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Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/19/2018 7:09 am

From the previous post...

"The legal framework governing policy should be checked out and if there is news on this, I'll post the info here."

Information on these matters is no longer allowed here, so nothing more from me. Anybody interested in these developments as time goes can get their info somewhere else... cheers!


Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/16/2018 6:55 am


"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. "


Something tells me that, with the spending cuts the Ford administration is planning, there will be less attention paid to NGOs (non-governmental organizations) than in the past, but who knows. The reorganization of Ontario Parks in the new Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks may well mean policy change and NGOs will be heard. The new ministry might be more supportive of environmental assessment and policy review as APP management moves on with time.

The legal framework governing policy should be checked out and if there is news on this, I'll post the info here.

Don't hold your breath on anything happening soon, the budget and spending audit may be the first indication of how things might change wrt parks and that's due mid-Sept, IIRC... (and may be subject to criticism once it's out since the Ontario Auditor General already makes independent recommendations on an annual basis so why the duplication, except for political reasons). Anyway, cheers.

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/14/2018 7:56 am

"Efforts to stretch the application of terms like "ethics" and "preserve and protect" from the recreational use areas to the industrial logging use areas will not be supported by this website. "


Well, it's your website. I would have thought by now the effects of the logging industry on recreational use would have been more obvious. In terms of recreation, the most serious being the effect of logging road construction allowing motorized and illegal access to trout lakes that should have been better protected in the first place. This has an effect on the quality of backcountry experience, both by overharvesting depleting populations and in introduction of exotic species which creates an irreversible impact. Other effects on recreational use have been summarized by the Ontario Parks Board, written about in the Doug Ford thread which it seems, has been closed.

The legal mechanism to work against this sort of damage is with Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights, overseen by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario,  and appointed by the Ontario government's Legislative Assembly... fortunately not within the jurisdiction of any political party currently in power.The ECO does have the power to subpoena ministries to ensure they are in compliance with the existing legal framework governing policy. As you know, the ECO has made a recommendation that logging in  APP be phased out and if the phase-out is adopted, the benefits will include benefits to recreational use.

As I wrote in the other thread, I started the Doug Ford discussion mostly for information-gathering purposes... that will carry on whether or not it's included here, and it's part of the reality of APP being what it is. If you'd rather not have this bigger-picture news, let me know. Otherwise, I think it's valuable as time goes on and helps to benefit APP, one of the benefits being the recreation that APP provides.

Ethics » Logging on Bissett Creek road, 2010-2011 » 8/13/2018 7:24 am

Vid showing a drive through a logged-over area in the park, goes on and on and on for seven minutes. No comment from me relative to any other recent news, viewers can decide for themselves whether this is real, and representative of the effects of logging on the landscape.

Barry, since there is an "Ethics" section here and in the past AA has had a "protect and preserve" function on APP-related issues, this seems appropriate. In addition, there does seem to be some potential for change in the newly-formed ministry wrt parks and in government generally, together with other initiatives already set in motion.

The developments are slow, and at times controversial, but according to news reports, they are real and will determine what happens with APP, for better or worse. The new Ontario government, a new park plan, and the recent Ontario Parks Act, just a few developments suggesting that something's in the wind.

As always very interesting reading (for me anyway), we wait and see as new information comes in... cheers.


Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 8/12/2018 7:50 am

A recent CPAWS report published July 2018, with recommendations on how to increase the extent of protected lands towards a 17% protection target by 2020. In Southern  Ontario, Algonquin park is recommended as a large area needing protection, together with another in the northern boreal. In the past CPAWS has been successful in working with government wrt APP related issues, increasing land area where logging is now banned.

Options and strategies on how to achieve this are provided, including federal and international initiatives. The Trudeau administration has provided $1.3 billion in funding direced towards the 17% protection target, some of which could be used in buying out logging rights. Ontario has an agreement in place to meet the 17% target by 2020.

See p43 for the Ontario section.




As part of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada pledged to take
action to safeguard biodiversity. One of Canada’s promises is to achieve at
least 17% protection of the country’s lands and inland waters by 2020, and to
improve the quality of our protected area systems.

Diverse voices across the country are now calling for action on protected areas, and
momentum is growing. With 2020 right around the corner, people are asking, “can Canada
do this?” Can our country achieve 17% protection of our lands and freshwaters in 2 years,
and then plan for the longer-term work needed to reverse the catastrophic and ongoing
decline in nature?

