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6/22/2018 11:58 am  #35

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Thank-you Barry for the clarification .
The public also has the ability to participate , as stated on the AFA website .

" Public Participation: 

  • Provide opportunities for public consultation on sustainable forest management practices in Algonquin Park
  • Maintain a public advisory committee to provide input on sustainable forest management
  • Facilitate public review and input on the Forest Management Plan and work schedules and respond to comments in a timely fashion
  • Effectively communicate forest management practices in the Park to the public
  • Make public the results of independent audits and ongoing assessments in annual reports "

We as Ontarians have long participated in " formal discussions " , and by expressing  it through the privilege of voting .


6/22/2018 1:58 pm  #36

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

This has become both an interesting and somewhat disturbing discussion. Personally I have no doubts that responsible resource management, including logging will continue to be broadly supported in Algonquin. The part I'm finding disturbing is the apparent suggestion that "people who use Ontario parks" might somehow be considered more important stakeholder's than other groups. Maybe that wasn't the intent of that particular statement, but that's the impression I got from it. In contrast to forestry which is consistently managed, the # of visitors to Algonquin (and any park readily accessible from southern Ontario) continues to increase with some very noticeable impacts on the park environment. While I think that the park can be managed to handle the impact of increased visitor #'s, I would also say that this is the biggest risk to the ecological, cultural and historic integrity of the park. 

An additional opportunity for public input is through the periodic reviews and updates of the Park Management plans which are required for all Ontario Provincial Parks. A link to the current Algonquin Park Management Plan can be found on the Friends of Algonquin site: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/park_management/master-management-plan.php



6/22/2018 6:50 pm  #37

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Dead Weight .... As you mentioned
" if a vote was ever taken from the people of Ontario or perhaps more specifically the people who use Ontario parks, if logging should be allowed in provincial parks I think the answer would be "No".  Or even more specifically if the people who use Algonquin Park had a vote I think it would be overwhelming "No"

From my limited understanding of the form of democracy we practice in Ontario , this notion you and Rick refer to has happened twice in Ontario's history .
Plebiscite or Referendum ...... 1924 Prohibition and more recently ....2007 electoral reform . 
Exerpt from " Referendums in Canada "

"whenever it appears that an expression of opinion of the voters is desirable on any matter of public concern, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may direct that a plebiscite be held to obtain that expression of opinion "

Not sure exactly what it takes ta get the ear of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to make the decision for a plebiscite on Logging in Algonquin Park ?
Until that happens , I believe the system of regional representation has worked as it should , for the benefit of all .


6/23/2018 7:28 am  #38

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Rob, some good comments on these issues copied below and I agree that the Southern Ontario population is growing so something needs to be done to ensure the well-being of APP.


In contrast to forestry which is consistently managed, the # of visitors to Algonquin (and any park readily accessible from southern Ontario) continues to increase with some very noticeable impacts on the park environment. While I think that the park can be managed to handle the impact of increased visitor #'s, I would also say that this is the biggest risk to the ecological, cultural and historic integrity of the park. 

An additional opportunity for public input is through the periodic reviews and updates of the Park Management plans which are required for all Ontario Provincial Parks. A link to the current Algonquin Park Management Plan can be found on the Friends of Algonquin 


First, wrt the risks to the integrity of the park, I'd argue that the impacts from recreational use such as permitted canoetripping, camping and hiking are far less than the impacts related to logging and the roadbuilding & road network that results from logging. But never mind what I say, the more rigorous way to determine what's impacting the park would be to carry out a formal environmental assessment, with experienced scientists and managers defining the problems, including those with a background in park management, ecology, natural areas conservation, forestry, fisheries, wildlife, recreation, and everything else relevant.

There is a big "if" here... if everybody could agree to accept and implement the recommendations from an EA (something tells me not everybody will), an EA could be done. And another big "if"... an EA could be done if there is the capacity in the Ontario budget to pay for it... there is an expense and the current cost-cutting administration might not allow it.

Another item wrt risks to the integrity of APP... the current Ontario Parks Acts states this management principle below as the first priority... (I've bolded the key phrase, basically, maintaining ecological integrity means that the park remains in it's natural state). 

Planning and management principles

3. The following principles shall guide all aspects of the planning and management of Ontario’s system of provincial parks and conservation reserves:

1. Maintenance of ecological integrity shall be the first priority and the restoration of ecological integrity shall be considered.

2. Opportunities for consultation shall be provided.  2006, c. 12, s. 3.


Wrt your other comment on the park management plan and review... the current park plan was written in 1998 and does not reflect the principles and objectives of the newer Parks Act passed in 2007 IIRC... so the most significant management principle, to manage for ecological integrity, isn't actually written in yet. This is the year for review, 20 years after 1998 and it'll be interesting to see how things change given the need to adapt to the new Parks Act and the changing situation in Southern Ontario..

