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7/06/2018 5:47 pm  #35


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

algonquinarchaeologist wrote:

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.
 

This is the most sensible comment in this entire thread. Agree with MartinG - very well put Rory.

 

7/08/2018 6:37 am  #36


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

Just a little bit of news on APP developments looking forward and not directly related to the Ford administration... here's a vid produced recently, in June by a newer NGO working towards park protection, together with over 3500 letters from Ontario residents being sent in earlier requesting an end to APP logging. No word from Queen's Park on how this was received esp with the newly tightened muzzling on comments on government policy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=YCnwzpEyn7g

Ontario's forest industry is in decline, with about a third of the jobs previously available now gone. Tourism, by contrast, is booming... Canada's tourism industry provides more income and jobs than the entire resource sector combined, excepting oil and gas (all those tourists driving around need fuel in addition to everybody else so O&G is still the big one). The bigger-picture trend in the economy is clearly moving towards tourism but I really don't know whether Doug Ford understands this or is willing to adapt to it. His recent meeting with Trudeau received some related comments along these lines from the PM and in the press. Anyway, we move on, always interesting.

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7/09/2018 8:16 am  #37


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

To paraphrase - Tourism is growing in peaceful coexistence with the existing ethical forestry industry. 

 

7/09/2018 8:24 am  #38


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

Rob, you must have been paraphrasing other posts besides mine.

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7/10/2018 8:20 am  #39


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

It's obviously quite apparent now .... this thread  has been allowed to be ... your personal soap box  and platform to express your anti-logging views

--------------------------------------------

Well... I posted in reply to Rory's comment on carrying on with more discussion here and what to do to help improve prospects for the park. As far as the material being posted, I can assure that these sorts of developments are real and do have some bearing on how the park's being managed. The last fifty years have resulted in significant change and this long-term trend will continue if the past is any indicator.

I am sorry if this offends you but IMO and maybe the government's, 3,500 anti-logging letters being sent in recently is no small matter. When I wrote letters for the MNR minister, voter opinion was taken seriously... Doug Ford's administration may be different, but again, we'll see.

As I wrote earlier on, this may be a year of change in how the park is managed, esp given the changing legal and political environment... if you are interested in keeping track of how things work out with time, I would encourage you to read on. Or don't, it's your choice.

As for myself and how I see things with APP, it's all very interesting and there's potential for some real change as time goes on. I've tried to keep personal and political bias out, but as anybody in news reporting knows, all reporting includes bias and politics, esp with something like APP. Hang on, there's more news coming, and more APP discussion here, if permitted of course.  


 

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7/10/2018 9:34 am  #40


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

Contrary to John's proclamation, this forum is not a free-for-all. Rather, there appears to be a sincere effort by most posters to share information surrounding the controversy. The rules and expectations of this forum still stand. If John becomes insulted and inflamed over the mere mention of a contrary position .. well, that won't help readers understand a contrary position .. not agree with it .. but UNDERSTAND it.  There's an old saying "know your enemy". I think toning that down to "try to understand where one's opposition is coming from" might be constructive. Attacking others with bombastic 'straw-man' tactics won't earn anyone points on the forum.

Incidentally, for those wanting some background information, there's an archived forestry section on the website .. http://www.algonquinadventures.com/forest/ForestIndex.htm

 

7/12/2018 1:58 am  #41


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

Over the years the forum has been impacted by various “inflammations”. As the forum administrator, I've established and refined forum rules and expectations in an effort to keep the temperature of discussions below the “flash point”.

Rules 1 and 2 were basic to this effort ..

1 - not post inflammatory or defamatory statements.
2 - not post personally critical or argumentative statements.

Unfortunately, the terms “inflammatory” and “argumentative” sometimes escape understanding or pose a challenge.

Expectation #9 was developed to provide a foundation for these rules ...

9. No uncivil postings should be made. Such postings occur when either .. someone "names" another and then proceeds to criticize them directly .. or someone "names" someone, misrepresents that person's opinion and then proceeds to criticize that "misrepresentation", thereby provoking the person who's opinion they are misrepresenting. Only "information" should be directly addressed on the forum. "Personal" criticisms and provocations are not acceptable.

