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Temagami's ancient pine forests and roadless wilderness areas are under threat. We need your voice to help protect them!

                                                    Photo: Hap Wilson

 

Temagami is internationally renowned for its old-growth red and white pine forests. Only one percent of these ancient forests are left worldwide, and more than half of what remains is located in Temagami. 

The Draft Temagami Forest Managment Plan is calling for another 10 years of logging and road building, opening up remote wilderness areas and further eroding the ecology of this unique region in northern Ontario. 

Failure to fully protect Temagami has made it the site of one of Ontario's most intense and persistent environmental conflicts. It's time to create new protected areas in the Temagami region and boost the resilience of the forest in the face climate change.

Comments are due by Tuesday, December 11th - take action here now!

 

It's Giving Tuesday! Be part of something big.

 

What is Giving Tuesday? It's a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “opening day of the giving season,” it's a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for their favourite causes.

Earthroots' year-end fundraising campaign kicks off today and runs until December 31st! Please give as generously as you can to support our steadfast campaigns to protect Ontario's wilderness, wildlife and watersheds.

Every donation makes a difference!

Show your support for the Earthroots campaign you are most passionate about today.

Visit our Giving Tuesday page now.

 

Ford ends independence for all officers of the Ontario legislature

Do you care about oversight, transparency and accountability when it comes to our government? Speak out against Ford's Bill 57 and tell him that Ontario needs a strong, independent Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. The deadline for signatures is November 25th. Add your voice here.

 

By Gord Miller in OpinionPolitics | November 21, 2018 - Canada's National Observer

Like many jurisdictions with parliamentary traditions, the Ontario legislature appoints legislative officers, sometimes called parliamentary officers, to oversee and review activities of government that warrant special concern.

Their duties include regularly issuing public reports that critically evaluate government performance in specific areas.

The officers are chosen by an all-party Committee and report directly to the legislature through the speaker, not to the premier and the government.

Tradition and current legislation say they are appointed for specific terms and cannot be removed during that time (unless they can no longer do their job or have committed a wrong-doing serious enough to give the legislature “cause.”)

This inherent security of their positions is necessary to protect the officers from undue influence by the government they review, or from reprisal for revealing embarrassing information in their reports.

Read more...

The Ancient Pine Wilderness of Temagami: Our Heritage, Our Legacy

Sunset Paddle                          Photo: Hap Wilson

 

Featuring Hap Wilson (Earthroots co-founder, author, adventurer), and Gord Miller (Earthroots Chair, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario).

Join us on November 8th to learn about the importance of Temagami's endangered ancient pine forests, the history of the battle to protect them, and the threats that ongoing logging and climate change pose to the future of this world-renowned wilderness region.

Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto - 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Tickets are available here through Eventbrite ($12).

 

Hap WilsonTemagami, the Fight to Protect Wilderness - Hap Wilson

Hap Wilson has published more than a dozen books and has travelled more than 60,000 km across wild Canada. Hap first roamed Temagami's wilderness in 1968 and as a teenager he began learning about the disturbing truths behind the vanishing wild spaces and the industrial intrusion that knows no bounds. Hap has experienced and lived through a half-century of environmental controversy and action to protect one of Canada's most precious wilderness ecosystems, Temagami. This unique region in northern Ontario is steeped in local history and prehistory dating back 6,000 years. Hap will talk about the birth of the environmental movement in Ontario as it relates to Temagami, elaborate on the pitfalls, victories, and the vision of protecting a world-class wilderness.

 

 

The Future of Temagami's Ancient Pine Forests - Gord Miller

Gord Miller is an ecologist and environmental policy analyist. He served three five year terms as Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, overseeing and critically evaluating government decision-making on the environment, climate change and energy conservation. Gord will discuss how ancient pines continue to be "sustainably" harvested using shelterwood management, and how we simply cannot plan to "grow" 400-year-old replacement trees or ecosystems. While it is true that a small percentage of this once vast forest finds sanctuary in protected areas, we were reminded how tenuous this refuge is when large stands of old growth were lost in fires in Temagami and Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park this summer. Climate change has changed the game for forest management. If we are to have ancient pine forests as an ecological heritage for future generations, we must respond with much different and far more sophisticated forest management.

 

 

Local beer from GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co. and light fare from Vert Catering will be served.

We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our two local, sustainable sponsors!