The purpose and objectives for APP management are stated clearly on the APP website, as well as in the above Parks Act page... the management plan will also need to be reviewed with these worked into the new plan revision.

Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act


The purpose of this Act is to permanently protect a system of provincial parks and conservation reserves that includes ecosystems that are representative of all of Ontario's natural regions, protects provincially significant elements of Ontario's natural and cultural heritage, maintains biodiversity and provides opportunities for compatible, ecologically sustainable recreation. 2006, c. 12, s. 1.

Objectives of Provincial Parks

The following are the objectives in establishing and managing provincial parks:

To permanently protect representative ecosystems, biodiversity and provincially significant elements of Ontario's natural and cultural heritage and to manage these areas to ensure that ecological integrity is maintained.

To provide opportunities for ecologically sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities and encourage associated economic benefits.

To provide opportunities for residents of Ontario and visitors to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Ontario's natural and cultural heritage.

To facilitate scientific research and to provide points of reference to support monitoring of ecological change on the broader landscape. 2006, c. 12, s. 2 (1).


Readers can decide for themselves how logging and other impacts fit into the above.

I've had it for now, too much time spent on this, way too long-winded... this has been going on for a long time and there's been plenty left out in all the complexity. As always, it's be interesting to see how things unfold with time. And there might be a better APP resulting if something is done.... anyway, we'll see so hopefully this discussion carries on as things develop. Cheers.

Last edited by frozentripper (6/23/2018 7:42 am)

     Thread Starter

6/23/2018 5:33 pm  #39

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Ecological integrity does not mean a 100% "natural" state, even if such a thing could be defined and documented. The working definition used by Ontario Parks is "Ecosystems have integrity when they have their mixture of living and non-living parts and the interactions between these parts are not disturbed (by human activity)=15px." https://www.ontarioparks.com/ecologicalintegrity 

That definition does not make any statement about restoring a theoretical historic state. It does say that human activity shouldn't stop the interactions of the *current* mix of living and non-living parts and leaves open the possibility of changes if current activities are interfering with those interactions. 

Another important point is understanding the different park classifications. Algonquin is classified as a Natural Environment park not as a Nature Reserve. 


6/24/2018 8:56 am  #40

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Just a last comment on how things might move forward with any concerns wrt management of the park...  as stated previously the Parks Act does require management plan review every twenty years and this year is it (20 years after 1998). There may be the option to assess current management direction through a  Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (Class EA-PPCR). 

The Class EA-PPCR provides a way to assess management direction wrt environmental impacts and level of public concern over negative effects, and if the level of public concern is high, an EA may be done after the new management plan is proposed. And if there's enough public input during consultation. The proposed plan can then be modified and approved for implementation.

The requirement for consultation, as a fundamental principle to guide all management and planning, is written into the Parks Act, together with the other requirement to maintain ecological integrity as stated above. So consultation as things move forward with planning should be made available since it's a legal requirement, and concerns should sent to the minister in letters, or during the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) notification whenever that does occur.

This isn't going to happen overnight... as always, improvements and reduction of negative effects take years before implementation actually happens on the ground... eg. the increased APP land areas protected from logging over time since the 1974 master plan, with the most recent being the "Lghtening the Ecological Footprint of Logging" plan amendment, finalized several years ago. 


     Thread Starter

6/24/2018 2:28 pm  #41

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Yes Rick ..... " way too long winded "
A core fact worth noting for readers when forming their own opinions .

AFA website .... " Harvesting activities take place on approximately 1% of the forested area of the Park in a given year."


6/25/2018 9:35 am  #42

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Hi John .. .you seem to have an axe to grind with certain people here or perhaps their political views ... I have no interest in getting mixed up with that ... I have been just stating facts and opinion in a respectful manner ...  I think the moderators have been very generous allowing some of the comments here ... 

In any case I'm going to post a link about firewood and I can only say with as much clarity as possible ...  it has nothing to do with logging !!  Although there is a reference to cutting wood in the parks ...

p.s.  RobW .. .you have a good point about the impact on parks by the people ... I have seen lots of that in some of the non operating ones for sure ...



6/25/2018 12:31 pm  #43

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Dead Weight ...... I agree , from the start the moderators have been generous to many , for allowing some of the comments . Which is why I questioned it in the first place, and expressed that as the thread continued .
As far as the " axe to grind " ...." with certain people here "
Whether here , on the old forum , and the ABR forum ...... I have responded  ......to many comments , when I feel there is an underlying Anti - Logging Political platform or agenda .

