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JANUARY 27, 2003

Highway 11 re-opens at Latchford

Highway 11 re-opened today at noon after the construction of a temporary bridge across the Montreal River at Latchford, north of Temagami.

Crews erected the new single-span, single-lane bridge after working around the clock almost since the partial collapse of the main bridge, 13 days ago. 

Ramps were built into the river to support a short span. A new longer-span, two-lane temporary bridge will be constructed before spring to allow the old ramps to be removed for the higher river flow of spring run-off. 

  Related story: Highway 11 closed 

JANUARY 21, 2003

Ontario wants to increase logging 400 per cent,

most will be clear-cut

MNR has released the first look at its new timber plan for 2004 to 2009 and most logging areas will be clear-cut. The plan also proposes to increase logging by 400 per cent over that of the last decade.

Information on spraying and the protection of portages, nastawgan, old growth and hiking trails has not been released. 

Previous logging proposals have sparked a legacy of protests. The plan to log the Wakimika Triangle resulted in it becoming a park in 1996. Opposition to the last plan by residents of Latchford stopped logging at the northern end of the Muskego Wildlands near Bay Lake. 

At open houses in February, MNR will release more detail on the plan. The ministry is asking for public comment. 

   MAPProposed logging

Comments should be mailed or faxed to:

Greg Gillespie

Ministry of Natural Resources

3301 Trout Lake Rd.

North Bay, ON  P1A 4L7

Voice: 705-475-5516

Fax: 705-475-5500

First in a series on logging

JANUARY 17, 2003

Private land and islands offered in land-claim agreement

Though the overwhelming portion of land offered in the land-claim agreement-in-principle is Indian Act-designated reserve land and is located on the mainland, some private land and a few islands are being offered as part of a $4 million economic-development package.

As these additional lands are private property, they will be subject to the Temagami Municipal Plan, unlike reserve lands.

The Crown-owned, unoccupied lots are on Lake Temagami islands: 537 (Southwest Arm), 1062 (Hub) and Forestry Island (the old Department of Lands and Forests base at Temagami village). Forestry Island is the only island offered in its entirety. 

There are two additional lots on Rabbit Lake, one on Herridge Lake, and one non-water industrial lot in Temagami village.

If the Shiningwood Bay site (the alternative to the Strathcona Road site) is selected for a mainland community, then lots on Lake Temagami islands 574 (Southwest Arm) and 1011 (Hub) will be offered.

The only other islands are the two largest islands in Cross Lake, which are in the set-aside lands, and may be selected as reserve lands (not part of the economic package).

The agreement-in-principle still has a number of points to be ironed out and must go through several steps of approval, including a final vote by members of Temagami First Nation and Teme-Augama Anishnabai.

   BACKGROUNDLand claim

JANUARY 16, 2003

Temporary bridge planned to re-open Hwy 11

Ministry of Transportation plans to erect a temporary, one-lane panel bridge to re-open Highway 11, according to reports by CBC Radio Sudbury and the North Bay Nugget. 

They hope to start construction by Monday and have the alternate bridge up in Latchford within two  weeks. The panel bridge, based on the Bailey bridge, can be erected in several days, but new access roads and ramps must be constructed first.

Temporary highway signs have been erected from North Bay to New Liskeard to mark the Quebec detour for motorists.

JANUARY 15, 2003

Highway 11 closed at Latchford indefinitely

The Montreal River bridge on Highway 11 at Latchford partially collapsed yesterday afternoon forcing the closure of the highway. 

It is the only bridge, located 28 kilometres north of Temagami, over the Montreal River between Latchford and Temagami. Traffic is being routed into Quebec around the east side of Lake Temiskaming, a trip that requires passing through North Bay.

Temagami students that attend school in the Tri-Towns are being bused to the bridge and walk across the control dam to waiting buses on the other side.

The structure failed after one of the coldest nights of the winter at 25 C. The bridge will likely be closed for months and officials are looking at the feasibility of constructing a temporary crossing.

Winter is one of the busiest times of the year for logging. Grant Forest Products has not yet looked at the impact of the bridge closure on its cutting in the Temagami area, including an active operation in the Eagle Lake area off the Red Squirrel Road. The mill is north of Latchford in Englehart and the long haul through North Bay would add to the cost of Temagami operations.

