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Photo: Ling Fling fry on ice on Lake Temagami, 2002

Photo: Bob Farr

March 27, 2002

Ling Fling

The annual Ling Fling was held last weekend, serving up local ling to raise money for Lake Temagami fish stocking. The ling are contributed by ice fishermen at the lodges, who catch them unintentionally and don't want to leave them on the ice for the foxes and ravens. Ling is compared to the taste of monkfish. Lingmeisters Gerry Burrows (in red) and John Moskwa (at right) frying ling on the ice of a bay of Temagami Island, north of Wabikon.  

March 25, 2002

Dispatch from Temagami Tim

at the Hub of Lake Temagami

Now that March Break and the Ling Fling are over, things have begun to quiet down around here. 

Ironically, travelling conditions are better than they have been all winter. You can go just about anywhere you want. There is a lot of snow out there - in front of here what you can see is about three feet of compacted white stuff. When it starts to melt there will be a lot of water, and there is no where for that water to go but into the Lake. Happily, the Lake level is right on track, so there should be room to catch it.

Tim Gooderham

Tim's Fearless Forecast for breakup: April 25. 

March 20, 2002

Logging for the next 12 months 

gets approval from MNR

The Ministry of Natural Resources has given approval to logging in Temagami for April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003. This includes logging in blocks 30 and 46 between Sharp Rock and Obabika Lake.

Earthroots has opposed logging west of Sharp Rock over the loss of wilderness, old-growth forest and heritage sites, and the expansion of roads in the heart of Temagami.

Based on copies of letters sent to its office over the past month, Earthroots estimates MNR received hundreds of letters opposing the logging west of Sharp Rock. "The ministry has shown its true colours by disregarding public opinion," says Richard Brooks of Earthroots. 

"True wilderness protection takes time," says Brooks, "and the momentum is just beginning."

March 19, 2002

Mining staking and exploration banned 

in parks and conservation reserves

Further mineral staking and exploration will not be permitted in Ontario's new parks and conservation reserves created in 1999, according to the Partnership for Public Lands. The new policy also covers conservation reserves announced for Temagami in 1997.

Mining lands that existed in these protected areas prior to their creation will remain. Chiniguchi Park, west of the Sturgeon River, and McLaren Forest Conservation Reserve in Marten River both contain mining lands.

Staking and exploration had been an ongoing issue between the Partnership and Ontario since the Lands for Life announcement in 1999. The members of the Partnership are Wildlands League, Federation of Ontario Naturalists and World Wildlife Fund.

March 18, 2002

Land-claim settlement proposal released

Land-claim negotiations between the province of Ontario and the Temagami aboriginal community has established two models for a settlement. 

One model proposes a 112-square-mile federal reserve be created from the current mainland set-aside lands bordering Lake Temagami. The Skyline Reserve of Lake Temagami would become a provincial park. Some aboriginal development could be permitted at Friday's Point and Austin Bay.

The other model proposes a 70-square-mile federal reserve and a 52-square-mile area of private land held by the community, also created in the current set-aside lands. The Skyline Reserve of Lake Temagami would be private land and would be subject to the municipal Official Plan. Canoe-route access across settlement lands would be permitted.

Two locations for a mainland community (the community is currently on Bear Island in the centre of Lake Temagami) are also proposed: Shiningwood Bay near the end of the Mine Road, and Finlayson Point,  which is currently a provincial park, near Hwy 11.

  FULL PROPOSALTemagami Land Claim Settlement Model

             312K PDF file that requires Acrobat Reader to read

          Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

  MAP:  Set-aside Lands

Photo: arena collapse in Temagami, 2002

March 9, 2002

Arena roof collapses

The roof collapsed at Temagami's arena and community centre yesterday, located in the north townsite at Net Lake. Fortunately, no one was inside at 5:10 p.m. when it came down. The quantity of snow on the roof was smaller than on previous days and was not considered the cause. 

  More photos 

Photo: Peter Healy   

Photo: winter outhouse, Temagami

March 8, 2002

The drop on the outhouse

Which is going to come down first: the pants, the snow or the outhouse?

Photo: Peter Healy


March 7, 2002

Wolf watch in Matachewan

Sightings of "two big wolves" in Matachewan have put the village on a wolf watch, says a CBC Radio report yesterday. Residents are asked to watch children closely and keep pets indoors. MNR and trappers are focussing on catching the animals.

Photo: winter trail

March 6, 2002

Four feet of snow on ground

The big stuff is really here, and has changed the routine of travel. Peter Healy has been packing with snowshoes the trail to his cabin on Lake Temagami's Garden Island so he can get his snowmachine in.

