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AUGUST 26, 2010

Georgia-Pacific billionaires secretly behind Tea Party

The billionaire brothers who bought Grant Forest Products seeded the Tea Party, according to a story in the current New Yorker.

David and Charles Koch, through Koch Industries that owns Georgia-Pacific lumber, bought the bankrupt Grant mill in Englehart this winter. That makes them one of the largest logging operators in Temagami.

The New Yorker story says Koch Industries is the second largest private company in America (after Cargill). It quotes a Greenpeace study that says the company is a "kingpin of climate science denial." An MIT study calls it one of the top ten air polluters in the country.

In public the brothers are major philanthropists in New York. "Underground" their money is shaping America through third-party groups like the Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity.

If you want to learn where the profits of clear-cutting Temagami are going, read the article.

  EXTERNAL WEBSITE: New Yorker story

  BACKGROUND:   Georgia-Pacific buying Grant

                          Kochs try to kill California's clean energy bill  

Photo: Ishpatina fire tower support crumbling

AUGUST 25, 2010 One of the concrete footings on the Ishpatina fire tower is crumbling. Spalling corrosion caused by water  has eaten under the base plate on the southeastern steel strut (red arrow).

MNR considers the tower to be a heritage site. It is one of two in the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park. The second is on Maple Mountain.

Ontario relied on an extensive network of towers for fire spotting between the late 1920s and the late 1960s. After decomissioning many were deliberately toppled (Ferguson Mountain tower) or dismantled (Law), and others came down in bad weather (Bear Island). It is not known how many remain standing in the province.

Ishpatina tower sits on the highest point in Ontario and is a popular destination for hikers and canoeists.

  BACKGROUND:   lshpatina


AUGUST 17, 2010

Changing of the Seasons Ceremony set for

September 17

The tenth annual Nishnabai ceremony to celebrate the changing of the seasons will be held September 17 to 19 on Obabika Lake.

The Changing of the Seasons ceremony has been growing in popularity since begun by Nishnabai elder Alex Mathias. He is the last Temagami First Nation member still living on his family's traditional territory.

The unique, non-commercial, remote event is held on a campground on Obabika in the spiritual shadow of Spirit Rock. It is open to aboriginals and non-aboriginals of all ages.

There will be traditional ceremonies, Ojibway stories, potluck feast, sweat lodge, and hiking in the old-growth forest. The ceremonies emphasize the traditional importance of the forest.

Previous participants recalled the inclusiveness of the ceremonies and the closeness that developed among participants.

Participants camp for the weekend at campsites at the north end of Obabika Lake with most arriving in canoes by early Saturday morning. Earthroots is organizing a ride share from Toronto.

Contributions are sought for Saturday's potluck.

Contact Kim Cowan at or Amber Ellis at Earthroots for more information at 416-599-0152 ext 11.

  BACKGROUND:   Alex Mathias

                          Spirit Rock

                          Obabika Lake access maps 

  GATHERING PHOTOS:   2002   2004   2005   2006   2008 

AUGUST 13, 2010

Shortcut between Hamlow Lake and the Sturgeon

The canoe route between Smoothwater Lake, Ishpatina and the Sturgeon River is busy. Along the way is one of the longest portages in Temagami.

There are three well-known alternatives to huff and puff between Hamlow Lake and the Sturgeon River. One of those is that 3.6-kilometre marathon. There is a little-known fourth the shortcut.

To view the shortcut go to this map and click on the box around Hamlow Lake.

  MAP:   Shortcut to the Sturgeon


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