The answer is YES. Thanks in part to the support of the federal government’s Budget 2018
commitment of $1.3 billion for nature conservation, there is an unprecedented opportunity for
Canada to safeguard nature in the spirit of reconciliation between Indigenous governments
and public governments, and between all Canadians and nature.




For more than a decade, there has been little work done to

Trip Planning » Moose sighting Opportunities » 7/31/2018 6:40 am

If you are canoeing through marshy areas and see that lily pads have been bitten off, leaving only the stems, there are moose in the area. Lily pads are a favorite food and moose like to stay in the water where bugs can't get at them and feed there.

I agree that the moose hunt has made them less visible, so areas west of the Shirley road should be better for sightings.

Near Hwy 60. the Madawaska runs through marshy areas west of LOTR and so does Costello creek south of Opeongo... Costello creek is interesting since you can observe moose from the cliffs on the Opeongo lookout with binoculars or a spotting scope. No guarantee you'll see moose but there's still the view and the sunset.

PS... another place to try near Hwy 60 could be Mud Bay north of the Whitney access point... lots of wetland area there..

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/29/2018 8:56 am

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.  

I don't know about being in the minority as far as recreational use goes with almost a million APP visitors each year...  still wrt making ourselves heard, Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights provides the means to raise awareness of issues in government... the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is there for this purpose. I can find the info that's relevant towards initiating reviews of laws and policy without too much trouble.

Another less direct option exists with the Ontario Parks Board... there to provide advice on planning, management and development of provincial parks.  Their function may be affected by Doug Ford's new and reorganized Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. It's possible there could be firings or outright elimination of the OPB as a cost-cutting or policy measure, but OTOH the ECO won't be affected by the Ford administration since Ford has no jurisdiction there. The hugely unpopular downsizing of Toronto's city council may be an indication of where things are going with "government for the people" but again, we'll see.

Just to put things in bigger-picture perspective in terms of how the OPB sees APP and where things are going in terms of their direction, it might help to repeat their vision for the park made in 2006 (Lightening the Ecological Footprint). The OPB aims for a balanced approach to park management and there is a diversified background in place, including forestry expertise, within their members.

PS... it's worth pointing out that this statement may have been made before ecological integrity became established as the first priority in parks management, since it was also made in 2006. The OPB's vision may well have changed since the new Parks Act came into effect the same year. 


Trip Planning » Wilderness hike » 7/26/2018 8:04 am

W69... 2-3 weeks is a long time spent with only a backpack and the food you can carry in it. Most likely you'll have to resupply once or twice but since you mention Madawaska to regroup you've probably already thought of this and might be able to arrange a resupply point (Brent is used for resupply by others).

Since you might be looking at modifying the route from cross-park to something else, this could help simplify things, esp with the time being after Labor day when more campsites will be unoccupied and available.

Logging roads, including the larger, more permanent ones, are marked in white on Google maps and these could be used to connect to lakes with campsites nearby and to areas you're interested in seeing. You'll find there's a lot of choice in roads available so some time can be spent planning things out. More roads will be visible in satellite photos with high resolution identifying the ones that are open and those that are overgrown. Also bridges (which can be removed) should show up in sat photos, and can help to cross barriers like wetlands and rivers. 

AFA's active haul roads are marked below along with season of use... you might want to stay off these if you want to avoid noise, OTOH they are available as long as you get off the road if you hear trucks approaching which might not see you in time. Keep posting here to tell about how things are going and enjoy the planning.

PS... I've used logging roads in the fall myself to backpack to campsites and it is enjoyable. Just a word of caution about rutting moose at that time of year... this happened in the Wilkens lake area once and the thought of that big brute charging if I got any closer was something that stopped progress for a while. 


Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/24/2018 8:27 am

Sure, wrt logging and the history of logging, history counts for something... maintaining historical records of logging in the park is valuable and the functions of the museums and archives shouldn't be ignored. There's a good deal of material available, both romanticized and academic for education, and the enjoyment of park visitors.

History can and should play a role, if we are to move forward with planning for the park today and over the long term. I think most parks scientists and managers would agree that historical problems continue to exist in the bigger picture and something needs to be done. If nothing is done, APP will slowly deteriorate bit by bit as Southern Ontario develops around it, slowly and piecemeal as has so often happened earlier on. 

Great Lakes' history is full of this sort of gradual, piecemeal deterioration as populations grew, with past lack of foresight and mismanagement resulting in the degradation so visible during the fifties and sixties... poor water quality, industrial toxins, loss of natural areas, degraded fisheries and many more problems that today are difficult and expensive, or impossible, really, to remedy now.

