Temagami Land Use Plan


Temagami’s Wilderness Threatened by Motor Vehicles!

The 1997 Temagami Land Use Plan (TLUP) determined that certain parts of Temagami must be off-limits to motorized travel, so that important ecological features are protected, and hikers and paddlers can enjoy a remote wilderness experience. Unfortunately, these directions are not being followed. Illegal use of logging roads is rampant in the Temagami region and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles are tearing through unauthorized areas. The problem is serious enough that, in response to Earthroots’ concerns, the Ministry of Environment has directed the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to compile an annual access violation audit.  The last three audits have found that access violations are systemic in the Temagami region. Unauthorized users are willing to ignore signs, break gate locks, and create their own trails, and since the MNR began monitoring, it has not issued a single fine or laid a single charge. In the meantime, portages are being churned into mud, and sensitive wetlands are being destroyed.

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In 2004, the government launched an initiative  to protect important natural and recreational areas according to the directives of the 1997 Temagami Land Use Plan (TLUP).  After a 3 year public consultation process, the Ministry of Natural Resources released the final version of its Temagami Integrated Plan (TIP) on August 9th, 2007. While the final plan makes some improvements regarding the protection of portages and maintenance of camp sites on crown land and in conservation reserves, there is a serious lack of attention to ecological values in the Park Management Plan.

On of the most serious problems with the new plan is that it allows motorized access in certain parts of Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park (Temagami's only wilderness class park). Wilderness class parks are afforded the highest level of protection in the province, and motorized should not be allowed in them under any circumstances.  Scientific evidence shows that even limited motorized use can have long-term adverse affects of wildlife and plants species.  Temagami’s wilderness faces enough threats - its protected areas must be truly protected

Earthroots has expressed its concerns to the Ministry of Natural Resources and will continue to push for increased protection for ecological values and low-impact recreation in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, as well as an effective strategy for preventing access violations.