JANUARY 14, 2003

Earthroots announces new campaign director

Josh Matlow will become the new campaign director for the environmental group Earthroots at the end of January. 

Matlow was a campaigner at Earthroots in 2002 when he resigned to run as the Liberal candidate in the Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey provincial by-election, losing to Premier Ernie Eves. 

He will be replacing Richard Brooks, who resigned after two and a half years for personal reasons.

Earthroots has been active in Temagami since its founding in 1991. It is challenging in court a logging road in the Bob Lake Conservation Reserve. The case, likely to be precedent setting, is expected to be heard February 27.

JANUARY 13, 2003

Temagami from space on January 10

   SATELLITE PHOTO:  January 10 from space 

JANUARY 10, 2003

Farr on ice

To the best of my knowledge there are no longer any areas of open water left on Lake Temagami that don't normally ice over. 

The last known spot to freeze this year was to the south of Cattle Island where there was still open water on January 4. This area may still not be safe to cross by snowmachine. There is a gap in the marked trail to the Southwest Arm. To avoid it, people are detouring to the portage at the narrows of Narrows island. 

The area to the south of Sand Point may also be suspect. 

The temperature dipped to 20 C last night. But with a deep cover of light snow now on the lake, it may be a few days yet before it is safe to travel over the entire lake. Most established routes are now marked, however, and it is back to a normal great winter. 

Bob Farr, Lake Temagami

JANUARY 9, 2003

New Years Day from space

   SATELLITE PHOTO:  New Years Day from space

JANUARY 8, 2003

First Nation community site to be selected by spring

A new First Nation mainland community location is still up in the air, but negotiators hope to have a site selected by April. The site options have been narrowed to two locations: Strathcona Road and Shiningwood Bay.

Shiningwood Bay had been an early frontrunner, but recently the three-square-mile site on the Northeast Arm at the end of Strathcona Road opened up when mining interests indicated a willingness to sell their stakes. Negotiators are seeking to finalize details and get reaction from stakeholders before making a final selection.

The selection will go into a final agreement-in-principle that would then have to be approved by the two native groups.

   BACKGROUNDLand claim

JANUARY 4, 2003

Lake Temagami park in land claim deal

The agreement-in-principle on outstanding treaty obligations will include a park for the mainland shoreline of Lake Temagami.

Although the original goal was to maintain the status quo protection of the visible mainland Skyline Reserve where it falls in the new native reserve lands, Ontario will extend the park around the lake to most of the Skyline. Currently, the Skyline Reserve prohibits logging, development, sale of Crown land and roads.  

Most of the new native lands granted under the settlement agreement will be reserve lands as defined under the Indian Act, and these are not subject to the Temagami Land Use Plan (which applies to Ontario's Crown lands) or the municipality's Official Plan (which applies to private lands). Something was needed to maintain protection, so a park is being proposed.

The park will be most of the zone in the Temagami Land Use Plan known as Management Area 39. According to the map published by the negotiating group in winter 2000, mining lands in Austin Bay, at the west end of the Mine Road and Matagama (Faskin's) Point will be excluded. 

   MAPSettlement lands and park  

Although the details are not finalized, the park currently on the table is a provincial waterway park. Existing campsites within it would remain open to the public while most development and logging would be prohibited. 

A park would be a boon for the local tourism-recreation economy in Temagami village. For the first time, a band of green would stretch from the community to the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater park cluster, making it the obvious park centre. 

Will a waterway park work? A waterway park is one of the least protected classes of parks in Ontario and does not prohibit roads because it is intended for recreation, not protection. A more protected class would be better suited. 

Skyline Reserve

The Skyline Reserve was created in 1935 when timber licenses were first issued in the vicinity of the lake. A handshake agreement was struck between the logging companies and the Temagami Association (today Temagami Lakes Association, a property owners group) to prohibit logging between the shore of the lake and the first ridge of trees. Over the years it received intermittent support from the province. (Ontario did not formally adopt it as policy until the Temagami Land Use Plan of 1996.) 

It had varying degrees of success. There are many places logged within the Skyline: southwest of Cattle Island, Shiningwood Bay, Joan Peninsula, to name a few. 

Nonetheless a large number of old-growth red and white pine stands were preserved giving the lake its priceless primordial feel and preserving unique stands of trees.

                       BACKGROUNDLand claim  

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