I also don't care  to read of personal political views on this forum , but I sure as hell won't sit by idly ..... and will continue to respond to comments , as an Algonquin Park recreationalist , and a lad whose cultural heritage is deep rooted in the history of logging in Algonquin Park .


6/25/2018 1:01 pm  #44

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

John, I hope your opinion of 'not standing by idly while there is underlying anti-logging comments....' remains the same when people make comments in reply to underlying pro-logging comments? Is that a fair assumption? It seems only logical to hear the extreme from both sides - and we've definitely heard yours. Since logging discussion are now on the table here at AA, I suspect we will be reading a lot of both pro and anti logging posts and comments - esp. around the time the AFA changes their harvest schedule drastically from their initial release.


6/25/2018 2:07 pm  #45

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Peek .... The discussions / comments of anti or pro logging have existed on the forum for some time .
That of course is to be expected , and lets be real , most of those comments are anti-logging .
When discussion is politically charged and of a certain agenda of anti -logging , I will continue to question the interpretation of their combined message as it has been allowed under The Terms of Service , one under a rule and the other an expectation .

Expectation  .....8) Debate and/or presentation of overtly "anti-" and/or "pro-" logging sentiments is not acceptable on this forum. However, posting about specific logging-related activities (such as the logging museum, harvesting locations, haulage routes, individual instances, information venues) are acceptable.

Rule...16. not overtly promote specific political parties or platforms.

In the future Peek , please feel free to question any of my posts that don't comply with such !

Last edited by John Connelly (6/25/2018 2:12 pm)


6/25/2018 2:11 pm  #46

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

One thing for sure John this is a good debate .. and an important one that' should be had from time to time.  It's never bad to see how passionate folks are on either side.

It's funny but every time I see a pile of pulp wood I immediately think of the spruce budworm ... as a kid they peaked in the region I grew up in so it was a race against time to get the wood cut ...  we would hit the braches of the spruce tree and you would see a ton of worms fall down and then climb back up their webs ... hours of fun !!r       



7/03/2018 8:09 am  #47

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Just a quick note to say that more discussion may develop once my book on the history of the Park (and changing perspectives) is published by The Friends of Algonquin Park. It is soon going to print, and I hope it will be available at Loggers Day and Meet the Researcher Day in July. The title will be "Algonquin Park -- A Place Like No Other". I do not yet know the cost. It will be available on-line at the Friends website as well as at their stores at the Visitor Centre and the Logging Museum.
Roderick (Rory) MacKay


7/04/2018 7:57 am  #48

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Hi Rory, thanks for the news... I'll be sure to give it a look.

There may be more discussion once the Ford administration finalizes the budget spending cuts and financial resources that are to be made available, and again when the EBR notification takes place wrt the park plan review. The EBR notification is a legal requirement, unlike spending on parks which will probably be along the lines of policy statements only.

Budget audit and review will take several months IIRC, so there's probably going to be uncertainty until something formal is announced. But speculation on how things might develop is always interesting esp if there is something fundamental to base the speculation on.

There's bound to be some quiet time since change in the bigger picture moves slowly. Still, 2018 seems to be a year when change is due to happen so it won't hurt to check which way the wind's blowing every once in a while.

Cheers, looking forward to the new read.


     Thread Starter

7/05/2018 7:48 am  #49

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Opinion piece from the Toronto Star... Stephen Harper tactics being adopted in Queen's Park, so that journalists will not be able to report on government initiatives with ministers and staff being muzzled.. Information released to the public will need to be cleared first by Ford's central office. Bottom line might be that government staff may be even less responsive to public needs, but we'll see.

In related news, the firing of Ontario's chief scientist could be some sign of what's to come. Meet the researcher day could be interesting if you're government staff seeing things from the inside.


Doug Ford steals a page from Stephen Harper on control


For all his populist talk about being “For the People,” Doug Ford is proving in his very first days in office as Ontario premier that he’s really all about seizing power and control for himself.

Indeed, in a series of revealing moves, Ford has shown he intends to copy the controversial path taken by former prime minister Stephen Harper by placing total control over all aspects of his government — from staff appointments to media contacts — in his own central office.

So far, Ford has decreed that his office will appoint chiefs of staff for all cabinet ministers, will hire top aides such as legislative affairs assistants and press secretaries for ministers, will provide no daily schedule of his meetings and will censor access by cabinet ministers, backbench MPPs and government employees to journalists.

These are all moves that could ultimately infuriate top ministers in Ford’s new cabinet and frustrate public servants trying to carry out their normal duties, just as happened in Ottawa during Harper’s contentious term in power.


