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7/18/2018 11:37 am  #52

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

Don't get me wrong ... I think the discussion on whether the parks will be affected by cuts is a really good one ... I think there be cuts to every ministry in the government regardless of what's being said ... some more than others.  



7/23/2018 11:10 am  #53

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

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 Lee's book Lumber Kings and Shantymen: logging and lumbering in the Ottawa Valley (2006):
"The Ottawa Valley quickly became known for its mighty pines and mighty men who harvested them. Only a few men managed to make a fortune from the pines, but many succeeded in making a living. Inevitably the all-dominating forest industries shaped society in the Valley. Charlotte Whitton, loyal daughter of the Valley and eventual mayor of Ottawa wrote that its men "were said to have pine sap in their blood". Another writer has noted that "while places like Newfoundland are identified by the men who went 'out to sea', the Ottawa Valley is identified with the men who went 'into the bush'. " Few residents of the Valley lived lives untouched by the pursuit of pine. Even those who never ventured into the bush -- merchants, tradesmen, professionals -- were affected. Indeed it could be said that the population's dedication to felling, hauling, processing, and getting all this wood to market created a unique personality in the society. And just as this society flowered with the growth of timber, lumber, and pulp and paper in  the nineteenth century, it began to wilt when those industries went into decline in the twentieth. Nevertheless, traces of this social distinctiveness can still be found today in parts of the Valley."

We may not all agree about the importance of keeping certain ways of life alive in our multicultural Canada, but it is likely important that we each make ourselves aware of how complex some calls for action can be and respect that there are differing views, each with validity to someone.

Just my thoughts about the quotation.



7/23/2018 12:11 pm  #54

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

Rory - Thank you again for your rich insights. 


7/24/2018 8:27 am  #55

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

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 that has come over Southern Ontario during the last twenty to fifty years is something to consider on it's own. I don't think this will be ignored by APP planners and managers over the long term given the history, but... as always, we'll see.

There's always the recent news to discuss here, but at the same time, it's worth pointing out that APP issues won't be solved here, on this forum. Since APP is a park, public consultation should be made available for problem resolution and maybe we'll be hearing something about this soon. 

I don't expect people here to be falling over themselves to write letters and get to hearings and meetings, but in government, one public comment is indicative of something bigger... so if you do have an opinion, sure, make your comment here but also where it can be heard,where it counts and where it can create change (and creates some more history but maybe that's taking the anticipation a bit too far so that's it from me, over and out).

     Thread Starter

7/25/2018 11:18 am  #56

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

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.


7/29/2018 8:56 am  #57

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

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. 





The Board’s Vision of Algonquin

Algonquin plays a unique and important role in Ontario’s system of provincial parks and
conservation reserves. Ontario’s third largest park, after Polar Bear and Wabakimi,
Algonquin takes in 763,310 hectares of land and water. Algonquin is by far the largest
protected areas south of the French and Mattawa rivers. French River Provincial Park
with 73,530 hectares is the next largest in this respect, but is less than 10% the size of
Algonquin. Indeed, Algonquin dwarfs all other protected areas in central and southern

The park plays a proportionately large role in the lives of Ontarians. Over the years
hundreds of thousands of visitors have enjoyed their first taste of wilderness travel in
the park. Many more enjoy car camping, hiking and picnicking along the heavily used
Highway 60 corridor. The park’s recreational and natural attractions have made
Algonquin one of Ontario’s premier tourist destinations, together with Niagara Falls,
Toronto and Ottawa. Algonquin plays a dominant role in the regional tourism economy.

However, many Ontarians value the park mainly as a natural area, a place where nature
operates on a large scale. The scientific value of the park is well established – a large
volume of natural science research takes place in the park. All of these benefits –
recreational, tourism, scientific and natural heritage – are becoming increasingly
important as the land east, west and south of the park becomes more heavily used and
developed, and as the population of southern Ontario within a 3 hour drive of the park

Nevertheless, since commercial logging was halted in Lake Superior Provincial Park in
the 1980s, Algonquin is the only provincial park where logging continues. Ontario’s
flagship provincial park is the sole holdout from the “multiple use” era of park

The Board recognizes that logging in the park is managed effectively by the AFA. The
AFA ensures that forest management in the park meets the standards established
under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Yet, a fundamental question must be asked.
Should 78 %f Algonquin be zoned to allow logging that is conducted in much the same
way it is conducted on Crown land outside the park?

The Board does not believe this approach is appropriate. Logging, and in particular the
construction, maintenance and use of an extensive network of primary, secondary and
tertiary roads, inevitably has significant impacts on the park environment. Some of the
physical impacts include:

 The footprint of roads, and the impact of road construction;

 Habitat fragmentation;

 Creation of edge habitat, and changes in species balance and forest composition;

 Mining of large quantities of aggregate for construction and maintenance of roads;

 Introduction of invasive non-native species;

 Pollution (noise, exhaust emissions, sediment, dust, oil and fuel leaks/spills, etc.)

 Animal mortality including species at risk such as wood turtle;

 Impairment of hydrological function;

 Sedimentation of stream and lakes;

 Opportunities for unauthorized public access to fish and game.

There is also a social and spiritual cost associated with logging in Ontario’s flagship
provincial park. This is hard to quantify, but for many Ontarians it is significant.



Last edited by frozentripper (7/29/2018 9:20 am)

     Thread Starter

8/12/2018 7:50 am  #58

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

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 expand Ontario’s system of
parks and protected areas, which currently covers only 10.7% of the province. The last
significant expansion of the protected areas system was Ontario’s Living Legacy (1999)

In 2008 the Ontario government committed to protecting half of Ontario’s far north
in collaboration with First Nations. In 2012 the province committed to protecting
at least 17% of Ontario’s terrestrial and aquatic systems by 2020. Despite these
commitments a considerable gap remains to reach the 17% target. However, there are
opportunities to make significant progress in the next few years.

Arguably, no public policy decision delivers as broad a suite of benefits for the people of
Ontario as protecting more of the province’s land and freshwater. From Point Pelee, to
Algonquin and the vast northern landscape of Polar Bear Provincial Park, Ontarians love
their parks and benefit from their economic and health impacts.

Overall, Ontario’s provincial park system contributes over $290 million dollars to GDP
and $200 million dollars of income and $35 million dollars of tax revenue. The Ontario
government reports that each year, camping and day use visitation to Ontario’s operating
parks amount to about 10 million visitor days.39 These visitors help support local businesses
by spending significantly on their trips to provincial parks. Another study concluded that
the value of the non-use benefits Ontario residents could receive ranged from $2.1 to $4.6
billion dollars (depending on the portion of area protected).




6. Phase out logging from Algonquin Park. This would secure the province’s most
famous park and add about 3,400 km2 to the protected area system.


Last edited by frozentripper (8/12/2018 7:59 am)

     Thread Starter

8/12/2018 8:15 pm  #59

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

In the interest of maintaining 'balance' and 'cool heads', I'm declaring this forum thread closed for now. In my opinion, the opposing positions have been adequately described.  



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