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History » new book on Algonquin Park history » 5/25/2020 7:11 am

Just a quick note to wish all who are coping with the shutdown success in doing so, and a thanks to the medical professionals who are giving so much care to those in need.

Thank you to Barry and others for making comment on my book, Algonquin Park - A Place Like No Other. Although the physical bookstore run by The Friends of Algonquin Park is not currently open, orders for this and other books are possible online.

While the intention of the book was not to be an encyclopaedia, in consideration of a possible revision "someday", suggestions regarding "information that should not have been left out" may be offered by readers (preferably with references).  Enjoy the read.

History » new book on Algonquin Park history » 8/27/2018 8:35 am

In addition to Algonquin Park - A Place Like No Other (2018), The Friends of Algonquin Park has updated the chronology in the technical series as A Chronology of Dates and Events of Algonquin Provincial Park as part of the series that includes the Pictorial History, Mammal book, etc. The Dates and Events book lists events to 2017 briefly, while the companion Algonquin Park- A Place Like No Other fills in considerably more detail.
It was an interesting time this past winter when both books were being prepared for printing at the same time.

Trip Planning » High Falls Area (Little Bonnechere River) » 8/27/2018 8:23 am

I walked to High Falls a few years ago and the old road was easy to follow. Listen for the sound of the falls (or there may be a sign). I tried finding the falls many winters ago, but had trouble because ice over the water deadens the sound. I ended up following the trail for quite some distance before tirning back. I do not think it possible to follow the trail to Crooked Chute (shown as High Falls on top maps).
If you are interested in exploring the Little Bonnechere and its history I suggest you get  and read Spirits of the Little Bonnechere, Second Edition, from The Friends of Algonquin Park. It is a history focusing on that river. They might have Walks of the Little Bonnechere too, but I think that is on-line as well.
I gather the Basin Road is being used for log hauling now, and that may still be the case in the fall.

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/15/2018 6:29 pm

last clarification, then I am off this thread.
In 2010 I was conducting research on a camboose shanty in Algonquin Park (research since published) as a licensed archaeologist with Park permission. Algonquin Park has no historian and no archaeologist on staff (neither does Ontario Parks). I was invited by Park staff to voluntarily accompany them to observe an unusual two-roomed shanty foundation found by AFA tree markers in the vicinity of Radiant Lake. Somewhere along the Bissett Creek Road near Radiant Lake I took the two images above.

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/15/2018 2:38 pm

For clarity. I cannot vouch for the location of the video, but the two images in #5 above were taken just north of the east end of Radiant Lake, near the Bissett Creek Road, well within the Algonquin Park boundary.

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/15/2018 11:12 am

In re-reading Barry originated messages above it may be that my posts are inappropriate, since it appears Barry has suggested another venue for discussion about logging. So an apology to Barry may be in order. However, I would point out that when the ABR was disbanded, along with its good work, there was another government in power. The ABR was a strong advocate for many issues which made or could have made the Park better run from a recreation perspective, and with a new government in place perhaps it might be worth another kick at the can. 

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/15/2018 11:04 am

In reading the previous post about the recreation focus of the forum, I note that the zone in which logging occurs is called the Recreation-Utilization Zone, not just the Recreation Zone, so issues of logging and recreation and opinions related to them cannot be completely separated. Should a recreationist be so adventuresome as to venture into the Recreation-Utilization Zone forest far enough from well-travelled recreational routes he or she might see sights as posted above. However, the AFA strives to separate logging and recreation in a physical sense and thus minimize the opportunity for recreationists to see the various stages of forest harvest and forest regeneration. The AFA has to follow rules set out in the Park Management Plan and the Forest Management Plan to accomplish this. Forestry and forest harvesting in Algonquin Park especially is not a free-for-all.  It is also important to note that the presence of Areas of Concern, not marked on public maps, reduces the area in the Recreation-Utilization Zone available for forest harvest.

I am trying only to provide information, not make a judgement about whether logging should continue in the Park or not.

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/15/2018 10:49 am

If there is a question regarding the veracity of the video, I was in the Bissett Road section of the Park in September 2010 and took the accompanying photographs. They seems to match the video recently posted.

Buyers cannot have access to White Pine products, some from Algonquin Park, without some messiness (just as in making sausage). As I understand it, the first part of the harvest cycle in the uniform shelterwood system involves a preparation cut in which diseased, damaged and poorly formed trees are removed. Then, about 20 years later, when cones are produced, mature trees are cut/harvested to one-half crown spacing (roughly as shown). The remaining trees are left to seed naturally from the mature trees which also perhaps provide some of the shade necessary for the growth of young pine. I believe unshaded trees are susceptible to White Pine Weevil. After 20 years of regeneration and growth of the seedings/saplings half of the mature trees are harvested. After another 20 years the remainder of the large trees are harvested and the stand is allowed to grow for another 40 years before the next preparation cut.

