Temagami ancient pine forest at risk from mining

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Coalition launches to fully protect Wolf Lake old growth


Toronto – Today seventeen organizations and green businesses launch the new Wolf Lake Coalition to save the world’s largest old-growth red pine forest from industrial damage.  This exceptional forest, located in the famous greater Temagami canoe area, is in peril 13 years after the government of Ontario promised to protect the 300 year old pines.  Ontario is currently proposing to remove forest reserve status from the heart of the Wolf Lake Old Growth Forest Reserve to encourage mining exploration in this unique and threatened ecological gem.  The Wolf Lake Coalition is calling on the government of Ontario to honour the promise to permanently protect Wolf Lake as part of Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park.

The new Wolf Lake Coalition has an online home at SaveWolfLake.org

“What will we tell our children if we neglect to protect the last remnants of this critically endangered ancient forest,” asked David Sone of Earthroots.  “If we allow mining to spoil this ecological gem we may never know what secrets, medicines, and lessons lay hidden in this natural masterpiece.  Mining at Wolf Lake would be like burning the Sistine Chapel to extract a few ounces of gold from its ornaments.”

Red pine is one of Ontario’s most iconic tree species; a signature of our cherished northern landscape.   Ancient red pine forests once covered much of eastern North America, including what is now downtown Sudbury.  Extensive logging and mining have eliminated these ancient forests on all but 1.2% of their original extent,  making them a critically endangered ecosystem.  

“If we don’t act now to fully protect Wolf Lake then we lose the opportunity to enjoy the ecological, and renewable economic benefits of this unique forest,” said Bob Olajos of the Friends of Temagami.  “What we have at Wolf Lake simply cannot be replicated elsewhere.”

At 1,600 ha, the Wolf Lake ancient red pine forest is the largest remaining example of this ecosystem by far -- more than triple the size of the next largest remnant.  
In the Sudbury Forest, only 0.3% of the total forested area is composed of old-growth red pine dominated stands.   And yet, four out of five ha of this rare forest are not protected in a park or conservation reserve.

CONTACT

David Sone:  416-599-0152 x13, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wolf Lake Coalition Members


Ancient Forest Exploration and Research
Association of Youth Camps on Temagami Lakes
BAM North Productions
Camp Keewaydin
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Ottawa Valley
Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury
The Council of Canadians
Earthroots
Friends of Temagami
Friends of the LaVase Portages
Lake Temagami Group
Nipissing Environmental Watch
Ontario Rivers Alliance
Paddle Canada
Rob Nelson Photography
Temagami Lakes Association
Wild Women Expeditions

REFERENCES

Quinby, P.A. (1996).  Status of Old-Growth Red Pine Forests in Eastern North America: A Preliminary Assessment.  http://www.ancientforest.org/flb14.html

Noss, R.F. (1995).  Endangered Ecosystems of the United States: A Preliminary Assessment of Loss and Degradation.  Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho ,Department of Fish and Wildlife. http://biology.usgs.gov/pubs/ecosys.htm

Quinby, P.A. (1996).  Status of Old-Growth Red Pine Forests in Eastern North America: A Preliminary Assessment.  http://www.ancientforest.org/flb14.html
Professional email communication with Scott Dingwall MCIP RPP, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Sudbury District Planner.  November 22, 2011. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel: 705-475-5539 (copy available upon request)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3466153