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6/07/2016 10:36 am  #1

Algonquin Eco Watch disbanded ..

It's with great sadness that I've just learned that Algonquin Eco Watch has disbanded.

Their parting statement includes the comment ...
"For over 19 years, Algonquin Eco Watch (AEW) has actively and consistently advocated the idea that Algonquin Provincial Park is not just another Park;  it is one of the most celebrated and unique ecosystems in Canada. We have pressured the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as well as the Algonquin Forestry Authority to adopt truly sustainable forest management techniques and to protect fish and wildlife species such as Brook Trout. We have been successful in some instances and have been disappointed in others. However, after having provided scientific advice and conservation ideas for all of these years, it’s time to move on to other challenges."

Their entire parting statement is available at ...

Having served alongside them for many years (as a representative of the also disbanded Algonquin Backcountry Recreationalists) on the AFA's CSA Advisory Group, I can attest to their dedication to environmental ideals. It seems to me that both organizations shared a frustration with limited government responsiveness.


6/08/2016 12:13 pm  #2

Re: Algonquin Eco Watch disbanded ..

I remember the Eco Watch signs on highway 60 outside of the park but never really knew anything about that organization until your posting.  It is disappointing that they had so little success in getting MNR to respond to their concerns.   I wonder how much capability MNR has left to do science in the park system.    Virtually every government, Liberal or Conservative, for the last few decades has been cutting funding to MNR.  The park system has become more and more dependent on visitor fees and that revenue is swallowed up entirely operating the infrastructure of the parks.   Even an ecological problem that is glaringly visible to park visitors such as the ongoing algae blooms in Dickson and Ryan lakes doesn't appear to get any sort of scientific investigation, or if it has no information has been made public.


6/10/2016 8:52 am  #3

Re: Algonquin Eco Watch disbanded ..

AEW has disappeared from the scene... that's the reality and while it may be instructive to discuss accomplishments and failings, what matters now is dealing with the issues that still affect APP moving forward. The Wildlands League, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Ecojustice and other agencies with a conservation focus still remain. 

IIRC the Wildlands League has put forward a request for public review of logging in the park and the ECO has recommended a logging phase-out. Despite the new Parks Act coming into existence in 2007 with ecological integrity and opportunity for public review now being at the center of Ontario parks management, a new APP plan hasn't been written to add these new principles into APP management. 

Despite the dedication of Ontario parks "for the people" in the new parks act, it's still some mystery why the public isn't allowed to comment on where and how logging goes on in APP and the Environmental Bill of Rights doesn't seem to apply to use of APP for industrial use (logging). Perhaps MNR denial of review and environmental assessment may have been responsible for AEW's disappointments but this may still change with time... stay tuned.  


6/10/2016 11:33 am  #4

Re: Algonquin Eco Watch disbanded ..

An issue that AEW brought forward was the old railway beds.  I don't recall any other group citing that as an issue.

So many issues with Algonquin Park.  It seems ridiculous.  "Multi use" creates too many conflicts, agendas, and antagonism.

I think the MNR wins...again


Take everything as it comes; the wave passes, deal with the next one.

Tom Thomson, 1877-1917

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