makes the decisions behind closed doors. 

MNR: The FMP fully conforms to land use decisions detailed in the Temagami Land Use Plan... EMAIL CONTEXT

The ministry has used the land-use plan to justify logging while selectively ignoring most of the other requirements of the plan. See Forestry Fiefdom for more.

MNR: ...need to substitute the forest replacement aspect of fire with harvesting activities... EMAIL CONTEXT

The MNR and forest-industry objective is to eliminate wild forests and turn them into tree farms.

MNR: We are not aware of any evidence to support the claim that only 1% of the existing old growth red and white pine remains in Ontario. EMAIL CONTEXT

MNR is aware of the fact that only one per cent of the world's old growth red and white pine remains. Stating this in terms of Ontario avoids admitting it has known about its globally-endangered status since 1992 through its own committees, hearings and a court case. See Evidence of awareness.

                       FULL TEXT:   MNR's email to the public 

MNR: ...management priority is the regeneration of pine and the maintenance of old growth characteristics for future old growth stands. EMAIL CONTEXT

Once it is logged it is considered a tree farm and it is MNR policy to cut the next generation of trees at 120 years of age just before becoming old growth.

MNR:  There are no old growth white or red pine stands scheduled for harvest in blocks 29, 30... EMAIL CONTEXT

Stand 4948 (MNR's FRI database designation) in block 29 is old-growth white pine. 

MNR also says in the same paragraph of the letter that block 30 "supported greater levels of white and red pine in the past," implying there is pine there now.

MNR: ...in 1997, the "protected area strategy" was completed. EMAIL CONTEXT

This strategy has been weakened considerably by MNR from its original intent. Two conservation reserves were never created as proposed (North Lady Evelyn and Willow Is. Creek) and allowances for roads have become so loose as to undermine any credibility of protection.

MNR: MNR is not aware of any scientific evidence that supports the suggestion that harvesting in stands adjacent to old growth red and white pine stands will have any detrimental effects. EMAIL CONTEXT

The ministry has been aware of the scientific evidence since 1994 through its own committees. See Evidence of awareness.

MNR: ...these harvest areas will create new areas of mature and over-mature habitat... EMAIL CONTEXT

It is MNR policy to log forests when they reach maturity, so any habitat for pine marten and pileated woodpecker that is created in 100 or more years will be short-lived.

MNR: Forest management activities are a permitted use in these areas. EMAIL CONTEXT

The land-use plan does state this, but that doesn't mean the public has to agree with it. The land-use plan is just a guideline, not a legal document, and can be amended, as clearly stated in it.

MNR: The clearcut silvicultural system is not environmentally destructive... EMAIL CONTEXT

Three hundred scientists felt the need to go public (an unusual event) in October 2001 over their concern with MNR's clear-cutting system.

MNR: Neither the Red Squirrel Road nor the Bob Lake Road have ever been abandoned. EMAIL CONTEXT

The issue has been the Red Squirrel Road section west of Sharp Rock Portage, not the entire road. The former road west of this point was not passable by an on-road vehicle in September 2001 and the former Bob Lake Road was impassable in the same manner in November 2001. If an on-road vehicle can't use it, is it not an abandoned road?

MNR: The Red Squirrel Road has been used throughout the current FMP for harvesting, renewal and tending activities. EMAIL CONTEXT

The Red Squirrel Road is open and used between Hwy 11 and Lake Temagami, but not the western section, west of Sharp Rock. Discussion of the open section is taking the issue about the closed western section out of context.

MNR: The Land Use Strategy states that "existing roads can continue to be used, but new roads for resource extraction will not be permitted, with the exception of necessary access for mineral exploration and development." EMAIL CONTEXT

The context is roads in conservation reserves. MNR intends to construct a road across the Bob Lake Conservation Reserve, but has been carefully saying the road already exists (thereby justifying crossing the reserve) even though an old road there has fallen apart and must be re-built to be usable. If the MNR can use the argument that if a road was ever there then it is still a road, then no road can ever be abandoned or closed. This would endanger many so-called protected areas across Ontario.


One per cent old growth

MNR's Class Environmental Assessment for Timber Management in North Bay, April 92 before Environmental Assessment Board hearing with testimony.

MNR's Old Growth Forest Policy Advisory Committee, North Bay, 1992-94. 

MNR's Old Growth Forest Scientific Advisory Committee data presented by member, 1992-94

Ontario Lands for Life Roundtable Committee presentation at public meeting, Haliburton, Dec. 1997.

Ontario Divisional Court suit against MNR for illegal Temagami Forest Management Plan, evidence presented May 1997.

Impact on adjacent stands

MNR's Old Growth Forests Policy Advisory Committee, North Bay, 1992-94. 

MNR's Old Growth Forests Scientific Advisory Committee data presented by member, 1992-94

Ontario Lands for Life Roundtable Committee presentation at public meeting, Haliburton, Dec. 1997.


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