When I sensed that this thread was approaching a “flash point” I made a posting which in hind-sight I could have worded differently, in more general terms as follows …

---

Contrary to recent proclamation, this forum is not a free-for-all. Rather, there appears to be a sincere effort by most posters to share information surrounding the controversy. The rules and expectations of this forum still stand. If one becomes insulted and inflamed over the mere mention of a contrary position .. well, that won't help anyone to understand a contrary position .. not to agree with it, but to understand it.

There's an old saying "know your enemy". I think toning that down to "try to understand where one's opposition is coming from" might be more constructive.

Attacking others with bombastic 'straw-man' tactics won't earn anyone points on the forum.

---

I apologize that my original posting was taken as a “public scolding”. I acknowledge John as a long time valued contributor to this forum, with 222 postings to date containing much appreciated “East Side” text, photographs and humour.

That being said, I hope we can all keep the forum's Rules 1 and 2 and Expectation 9 in mind going forward.

Thanks.
 

 

7/12/2018 9:49 pm  #42


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

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 fabric of the regional community is defined by the regional goal. Thus, Algonquin will continue to contribute to resource production activities in the region."

For some, 1974 is ancient history. In 1993 a Park Management Plan was written and published. Once again some citizens thought logging should continue in the Park and some citizens thought logging should cease. Both groups then had valid points, as they do today. When the Management Plan was released the stated goal for the Park was "to provide protection of natural and cultural features, continuing opportunities for a diversity of low-intensity recreational, wilderness, and natural environmental experiences; and within this provision continue and enhance the Park's contribution to the economic, social, and cultural life of the region." It was also stated that "The Park also advances the Ministry of Natural Resources goal: to contribute to the environmental, social, and economic well-being of Ontario through the sustainable development of natural resources."

With another review of the Park's purposes and goal apparently intended for this year (?) it does make sense that the long-established positions for and against logging would be revisited. But it is important that we understand and recognize that conditions have changed with respect to how much of the Park is to be harvested and how that is done. We must recognize that the economy and culture of the region are still deeply rooted in the forest industry. Uttering the same old arguments about logging or forest harvest will be akin to returning to the trenches of World War One in an attempt to stave off the issues of the nuclear age. A government established a stalemate on the issue of logging/forest harvest decades ago, and successive governments since have maintained that position. It might help if we all consider how some third generation urban-based automotive workers concerned about trade tariffs on cars made in Ontario might now appreciate and understand the longer-standing concerns of third or fourth generation forest workers faced with anti-logging sentiment. No matter where jobs are threatened, the feelings and fears are the same.

The Lightening the Footprint of Logging amendment to the Management Plan completed in 2013 by the Algonquin Forestry Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources, and others, suggests to me that it would be more productive to focus discussion on specific ways to improve protection of forest values while maintaining sustainable growth in areas to be harvested, rather than thinking in terms of "logging-yes" and "logging-no."  Under current political and economic conditions it is unlikely that forest harvesting in Algonquin Park will cease.
 
What scares me most is how many of our fellow citizens never think about any of the many concerns that threaten the "average-man's wilderness" that is Algonquin Park. Three and a half thousand letters against logging may represent ten times that number or even twenty times that number of concerned citizens (it is likely that number could be countered by just as many pro-logging letters if such was the need) but that is just a drop in the bucket when compared with the entire population of Ontario. We who care about the Park, whether we live in the 905 area code or Renfrew County or elsewhere, are in the minority. For us there should be is no scarcity of figurative battles to be jointly waged against Park-related issues; accumulation of garbage left at campsites, toilet paper blossoms alongside trails, the cutting of saplings for campsite furnishings and shelters, nails in trees, escalating Park fees, staff budget constraints and cuts, under-representation of the public in Ontario's Land Claim advisory committees, continued acid rain, invasive species, the demise of Algonquin Eco-watch and the Algonquin Backcountry Recreationalists from reluctance to listen by governments of many stripes, and many other issues raised in this forum. Imagine how influential we could be if all of us who care about the Park would work together on issues that the government might actually be in a position to address.

