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MARCH 27, 2006 

First signs of break-up in thinning ice

This satellite photo shows the first signs of break-up as ice everywhere thins and a few isolated pockets of open water appear.


MARCH 11, 2006 

Winter trek to Ishpatina a tough slog

In February, four adventurers from Sudbury headed out on snowshoes for the summit of Ishpatina, Ontario's highest point of land.

In the end, difficult snow conditions stopped them at the base. Dave Marrone tells their story. 

  STORY:  Winter trek to Ishpatina  (210K PDF) 

  BACKGROUND:  Ishpatina


MARCH 8, 2006 

New parks act will hurt Temagami

The new parks act, touted by the Liberal government as a replacement for dinosaur legislation, will undermine wilderness parks, allowing logging roads, mining roads and motorized vehicles, all previously prohibited.

Temagami's largest park and crown jewel, Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater, is a wilderness park.

"Putting nature first was supposed to be the over-riding principle," says Evan Ferrari of Wildlands League.

Wildlands League pressed for renewal of the old act. Now named the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, it has gone through first reading of the Ontario Legislature as Bill 11.

CPAWS Wildlands League and Sierra Legal Defence Fund are mounting an effort to fix it before the next reading in late March. They have produced an analysis of the bill.

They determined that "there are clearly elements within Bill 11 that undermine the central purpose of ensuring ecological integrity," and "there are several instances where protection would be made stronger through some simple wording changes."

The proposed changes would make the act one of the most advanced in the world.

  BACKGROUND:  Analysis of Bill 11  (472K PDF) 

                          Bill 11 

WEBSITE: Wildland's League on Bill 11

MARCH 6, 2006 

Too much snow

Gerry Gooderham's photos show the heavy snow this winter making for tough travel.

GOODERHAM'S PHOTOS:  Heavy snow accumulation 

MARCH 1, 2006 

Birch mill's future on the line

Temagami's birch sawmill needs a buyer to avoid receivership.

The mill management is in discussion with a potential new owner. "I'm confident that we will get a reasonable deal to keep the mill in Temagami," says Ivan Beauchamp, president of Temagami Forest Products.

The mill, located just north of town, was not financially viable and closed in August barely a year after opening. Last fall Beauchamp began negotiating a sale to an un-named southern Ontario company, but it "did not have the money to do the deal."

He has since opened negotiations with a second group. If there is a sale the mill will likely open in June after spring break-up, a time when there are no cutting operations to supply the birch it needs. A successful deal would be announced in April.

The 40 former employees have since moved on, but Beauchamp is "fairly confident the mill will bring a majority back."

If these negotiations fall through, it goes into receivership, he says.

The mill is the town's only industrial promise. That last sawmill and the last mine both closed in 1990.

  RELATED STORIES:  Proposed mill

                                Progress slow

                                First Nation out of mill

                                Mill gets license

                                Construction starts

                                Mill to open in a month

                                Birch mill officially opens

                                Mill closed for restructuring and new owner


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