In theory, in an ideal natural fire situation while most of the trees would be burned, but some mature individuals would escape the fire and reproduce naturally. The uniform shelterwood sysyem at the stage shown in the images sort of mimics that fire situation, and grows more pine, instead of a scrub forest.

I intend to make no judgement about the operation, except to point out that if it doesn't look pretty remember that  a farmer's field for juicy cobs of autumn corn doesn't look very pretty either when the manure spreader has deposited its load in the spring.

History » What Is This?? » 8/12/2018 1:22 pm

Found in an undated (right side up) Thomas Pink of Pembroke catalogue.

History » new book on Algonquin Park history » 8/09/2018 6:25 am

Here is a little more about "Algonquin Park - A Place Like No Other", the new book on Park history.

It was written by Roderick (Rory) MacKay over the past decade.

It is 24 cm  16 cm X  2.5 cm, so it fits on a regular bookshelf.  It has a mass of 800 grams.

It is 432 pages in length. It is only available through The Friends of Algonquin Park at a cost of $30.80 for members or 36.23 for non-members. It costs about $10.00 to ship.

Part One: "First on the Land"  is indigenous history
Part Two: "Advance of the Colonists" is about early logging, colonization roads, attempts to open the land for settlement.
Part Three: "Establishing the Park" is about the three civil servants who recommended a park and the Royal Commission
Part Four: "Protecting the Park" is about the work of the rangers
Part Five: "Encroaching on Wilderness" is about the construction of railways, the highway and the Lake of Two Rivers Airfield and continued logging
Part Six: "The Park As A Playground" covers recreation development, including lodges, camps, stores, and camping along roadsides and in the Interior.
Part Seven: "Understanding the Park" outlines the history of research in the Park and Park Interpretation
Part Eight: "Making It Work" is about the planning and consultation that went into the Master Plan and Management Plan, with discussion about issues such as the leases, the land claim, continued logging, and a look into "history yet to be".
There is a lengthy References Cited section and an Index.

The book is an overview history to be read. It is "extensive but not exhaustive", nor encyclopaedic. It contains about 140 black and white images.

Bill Calvert, writer of the Master Plan, wrote: "This fine book will be a prime reference of choice on the cultural history of Algonquin Provincial Park for many years to come! Offering a multi-faceted window into the Park's rich past, it is clearly written, full of fascinating detail, technically accurate and up-to-date. The result is a stimulat

History » new book on Algonquin Park history » 7/27/2018 10:55 am

With great expectation, "Algonquin Park A Place Like No Other", a new book on Algonquin Park history, was delivered today at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre today, after a long ago conception, a tortuously long gestation period. Author and publisher (The Friends of Algonquin Park) are doing well.

The 430 plus, softcover book, covering from ancient indigenous times to December 2017, will sell for about $35.00 plus tax, either at The Friends of Algonquin Park book stores or their on-line bookstore.

History » What Is This?? » 7/27/2018 10:21 am

I would say it is a "dog" which was driven into a log to secure it to a rope attached to the ring. Possibly part of a small boom. Large booms would have been held together by chains.

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/25/2018 11:18 am

I agree that writing letters in support of one's particular take on the issues that face Algonquin Park is important. Government does sometimes ask for public input, but not always. There is supposedly to be a complete review of the Management Plan this year, but unless I have missed something, so far there has been no call for comment. Encroachment on the Park from outside its borders is one concern. My pet peeve is the under-representation of Cultural Heritage compared with natural heritage, the Logging Museum and Visitor Centre displays notwithstanding. Important as well is making sure the Algonquin land claim is negotiated, with the settlers of Ontario at least considered in the mix (without differential fishing and camping and hunting expectations). There is a Committee of external advisors regarding the claim that has been pretty well ignored. I gather garbage is still a concern. Sure, concerns about logging could be included among the concerns, either in support of the economy or in support of diminished impact on the Park. If those of us on this forum are one way or other "in the minority" compared with the entire population of Ontario we need to make our voices heard within the government. We may not all agree with forum posts, but they provide a valuable way to educate ourselves about the issues that face the Park. I know I have learned a lot and hope to learn more.

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/23/2018 11:10 am

It has been suggested here by a fellow member that the logging life is part of the culture of the Ottawa Valley and there is local interest in continuing to manage the forest of Algonquin Park to keep alive a way of life, support the economy of the area, and recognize that sound forestry practice is of benefit to our society and to the Park. Respect of that viewpoint is important, even if you don't agree. More on that later.