 
 

 

7/13/2018 8:17 am  #43


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

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 rest of the world. Southern Ontario is changing rapidly along with everything else and if APP is to be managed "for the people" as so often repeated during the Ford administration's Speech From The Throne yesterday, we'll get to see more initiatives for change being implemented. 

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7/13/2018 9:46 am  #44


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

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 individual piles of stone. We have not returned to evaluate the condition of the historic site, but stone piles seldom win out over mechanized harvesters. To us it appeared that guidelines agreed to by MNR and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport regarding cultural heritage protection had been ignored. Long-term tourism potential was trumped by short term monetary gain.  Similar situations have occurred in Algonquin Park, in the past (search McKay, Egan Farm on google).

Notwithstanding the importance of supporting the forest industry of eastern Ontario and understanding its role as an important way of life and source of employment (so very well articulated by Mr. Connelly in the second post up), and notwithstanding the importance the science involved in maintaining the ecological integrity of Provincial Parks, I wonder if, with the overall use of Provincial Parks by the people being recreational (canoeing, kayaking, camping and sight-seeing by tourists), it is time to move Ontario Parks from the resource-based Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (forest harvest, aggregates) into the more people-oriented Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (/recreation).

Just thinking a bit outside the box.
 

 

7/13/2018 10:22 am  #45


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

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...

Last edited by frozentripper (7/13/2018 10:25 am)

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7/14/2018 9:31 am  #46


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

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

http://wildlands.wpengine.com/media/restoring-natures-place.pdf

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... cheers, I guess, have a great weekend.

 

Last edited by frozentripper (7/14/2018 9:44 am)

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7/14/2018 2:21 pm  #47


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

During my involvement with the advisory group for the Canadian Standards for Sustainable Forestry Designation for the AFA, I got the distinct indication that the AFA tree-markers fastidiously adhered to the park's own "Values Maps", leaving prescribed setbacks and buffers around all manner of major natural "values", such as  ..  spring-fed brook trout lake rechargement areas .. bear dens .. over-mature cavity trees .. heron rookeries .. etc.

In my opinion, the AFA's desire to maintain the CSA Sustainable Forestry designation does result in protection of many more wildlife "values" in areas they are harvesting by "select cutting", than many cutting operations outside the park do that aren't following such practices.

Obviously if no cutting were being conducted, the lack of associated noise and haulage road-related impacts would increase the protection of even more wildlife values.

 

7/18/2018 7:36 am  #48


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

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 the situation. 

"We go in there, we're going to find additional waste, we're going to find areas that we can drive efficiencies," he said.

The premier is pledging that the inquiry would build on the work of the province's auditor general, Bonnie Lysyk, who has been critical of government accounting standards that she said understate its deficits by billions.

...

Government also launching major audit

Ford made the announcement alongside Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy.

The government is also in the early stages of launching a value-for-money audit of the government books, the trio said. Currently, it has issued a public request for bids to consult on an audit with an Aug. 1 deadline.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pc-government-to-launch-inquiry-into-liberal-spending-1.4750028


https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/reevely-five-week-audit-to-sort-out-government-finances-ford-announces
 

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7/18/2018 8:23 am  #49


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

The original post related to "cleaning up the parks" and cuts that might have a direct impact on Algonquin ... I can get behind that topic for discussion on this forum ...  but I'm not sure how general audits, probes into past Liberal spending, city of Toronto audits, etc.. has anything to do with Algonquin Park ? 

Unless these articles is saying that the result could impact Ontario Parks ?

 

7/18/2018 9:02 am  #50


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

I have to agree with DW. Unless there is specific information about Algonquin park in these articles they do not belong on this forum IMO. Info about the PC government trying to clean up the irresponsible spending of the Lib government IMO does not belong here. If anybody would have run their household like the libs did the province we would all be bankrupt but again this discussion is for an other forum.

 

7/18/2018 9:21 am  #51


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

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.

Last edited by frozentripper (7/18/2018 9:43 am)

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