Old-growth pine at risk once again – click here to take action!
One of Earthroots’ most important and longest-running campaigns is to protect Temagami from damaging industrial and recreational activities.
Temagami is a forest region located 400 km north of Toronto. An internationally recognized ecological site, the region contains nearly 50% of all remaining old-growth pine forests. These ancient forests now only exist on 1% of their pre-colonial range, and therefore constitute an endangered ecosystem. The Wakimika Triangle is the largest stand of old-growth pine in Temagami; it has majestic trees that are 15 stories high and more than 300 years old.
Temagami is also home to the Teme-Augama Anishnabai whose history and culture is interwoven with the land. Several sacred sites still exist in Temagami, along with an extensive system of traditional trails and canoe routes called Nastawgan, which have been used for thousands of years.
Earthroots began as the Temagami Wilderness Society, established to protect the Temagami region from logging. Earthroots played a pivotal role in the Red Squirrel Road blockade in 1989, when environmental and First Nations activists, as well as the public, peacefully resisted the logging of Temagami’s old growth pine. The action prompted the Ontario government to take measures to protect the region. At that point, the blockade was the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience in Canada history (later to be surpassed in size by the protests in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia). Over 300 people were arrested for blockading the Red Squirrel logging road extension.
Soon after the blockade, the Ontario government initiated the Temagami Land Use Plan. By 1996, the planning process was complete, and several provincial parks and conservation reserves were established, protecting just under half of Temagami’s old growth.
Since 1996, Earthroots has worked hard to preserve Temagami’s remaining unprotected old-growth, and aboriginal sacred sites. It has also promoted low-impact recreation in the region, such as hiking and canoeing, and has raised public awareness about this unique region.
Today, nearly 20 years after the Red Squirrel Road blockade, Temagami still isn’t fully protected. Click the links below to learn more about the threats Temagami faces, and to find out what you can do to help Earthroots preserve this wonderful ecosystem.