Southern Ontario has lost most of it's Carolinian ecosystem representation... there is no large natural area of this type and it's likely that it will never be restored as the lands were permanently lost to private and industrial interests, due to lack of foresight on the part of planners and managers.

APP isn't as degraded and does present an opportunity to plan for something better in anticipation of what's yet to come... by all indications there is more pressure coming as development and population increase, and past history might prove to be instructive moving forward. 

Has parks management learned anything from history, has it been improved in it's bigger picture... something suggests it has, since logging and industrial development is now banned from most parks and conservation reserves. 

Seeing the change

Trip Planning » Wilderness hike » 7/21/2018 7:53 am

While there are plenty of logging roads running almost everywhere, campsites are a different story... you'll have to camp at designated campsites at that time of year which complicates things when choosing which logging roads. The road will have to pass near a campsite closely enough to be able to bushwhack in. Another complication may arise if the campsite is occupied and the occupants aren't in the mood to share it with you, which means another bushwhack through to the next campsite which also might be occupied.

You might have read about people crossing the park this way in winter when camping is allowed anywhere except at a designated campsite. The park empties out more after Labour Day so that might make campsite availability less of an issue.

Getting an interior permit might be another problem after you describe your trip to park staff... they might not be willing to issue a permit at a time when campsite occupancy is high and there is the possibility that reservations may not be possible on crowded lakes. Don't let this stop you from trying, you might be able to do this if you explain that if no campsite turns out to be available, you'll camp in a non campsite area leaving no trace the same way as a canoe tripper will if all campsites turn out to be occupied (this is described somewhere in park regs).

Some logging roads are interesting to walk, eg. the one south of Hogan, and some can be used to access campsites for an overnight. It'll be interesting to see if you can pull this off at that time of year, so tell about how things are going with planning and permits. Good luck.

Equipment » Canoe Repairs » 7/20/2018 8:55 am

Kleinburg in in York Region and Ed Ziemba might do it. He restores wooden canoes but composites might be doable. Worth a look anyway... contact info at page bottom.

PS... or he might be able to refer you to another repair shop in the area. Marinas and boat shops will often have fiberglass repair staff, shouldn't be a problem.

Trip Planning » August trip from Opeongo » 7/20/2018 7:26 am

Several areas of old growth forest along your route including some of the world's oldest red pines in the nature reserve on Dickson. The previous age shown on park maps at 340 is now thought to beolder, about 440 as a result of improved aging techniques. They aren't spectacularly large but a great walk if you want to get off the beaten path. There are old hemlocks mixed in as well. Also old growth on the Lavieille/Dickson islands.

The old growth pines on Big Crow are mapped and more accessible with a well-worn trail. Also old growth hemleock at the Big Trout - White Trout narrows, about 400 years, along with a west-facing cliff. Lots of details left out, let me know if more info is needed... good luck.


Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/18/2018 9:21 am

LV and DW... you're right, the reports don't mention APP so there's only a bigger picture relevance that may or may not apply.

In the past, the reason why ABR and AEW were being ignored by park and planning staff may have been because of underfunding and lack of staff to deal with the problems. If true, this was part of a much larger problem that the AG identified with MNRF. This may be reflected again in the auditor's reports... we'll see, so just a heads-up for anybody interested.

I guess this is like reading, or not reading, climate change news reports when in fact CC is affecting the park. Wrt to Ontario government, it might help with understanding the bigger picture that the park exists in. And Doug Ford has promised to keep parks clean and protect waterways (the thread title), so if the auditor finds that the new ministry is underfunded, that could be a change for the better with parks, since money will be needed for that. Or not, if the auditor finds in the bigger picture, spending money on parks is wasteful.

There won't be any news on this for a while with Sept 21 the earliest it seems. We'll have to wait for something more specific, in the meantime there's this.

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/18/2018 7:36 am

Another audit on government spending was announced by the Ford administration yesterday, this time to review the previous administration's past spending and accounting practices. The first audit promised to find efficiencies and end waste in the current budget which surprisingly still hasn't begun, with consultant's bids to be in by Aug 1. Results are to be in by Sept 21 with costs less than $500,000 which suggests a quick review. A similar sort of audit for Toronto took over two years and cost $3.5 million.

