- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 10:33
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sudbury - Today a team of scientists is converging on the world’s largest remaining ancient red pine forest at Wolf Lake for an intensive species count as part of an on-going effort to document the diverse species that make their home in this critically endangered forest - before it is too late. If they succeed in finding Species at Risk their efforts could help to permanently protect the area. Despite being long-recognized as a unique and important natural area this rare forest is threatened by imminent mining exploration.
WHERE: Within the City of Greater Sudbury lies Wolf Lake, the world’s largest old growth red pine forest. (1.5 hours from Kukagami Lake road, contact us for directions)
WHEN: July 4th. Camping is available for reporters who wish to stay over night.
WHO: A broad team of scientists including:
Dr. Peter Quinby – renowned old growth ecologist.
Prof. Madhur Anand – University of Guelph expert on forest response to climate change.
Prof. Peter Beckett – Laurentian University, wetland ecologist.
James Paterson – Ontario Nature Herpetology Atlas.
Ramsey Hart - field ornithologist and Canada Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada
Scientists and campaigners will be available for interviews on the ecological and scientific importance of Wolf Lake, and the animals and plants that live there.
VISUALS: Excellent opportunities to photograph and video ancient pines, clear blue lakes, quartzite hills, canopy research climbers, and scientists at work. Guided hikes are available.
For more details, driving directions, or to arrange interviews contact: Bob Olajos 705-499-0692
Wolf Lake Background
"There are compelling reasons to preserve Wolf Lake Forest for scientific and ecological reasons. Not only are red pine dominated old-growth forests rare in North America, Wolf Lake Forest is unique because it is nearly 4 times larger than the second largest remaining stand. Our studies have shown that some populations migrating north due to climate change may be taking advantage of Wolf Lake Forest as a refuge to establish themselves."
“Old growth forests are extremely important as habitat for rare wildlife, storehouses of genetic information, and records of our changing climate," explained renowned old growth ecologist Dr. Peter Quinby. ”Allowing mining at Wolf Lake is a very short sighted policy that puts our best remaining example of this rare ancient forest ecosystem at risk
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 north-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.
There are two mining leases and dozens of mining claims in the Wolf Lake area. On May 31 Ontario renewed one of the Wolf Lake mining leases for 21 years.
In 1999, the government of Ontario promised to protect the 300 year old Wolf Lake ancient pines located in the famous greater Temagami canoeing area northeast of Sudbury.
The Wolf Lake Coalition comprises 30 Sudbury-area, provincial and national organizations and businesses. The Coalition calls on the government of Ontario to honour the 13 year old promise to permanently protect Wolf Lake.
This field expedition is one component of a larger ecological inventory effort taking place this summer at Wolf Lake, including documenting species and the impacts of past mineral exploration activities. Results will be reported by year's end.