GoodLotVert Catering

 

Earthroots' Ontario Wolf Survey featured on TVO

 

Watch our Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns, Hannah Barron, in the field tracking the elusive Algonquin wolf. You can help protect this threatened species by supporting our Ontario Wolf Survey project.

 

 

Temagami Changing of the Seasons Gathering

                     Photo credit: Amber Ellis

Host: Alex Mathias
Location: www.ontarioparks.com/park/obabikariver

Over the weekend of September 8th, 2018 Alex Mathias, an Ojibway Elder, will host his annual Changing of the Seasons Ceremony to celebrate the fall equinox on his traditional family territory in the Temagami region of Ontario.

On Saturday there will be a 'Changing of the Seasons' ceremony, a group potluck lunch, visits to Spirit Rock, and guided hikes through the old-growth forest. Attendees have the option of participating in group events after the ceremony, exploring the area on their own, or simply enjoying some quiet time on the lake. There is no structured agenda for the weekend and Sunday is an open day.

Participants are expected to provide their own food, camping gear, and if possible, canoes. Boat shuttles can be arranged for attendees who are not able to paddle across the lake to the gathering site on their own. People will be camping at various sites on the lake - the majority of participants will be on the beach at Alex's cabin or at the north end of the lake at the gathering site.

Read more...

Thousands of hectares are burning out of control in parts of Ontario

            Photo: Ontario FireRangers

By PATTY WINSA Feature Writer, The Star

 

A massive swath of the province outside of North Bay continues to burn after lightning from storms triggered fires that are raging out of control due to high winds.

 

At least 3,000 hectares are in flames in the North Bay district, which stretches from north of North Bay to Temagami. Further to the north, another 12,000 hectares are burning in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park.

 

Numerous other fires are being held or brought under control while still others, in less populated areas, are being monitored — part of a trend in the province that already has seen 537 fires this year, compared to the 10-year annual average (360).

“On a day like today, where there’s a lot of sun, those fires not under control are expected to grow,” says Shayne McCool, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. A change of wind direction, from north to south on Tuesday, meant the smoke was likely visible to the residents of North Bay, he says.

About 20 residences in Temagami have been evacuated because of a 100-hectare fire and the town, which is about 90 kilometres northwest of North Bay, is on a voluntary evacuation notice. Fire rangers set up sprinkler systems to protect structures in the Temagami marina.

Police say there is a “dangerously close, active forest fire” in the area, according to The Canadian Press, and residents have been asked to drive north on Highway 11 to escape the flames.

Read the full story in The Star.

Stop Road Construction and Clear-Cutting in Temagami's Solace Wildlands

 

Our partners at Friends of Temagami have launched a petition to stop construction of the Turner Road into the Solace Wildlands, Temagami's last remaining tract of roadless, virgin forest!   

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has given Vermilion Forest Management (VFM) license to build a 25 kilometre-long, kilometre-wide primary logging road straight through the heart of the Solace Wildlands.

The Turner Road will destroy a wild, undisturbed forest, erasing campsites and portages in use for thousands of years.

Please help us hold VFM and the MNRF to account and help protect the last intact wilderness in Temagami. Let’s tell VFM and the MNRF that the value of an intact forest is worth far more than its timber.

SIGN THE PETITION NOW

 

Take action this Earth Day to protect the places we love!

Planet Earth is a shared home for humans and millions of other species, and our fates and well-being are interdependent.

In 2010, Canada endorsed the United Nations target to protect at least 17 percent of the planet’s land and inland waters by 2020. This national commitment was then adopted in the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy (target 13), opening the door to a new and welcome opportunity to protect the places we love.

Currently, less than 11 percent of Ontario is protected. We need to work together to make sure the next three years count so that wild species and wild spaces are protected for generations to come.

Protected areas are the cornerstone of efforts to conserve the diversity of life on Earth. By signing the declaration, you will be part of a movement demanding governments meet their protected areas targets, and respect Indigenous responsibilities and rights.

We need your voice to ensure the governments of Ontario and Canada meet the commitment to protect at least 17 percent of lands and inland waters by 2020.

Take action this Earth Day! Sign the declaration to show you care about protected places.

 

We need your help to grow the Greenbelt and protect at-risk water features across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Submit your comments by March 7th.

 

Heeding our collective call for a Bluebelt, the Government of Ontario has initiated a public consultation on the areas for potential Greenbelt expansion. We are calling for a larger study area to safeguard the region’s moraines, headwaters, river valleys and wetlands.