Ford promises that the new efficiencies to be adopted will build on the previous findings of the auditor-general (the AG in the past stated that MNRF was being underfunded and understaffed but this might be outside the scope of this audit). The new findings will be made public and will identify where spending has been wasteful and where new efficiencies can be carried out. Maybe some reason will be given why parks were removed from MNRF, along with how new money to manage parks will be made available. But don't expect too much, given the very short time and limited resources.


Doug Ford's PCs launching inquiry into previous Liberal government's spending

Premier also set to announce plans for a value-for-money audit of Ontario's books

CBC News · Posted: Jul 17, 2018 11:38 AM ET | Last Updated: 8 hours ago


The PCs have created an Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry to probe Ontario's past spending and accounting practices. The commission will be led by former B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell, as well as Al Rosen, a forensic accountant, and Michael Horgan, a consultant with decades of public service experience.

"The commission will give you the answers about what went wrong," Ford told reporters, from behind a podium bearing the slogan "Restoring trust."

The commission's findings will be made public, and Ford said the results should provide some advice about how to fix t

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/14/2018 9:31 am

As promised here's a reference to some options on how to protect jobs while phasing out logging in APP... beginning on p21:

IIRC the ECO has also commented briefly that job replacement resulting from a logging phaseout should be possible. 

About 2200 jobs depend entirely or partially on APP logging... it shouldn't be a huge problem to find alternatives over time such as suggested above. Esp considering the bigger picture where there have been much larger job losses elsewhere, in the decline of forestry jobs generally or even single company layoffs (eg. Nortel's 35,000 lost jobs and Target's 17,000),  job losses due to Amazon disruption and high-tech job change requirements, where employees have to adapt to changing times.

PS... my sidenote story to match the MNRF's refusal to allow the survey of archaeological sites in favor of logging going ahead unobstructed above... logging contractors were informed by MNR in S Ont to leave a 15-30 buffer of forested stream cover when clearing land for construction. AFAIK this is a legal requirement and developers must comply or face charges. Subsequent site inspections showed that the buffer requirements were often ignored by contractors with logging carried out right to the water's edge. No clue on whether charges were laid.

This happened during the nineties when forestry companies were allowed to become self-policing, more or less, in observing environmental protection regulations, in the interest of saving the Ontario government some money. News reports showed several examples of  non-compliance and damaging effects in Ontario where forestry businesses simply ignored the law. Again, the ECO has commented on this, in other reports besides those related to APP, most notably, inadequate funding and capability declining with time in MNRF.

What the new ministry, Environment, Conservation and Parks means for APP and Ontario Parks still remains to be seen... c

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/13/2018 10:22 am

Rory, I'll try and find a reference to a study on APP forest products being replaced by outside sources in the event of a logging phase-out or a ban... on the weekend, busy day today.

A recent bit of news... MNRF no longer oversees Ontario Parks. OP is with the newly created & recombined Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, created by the Ford administration. Just what this means for APP remains to be seen, I assume it's in the interest of cutting costs and "efficiency" although who knows really what's on the agenda. I guess we'll get some clarification with time, maybe after the auditor's report is done in several months

Cheers, Rick

PS... no apologies necessary...

Ethics » Doug Ford's "clean up our parks" promise » 7/13/2018 8:17 am

I agree that it's necessary to understand the issues that are affecting the park, as well as understanding the evolution in management that has happened since the park was created in 1893.

During the late sixties, the Algonquin Wildlands League formed to protect APP's natural areas and oppose logging interests... in response to  public petitioning for increased protection, the 1974 Master Plan included protection proposals that resulted in a logging ban from about 7% of the area. IIRC there was quite a bit of conflict between logging and park protection camps at the time. Since then the AWL has been adopted into CPAWS, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and logging has been eliminated from all other Ontario parks, as well as in other  places in Canada. Other public organizations have joined in... I'm not going to name them all here. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario has added his recommendation to phase out logging.

With this, and added consultation and refinements to management practice, and with a greater knowledge base that relates to understanding generally, more of the park has been protected. Perhaps more significant than the actual land area now protected, is the long-term trend to greater protection, as knowledge and understanding increases.

The 2007 Ontario Parks Act now includes the two central management principles, first, managing for maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity, and second, providing for the public's right to consultation - as the highest priorities. It'll be most interesting to see how these two principles are adopted in APP as time goes on, the interpretation of ecological integrity as it applies to APP, and how much capacity for public consultation is given.

Just to keep this as brief as possible (and leaving a lot of details out), we'll get to look on and watch how this new and evolving environment will change APP management. What's critical is the fact that APP does not exist in a vacuum apart from the

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