Photo: Peter Healy

March 5, 2002

Forestry fiefdom

MNR staff justify the logging of the heart land of Temagami on the grounds that it is "in the land-use plan." The mayor of Temagami in a recent North Bay Nugget article said the logging was "proper and legal." 

In fact, the land-use plan is not a legal document, unlike a municipal official plan. The Temagami Land Use Plan is a master plan that applies to Crown lands and is simply a guideline for MNR.

Ontario has treated it as just that, a guideline. Five years after creation of the plan, the only portions that have been fully implemented are the land-use zones and the forestry and mining guidelines. Enough to get forestry going. There are no park plans, no recreation master plan, no socio-economic impact study, none of the other primary guidelines that were to be created. These support an alternative economic future to forestry. 

The proposed logging west of Sharp Rock will require crossing the protected Bob Lake Conservation Reserve with a road. Yet no management plan has been created for the reserve.

Immediately after the plan's creation, forestry planning kicked off and forestry operations have continued unabated. The seeming urgency for forestry is striking considering that Temagami has no timber mills and therefore no material economic impact. 

Local environmentalist Terry Graves calls the guideline "a timber management plan disguised as a land-use plan." 

Photo: snow on Lake Temagami

March 1, 2002

Snow piles up 

With two feet of snow last week and another foot this week, it is piling up. Here's Lake Temagami (left) yesterday outside the Temagami Lakes Association building with Temagami Island in the background. 

Photo: Tim Gooderham  

March 1, 2002

Letters to Editor: North Bay Nugget

Re: Nugget Feb 21 story "Earthroots plans return to Temagami" 

Feb. 25 Temagami Mayor Wayne Adair's comments are reflective of a lack of knowledge of the environmental movement. Mayor Adair seems to believe that Earthroots' work to protect Temagami wilderness is nothing but a way to raise "money in southern Ontario ."

Well, I work 12-hour days to save remote wild spaces because they have intrinsic ecological value. I work for $21,000 a year after taxes to protect the wilderness, which is the basis of the tourist economy of Temagami. I work on weekends because I am passionate about clean air and water, and soaring old-growth forests. I campaign for protection of wilderness and wildlife because shortsightedness fuels the clear-cutting of Temagami's forests.

I work to educate the general public about what is going on in their publicly-owned backyard. I don't do it for the money.

I know what goes on in the forests of' Temagami. I have seen first hand the destruction left behind after a clear-cut. I hope other Ontarians will help stop this from spreading to the real heart of Temagami. I know they will, because they care.

Richard Brooks



Feb 23 I would like to voice my own comments, having a particular stake in the issue. Since 1969, 1 have travelled the backcountry of Temagami extensively as an artist and author, worked eight years as an interior ranger and cartographer/researcher, and since 1984, have operated two separate outfitting and expeditions companies. I've been across Canada and United States over the years as a consultant and public speaker to the eco-tourism industry.

This just happens to be the year dedicated to nature-based, ecological-oriented, self-propelled tourism, as prescribed by the United Nations as the International Year of Eco-tourism. The town of Temagami, over the past several years, has flaunted the term old-growth forest as a marketing ploy, erecting signs along the main street of the village, enticing travellers to stop and hike the White Bear Forest trails. It is unfortunate, but predictable, that the community leaders have such a lack of vision and polarized view of what may very well be the salvation of their town economy. They have not accepted the fact that people come to Temagami for a "quality" experience - one that embraces the philosophical attributes of solitude and beauty - a purpose of blending nature with adventure. Backcountry canoeing predates logging in the district by almost half a century. Aboriginal use of the ancient Nastawgan trail network predates white arrival in this country by several thousand years.

Twenty-five years ago, when I was employed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to compile an inventory of canoe routes as a working template for management, little did I know that within a quarter century, almost one-third of those routes would disappear. And they would disappear through insidious means: an intrusive network. of logging roads, snowmobile trails, ATV trails (many illegally built to access fish and game areas), clear-cut logging and poor silvicultural practices, non-conforming use and despoilation, and so on. Another reason for the loss of this precious natural resource has been through compromise - allowing logging companies to fracture and fragment an internationally recognized wilderness.

This is not specifically an issue about what type of tree species is scheduled to be removed. It's about a continued invasion into yet more pristine Temagami backcountry, construction of roads through conservation reserves, desecration of aboriginal homeland in a very sensitive spiritually rich area. No more compromises. Temagami town leaders have never protected a visionary sense of place, have allowed themselves to sour under the false hopes of a revitalized economy based on extractive-based industry alone.

This is Ontario land we are talking about, not the backyard of town leaders who have yet to prove they can manage anything beyond the local ice rink. This is not an outward attack by Toronto environmentalists, but a plea for all to listen to common sense at a time when the quality of life should not be compromised for a false sense of hope or standard of living.

Hap Wilson

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