Jenni Byrne, another former Harperite who also worked on the campaign, is Ford’s new principal secretary. She will oversee the strict approach on central control. It’s a role that apparently suits her. As Harper’s deputy chief of staff, Byrne helped enforce the culture of fear that permeated the Harper government. In 2015, the Globe and Mail branded her as “Harper’s enforcer” and described her as “the most powerful woman in Ottawa.”

In Ottawa, Harper implemented a tough communications regime that muzzled scientists, blocked bureaucrats from organizing or speaking at public events and often barred elected Tory MPs from speaking to journalists.

Even veteran cabinet ministers had to suffer the humiliation of having to get approval from a 20-something press assistant selected by Harper’s office before they could speak to a reporter about a policy issue in their own area of responsibility.


Also, Ford has abandoned the traditional practice of releasing the premier’s daily schedule of public appearances. On the surface it seems like a small thing, but it’s a sign that Ford, despite his rhetoric, isn’t serious about being transparent and accountable with the public.

In addition, Ford is continuing his election strategy of stiff-arming most journalists, refusing virtually all interviews and failing to hold a post-inauguration press conference, instead speaking only to Ford Nation Live, the Tories’ own private online news outlet.


     Thread Starter

7/05/2018 4:52 pm  #50

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

" One last statement " ..... eh Rick ..... really , seems to be a continuing last statement thread .
Wonder who really has an " axe to grind " here ?
Plenty of Political statements made in your last post , many of which are agenda biased , and more about personal politics .
I can only hope that Barry will consider a new sub-forum .... Politics .
I'm sure there won't be any shortage of  comments from disgruntled out of work  spend happy Liberals who have caused this problem in the first place .
As often is the case , the ones that have spent tax dollars to an unsustainable level , are usually the first to point the fingers , and put blame on those elected  that now have to clean up the mess .
I'm comforted to know that The Honourable John Yakabuski .... Senior Cabinet Minister of Transportation , and MPP for  Renfrew- Nippising -Pembroke will represent the regional interests of his riding , which of course encompasses the wondrous Algonquin Park 


7/06/2018 11:34 am  #51

Re: Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise

Although I have not examined the specifics on a year to year basis, I believe an examination of funding to MNR and MNRF and to Algonquin Park has been decreased by Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP for decades. I suspect that whether we hail from the Ottawa Valley or the "big city" or somewhere between we can all agree that additional support for the Park and its protection (rather than cuts) would be welcome from any government and it is upon that we should focus.

There are strongly held opinions in favour of having a managed forest and opinions against having a managed forest, just as there have been since Algonquin Park was founded. It has been suggested that the well-managed portion of a multiple use park under the Algonquin Forestry Authority combined with almost 50% of the land reserved for other purposes and activities, including recreation throughout, provides a considerable compromise and a huge improvement beyond conditions in 1893 or even in 1965. While modern forest harvesting does not and cannot "Leave No Trace," (roads, slash, soil disturbance) neither would the natural disturbances, such as fire, that forest harvesting simulates. The bottom line is that people (forest workers, service industry workers, physicians and nurses, politicians, etc.) in eastern Ontario still need to put food on the table. Ontario consumers still want and use wood products. It is a fact of geography that the Algonquin uplands and Petawawa sand plains produce some of the finest forest products in Ontario. It is also a fact of economy that such economic activities as mining, snowmobiling, and many activities associated with tourism (lodges, hunt camps, fishing camps) are excluded, along with the associated jobs) within the almost 8000 square kilometres of land in eastern Ontario that is Algonquin Park and a buffer surrounding it. At least the forest industry is providing jobs based on a renewable resource. To remove a cornerstone of the local economy might not be ethical, even if for some it would be desired.

I have sometimes wondered about the tendency for many park users to do their shopping for canoe and camping trips "back home" at the superstores rather than purchasing their supplies at somewhat higher prices in communities around the Park. That would generate local jobs and should somehow be encouraged. I am told that it is getting harder to find people willing to work in the forest industry and I wonder if the communities around the Park could accept the change and benefit from looking into a greater diversity of employment opportunities. Perhaps it is old fashioned and nostalgic, but I think of a return to guiding folks new to camping and canoeing as one possible opportunity. Another possibility might involve somehow taking advantage of Algonquin Park's status as a National Historic Site (although with no Cultural Heritage specialists in all of Ontario Parks to study sites and then make them known to the public that might be difficult).

I have not the knowledge or expertise to suggest better means of putting food on tables local to the Park, but I bet many users of this forum could come up with some suggestions that could be passed on for support by municipal and provincial representatives.


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