Solace Wildlands to be Clearcut

On May 5th 2009, Vermillion Forest Management Ltd. (VFM), a partnership between Domtar Inc. and seven other companies, publicly revealed its intentions to clearcut over 2000 hectares of the Solace Wildlands. The Solace Wildlands is a unique area in Temagami’s Western Backcountry without roads or a history of industrial activity that has been denied protection despite being surrounded by provincial parks, canoe routes, and ancient forests. In order to access the Wildlands, Vermillion wants to construct a new road and river crossing in the Sturgeon River Provincial Park, despite the fact that such a road would breach the Temagami Land-Use Plan, the Temagami Park Management Plan and the Parks Act.  

Earthroots is working to convince Vermillion to honour past land-use agreements and provincial legislation by reconsidering its plans for the Solace Wildlands.  For the sake of ecosystem integrity, ecotourism operators and the legitimacy of the forest management planning process, we hope they listen.

The Solace Wildlands and Provincial Policy

  • The Temagami Land-Use Plan is clear that roads do not belong within 350 meters of Parks, and that the Solace Wildlands are supposed to be managed for park-related values, ecosystem integrity, and remote tourism. The Solace Wildlands Clearcut ignores both the letter and spirit of TLUP.

  • In 2007 MNR completed the Temagami Park Management Plan (PMP). The PMP was the culmination of a multi-year planning process and a commitment made through TLUP. The plan clearly states that “no new roads, crossings, or trails are permitted” within the Sturgeon River Provincial Park.

  • The Ontario government’s 2006 passage of the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act (PCRA) enshrined in law the responsibility to make the “maintenance of ecological integrity…the first priority…in the planning and management of Ontario’s system of provincial parks and conservation reserves” (PCRA, 4). Earthroots does not believe that building new bridges and roads to access clearcuts contiguous with two provincial parks reflects this priority or is consistent with any reasonable interpretation of ecological integrity.

Earthroots is determined to stop clearcuts that threaten the livelihoods of ecotourism operators, contravene provincial policies, and undermine agreements that environmentalists, the government and the forest industry have worked so hard to build in Temagami.  For more information please contact Mark Kear, Earthroots Forest Campaigner, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..