It has been established for many years that in certain types of forest stand the forest grows best when there is disturbance, either by fire (which we humans determine should be extinguished as quickly as possible) or by some other substitute such as logging. Recently it has been suggested by the AFA that well-managed forests, such as those in Algonquin Park, may absorb more atmospheric carbon than "natural" forests. One goal of the AFA is to provide in Algonquin Park a best-practices example of forest management. That is in keeping with one of the reasons the Park was established in 1893 (although modern practice is much improved since then). Removing logging from Algonquin Park may be one way to clean up the Parks, but on the other hand it may not. Our society's experiment with plastic straws, plastic bags, and a "paperless" society may have run its course, perhaps to be replaced in the future with a return to more sustainable replacements made of wood (such as we used to have before plastics became 'the thing'). Perhaps replacements for the wood that comes from Algonquin Park will be found in eastern Ontario and logging will be phased out there, but perhaps also it will be important to have the Park as an example of "increasingly better practices".  My mind is not made up.

Those of us who live in cities or other spaces cleared of forest may find it difficult to see the connection between logging in the Park and area and local lifestyle. In the interest of understanding that concept a bit better, I submit the following passage from David Le

Test Forum » test of image size » 7/18/2018 2:02 pm

This is a test of an image of a new book by Rory MacKay on the history of the Park, to be available in late July 2018.


Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/13/2018 9:46 am

Apologies to any who think I write, think, and come across like a teacher and take offence. I was a secondary school teacher for 30 years and a park interpreter before that and can't help myself. Please forgive me.

It would be interesting to find out the result of any studies the government has undertaken studies to determine if it would be possible to continue the flow of wood to eastern Ontario sawmills by replacing forest harvest in Algonquin Park by increasing forest harvest outside Algonquin Park. As mentioned in a previous post, it happens that some of the best wood in Ontario grows on the area that is Park. Similar quantities of wood may not be available elsewhere. Consideration would have to be made for the loss of an extensive investment made by the AFA in logging road infrastructure.  

Here is another thought, related to my previous comment about (understandable) local resistance to change in economic diversity.  Three years ago a colleague and I tried to get the MNRF Manager in Renfrew County to temporarily halt a proposed forest harvest operation just outside Algonquin Park and north of Barry's Bay, in the interest of having a professional archaeologist examine and make recommendations about a 250 hectare section of forest which apparently contained the remains of a logging company depot farm dating to the 1830s and which had previously been an aboriginal sugar bush. We hoped the farm clearance stone piles could someday form the basis of a historic hiking trail through mature maple stands focusing on the importance of depot farms in the early history of logging in the Ottawa Valley and that such a trail would attract tourists to the area. The MNRF manager refused our request to consult a professional archaeologist (as licensed research and avocational archaeologists we could not make official "recommendations"). In fact we were told the forest had already been logged when it had not been, yet. In the end it was logged, with "protection" around the in

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/12/2018 9:49 pm

I agree with the sentiment that it is important to understand the issues. Back in the late 1960s the government of the day was made aware that many Ontario residents wanted parks that were logging free. I believe at that time logging was taking place in somewhat isolated areas such as Lake Superior Park between Sault St. Marie and Wawa, Quetico Provincial Park as well as Algonquin Provincial Park. The government was also made aware that many Ontario residents were dependent on the forest industry either directly or indirectly for their livelihood. I don't know if a tally was kept regarding how many letters were pro-logging versus anti-logging or from what regions of Ontario the letters came. Gerald Killan's book "Protected Places" (a history of Ontario's Park system to 1993) may provide some answers. As I understand it, the government determined to stop logging in Quetico and Lake Superior Parks. It continued in Algonquin Park. Indeed, Algonquin Park was classed, not as a wilderness park but as a Natural Environment Park.

The issue of logging was well discussed during public hearings prior to the release of the Master Plan in 1974. Some on the forum may not be aware that in the Master Plan the single stated goal for the Algonquin Park region was "To maintain the economic base for local communities and to continue to provide Ontario residents with a diversity of recreational opportunities."  That regional goal was emphasized by the following statement: "The needs of people living within the region are given special emphasis in the regional goal. The need to maintain a suitable level of economic activity in the region is recognized."

The goal for Algonquin Park in 1974 was "to provide continuing opportunities for a diversity of low intensity recreational experiences, within the constraint of the contribution of the Park to the economic life of the region." In the explanation of the Park goal it was stated that "The role of Algonquin within the social and economic f

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