Such protection is vital to community health and resilience in the face of climate change. With flooding, drought and extreme weather events increasing in frequency and intensity, we simply cannot afford to pave over those landscape features which store, filter and supply our water.

Take action by March 7th - your voice will make a difference!

 

There are less than 500 Algonquin wolves left and they need your voice! Take action by Wednesday February 14th.

 Photo: Eastern Wolf Survey

 

Help strengthen the Recovery Strategy for Algonquin wolves by submitting a personalized comment here.

 

This population of Algonquin wolves is so small and patchily distributed that it is under serious threat from hunting, trapping, hybridization with coyotes, and vehicle collisions. Where hunting and trapping have been banned, packs return to family-based structure, hybridization is reduced, and direct killing is virtually eliminated.

Currently, the draft Recovery Strategy only outlines a recovery zone that is less than 1/2 of the area scientists outlined around all known Algonquin wolves. In order to survive and eventually thrive, these wolves need to be fully protected from hunting and trapping across their entire range.

 

Your voice will make a difference - take a stand for Algonquin wolves now!

 

Province finds mercury-contaminated soil and possibly buried metal on Dryden site upstream from Grassy Narrows

 

Confirmation of what Earthroots and The Toronto Star found at the site a year ago.

"Last January, the Star and the environmental group Earthroots dug several holes in the area identified by Glowacki and had the soil tested at a lab. The holes were dug behind the riverside factory. The soil showed mercury readings up to 80 times natural levels."

 

By JAYME POISSON Investigative Reporter
DAVID BRUSER Investigative Reporter

 

The province has found mercury in soil and possibly buried metal in an area upstream from Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) Independent Nations that was identified by a former paper mill worker as a dumping ground for mercury-filled barrels.

The Environment Ministry’s findings confirm results found by the Toronto Star one year ago.

The mercury-tainted soil and the metallic underground “anomalies” were found in a clearing identified by Kas Glowacki as the area in Dryden, Ont., where he and a small crew dumped 50 drums of salt and mercury in 1972.

The province says it will dig up the clearing for more answers.

“We are continuing our site assessment and will be excavating areas where there are larger anomalies this coming spring,” said an Environment Ministry spokesperson, Gary Wheeler, in an email to the Star.

Between 1962 and 1970, 10 tonnes of mercury from the Dryden paper mill, then owned by Reed Paper, were dumped into the Wabigoon River, which flows to the two Indigenous communities in northern Ontario.

Mercury contamination, a serious health risk, has plagued the people there for decades. Dangerous and persistently high levels of mercury found in the river sediment and fish in the river system suggest there is an ongoing source.

Until recently, provincial officials had said the site was not an ongoing source of mercury to the river system. Scientist John Rudd has said that, historically, paper mills have been known to be sources of contamination long after they stopped using mercury in the paper-bleaching process.

Mercury has not been used in paper production at the site in decades, and there is no suggestion that Domtar, several owners removed from Reed Paper, is responsible for any ongoing source of mercury.

Last January, the Star and the environmental group Earthroots dug several holes in the area identified by Glowacki and had the soil tested at a lab. The holes were dug behind the riverside factory. The soil showed mercury readings up to 80 times natural levels.

 

Read the full article in The Star.

'There is a lot of tension': why efforts to monitor Ontario wolves face opposition

CBC's Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald

 

Ontario Eastern wolves

Eastern wolves are elusive creatures that roam the forests of Quebec and Ontario. In 2016 the Government of Ontario changed the status of these wolves - known as Algonquin wolves in that province - from 'special concern' to 'threatened'. The Ontario government only has until June of this year to come up with a recovery plan for the animal. Wolf researcher and activist Hannah Barron works for the Eastern Wolf Survey. She is currently busy gathering data about this population to help forge a plan for their protection. Documentary producer Andrew Budziak went out with Barron and her team of citizen scientists to collect wolf feces, known as 'scat.' 

Hannah Barron works with Earthroots to monitor the populations of wolves in Ontario. (Andrew Budziak)

The problem

One of the big problems is that these wolves are still being legally hunted and trapped for a couple of reasons. There is a commercial industry as well as the fact that these wolves are a threat to livestock. But some hunters and trappers believe this population are not true wolves and do not have a distinct lineage, that they are big mixed-breed coyotes that have been around for a long time and do not deserve special status. They base this information on a recent Princeton University study that even found dog DNA among the population. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources thinks differently

 

Listen to the documentary here.