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Photo: cabin at Cabin Falls, Lady Evelyn River, Temagami

                                                PHOTO: HAP WILSON

Location: Cabin Falls

Date: May 18-21, 2007

Info or RSVP:

              Hap Wilson




FEBRUARY 26, 2007                                                                  

Spring rendezvous in wilderness park

Author and adventurer Hap Wilson will be hosting a spring rendezvous at his wilderness retreat at Cabin Falls in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Park.

Hap has made an open invitation "to all those intrepid paddlers who have, in no small way, supported and fought vigilantly for the protection of this great wilderness over the years."

The Victoria Day weekend event will mark the 30th anniversary of the publication of Hap's canoeing bible Canoeing, Kayaking & Hiking Temagami (originally released as Temagami Canoe Routes).

The Lady Evelyn River cabin is the only private property in the park, pre-dating its creation. Perched at the lip of Cabin Falls, it is probably one of the most idyllic and stunning wilderness cabins in eastern Canada. It is a setting in his 2005 memoir The Cabin.

There will be guided hikes in the old-growth pine, whitewater play in the rapids, and guest speakers.

Attendees must make their own way by canoe, or air and canoe, and bring their own food and tents. Children are welcome.

There is no cost. "The only requirement," says Hap, "is that every person must share a campfire story with the group."

MAP:  Cabin Falls


WEBSITE: Wilson's Sunrise Adventures 


FEBRUARY 19, 2007                                                                     

Camps have solution to growing government burden

The Association of Youth Camps on the Temagami Lakes (AYCTL) has proposed to TIP (parks-and-rec plan) planners that its members continue undertaking many of the largest burdens the Ministry of Natural Resources wants to assign to a burgeoning staff of park wardens portage and campsite maintenance, and route monitoring and reporting.

Today, park wardens patrol the backcountry parks, but not long ago many of their duties were exercised by fire wardens from the local youth camps. 

Guides at the camps were seasonally "deputized" by MNR's predecessor, the Department of Lands and Forests, as fire wardens, and issued credentials that consisted of a badge and a certificate of authority.

They had the power to issue travel permits (which were free), stop travellers to check their permits, prohibit dangerous fire practices, and even the power to draft people to fight fires. As they had other duties with the camps, they reported major infractions to the department and left it up to the game wardens to lay fines.

But the bulk of their duty was devoted to clearing portages. "We were maintaining the trails and doing a better job than wardens now," said former fire warden Bruce Hodgins, president of Camp Wanapitei.

The fire-warden system functioned from at least the 1930s until the end of the 1960s. The camps accepted the responsibility as a public service.

Today, new park fees are used to fund many of the park warden's activities that the camps undertook, and the cost is threatening local youth-camp viability. Along with the ever-increasing regulation from the ministries of Health and Environment, and MNR's new limit on canoe-trip size (nine-person rule), they are burdened by a quadruple whammy.

"We philosophically oppose relying solely on the government to maintain these [remote] 'facilities,' Neil Macdonald of Camp Temagami wrote to the MNR. "We believe that this approach would ultimately lead to fees-for-services, and create both expectations of government help and a culture of dependency that are at odds with the nature of self-propelled wilderness travel."

"On a practical basis, given the size of the area and the scope of the project, the MNR on its own cannot hope to provide anything approaching the kind of service it wants with the resources under discussion," without a partnership with the youth camps.

Collectively, the camps have dozens of trip staff, while MNR has just two wardens.

As MNR's operating costs would be lowered by such an arrangement, the AYTCL has requested lower overnight-camping fees for the local youth camps.

"It would be a win-win for everyone," said Bruce Ingersoll of Keewaydin Camp.

RELATED STORY:  Youth camps threatened by MNR rule

LIST: Lake Temagami camps

MAP:  Youth camps then and now  

FEBRUARY 9, 2007                                                                     

Parks-and-rec plan called status quo

The lead watchdog over the Ministry of Natural Resources' parks-and-rec planning process (TIP) called the latest draft "pretty much an enhanced status quo."

"Lots of issues MNR could have addressed in a more meaningful way," said Chris Melanson of the group, "but they made an effort to play it safe."

Nastawgan Network submitted its response to the plan and called for MNR to follow its own rules and the law. "Lots of our concerns are long-standing issues."

The plan remained mired in the problems of the past, when it should be opening the door to a bright future. "Temagami's potential is enormous."

The deadline for public comments on the draft is February 14.

DOCUMENT: Nastawgan Network's TIP submission

 WEBSITE: Temagami Integrated Plan (TIP)


                Parks and rec meetings head for Toronto, Ottawa

            Time for public comment on park-and-rec plan           

            Parks and rec plan moving slowly

            Group calls for protection of traditional land uses

            Presentations in Toronto

            Meeting held in Ottawa

            Canoe industry has vision for Temagami 

            Parks and recreation meetings set

            Elk Lake meeting turns ugly   

 WEBSITE: Nastawgan Network 

FEBRUARY 6, 2007                                                                     

Canoeist's tip nabs gate crasher

A tip from a passing canoeist resulted in the conviction of an angler for driving behind the locked gate on the Liskeard Lumber Road in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park.

Glenn Armstrong, 44, of Bradford, Ontario, was convicted December 7 by the Ontario Court of Justice in Haileybury, and fined $300 plus court costs for trespassing for the purpose of fishing under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

Armstrong plead guilty to driving his truck around the gate near the North Lady Evelyn River, crossing the first bridge, and putting a boat into the river at the second bridge on August 25, 2005. He accepted responsibility on behalf of his three companions. Motor vehicles are prohibited beyond the gate between June 15 and September 15.

A canoeist on the river saw the vehicle at the bridge, six kilometres past the gate, got the license and vehicle description, and reported it to conservation officers who tracked down the offender.

Armstrong told the court he wanted to avoid the work of legally accessing the river in a less convenient area.

After all the money and distress the illegal access cost him, he admitted to the court he had no fish to show for it.

  RELATED STORY: Maple Mountain defaced

                            Four convicted of Maple Mountain graffiti 

FEBRUARY 6, 2007                                                                     

Reporting backcountry crimes

The December conviction of an angler illegally accessing the wilderness park in a truck was the second crime in the park to be reported by a canoeist. The first was the Maple Mountain spray-painting in August.

Conservation officers and park wardens are actively seeking more help from canoeists and backcountry travellers (in parks, conservation reserves and on Crown land), and information gathering is critical to a successful conviction, and to better enforcement. And anonymity can be requested.

"Perhaps the most important message is that any information is better than no information at all," says conservation officer Peter Gilboe. "Even if the culprits are long gone, even if its a minor thing, one never knows what other tidbits weve received, and one seemingly insignificant piece of intelligence could put it all together."

"Quite honestly the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If, for sake of argument, we know we have 34 complaints about litter on campsites on Lady Evelyn Lake after the July 1 weekend, well make sure we spend some time at that spot at that time next year."

Checklist of Information

1. Date and time

2. Location on a map, or GPS coordinates

3. Vehicle and/or vessel description, including license, model, colour,

      and anything distinguishing, such as racks

4. Description and number of the people seen

5. Direction of travel

6. Description of crime, including some quantification, such as number

        of bottles tossed into lake.

Report 24/7

            1-877 TIPS-MNR (847-7677)

Operators will respect a request for anonymity.


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