March 6, 2001

The Barron River Provincial Park Interim Management Statement provides direction for the custodial management of Barron River Provincial Park until such time as a Park Management Plan may be prepared. An Interim Management Statement, by design, is primarily an internal document intended to provide short–term guidance for Ontario Parks’ managers and staff. The Interim Management Statement will govern all activities occurring within the park and focus on custodial management required to protect park values and ensure public health and safety.

Questions or requests for additional copies of this document should be directed to:

Park Superintendent
Bonnechere Provincial Park
31 Riverside Drive
Pembroke, ON
K8A 8R6

I am pleased to approve the Barron River Provincial Park Interim Management Statement.

Brian Pfrimmer, Manager
Central Zone
Ontario Parks

Background Information

Background information describing the Barron River Provincial Park
NameBarron River Provincial Park
Site Region / Site District5E-10
OMNR Administrative Region / DistrictSouth Central Region / Pembroke District
Total Area (ha)537
Regulation DateN/A


Survey LevelEarth ScienceLife ScienceCulturalRecreationalOther
Reconnaissance/Check Sheets19951991, 1994, 2000N/A2000N/A
Earth Science RepresentationA rugged rock ridge and narrow bedrock valley areas that have been severely affected by post glacial outwash deposition and related processes; small areas of scoured rock outcrops and barrens are common, as are cliff and rock faces; supports a large area of mafic bedrock.
Life Science RepresentationHistorical records have identified approximately 200 vascular plant species and over 40 bird species in four distinct forest communities. Regionally and provincially rare plant species have been noted for the area. These records are being revised to reflect the current status of the area.
Cultural Resources RepresentationN/A
Recreational OpportunitiesCanoeing / Kayaking, Hiking, Swimming, Hunting, Fishing, Nature Appreciation

1.0 Introduction

On July 16, 1999, the Ontario Government released the Ontario Living Legacy Land Use Strategy to guide the planning and management of Crown lands in central and parts of northern Ontario. A major part of the land use strategy was a government intent to establish 378 new protected areas. Barron River Provincial Park is part of this significant expansion of Ontario’s protected areas system.

Portions of the Park have been identified as part of the Racehorse Rapids Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. This site contains a canyon which stretches along the Barron River east of Algonquin Park. Around 8000 years ago the canyon filled with glacial meltwater, as it drained the Great Lakes Basin. The granitic cliffs continue to support relict plants from that era. The plants are more at home in the subarctic, but find the right growing conditions in the cracks, crevices and cool microclimate of the cliff environment.

Dry upland forests of red and white pine can be found above the cliffsides. The portion of the river closest to Algonquin Park is bordered by scenic mature white pine forest on flatter terrain. This section of the river is difficult to access yet is popular for canoeing and fishing.

2.0 Classification

Barron River Provincial Park is classified as a Waterway class provincial park in recognition of its representative natural features and historical resources. It is also recognized that this outstanding water route can provide high quality recreational and educational experiences.

3.0 Boundary

Barron River Provincial Park runs from the eastern boundary of Algonquin Park following the watercourse of the Barron River through McKay Township to the eastern edge of lot 3, concession 7 in Petawawa Township. The boundary for the park is shown in figure 1. The park is 537 hectares in size.

On the west end of the park, west of the utility line, the boundary (Figure 1) starts at the water’s edge on the north side of the river and extends 200 m south of the shoreline on the south side. The park includes the riverbed between these boundaries. On the east side of the utility line, the boundary starts at the water’s edge on the south shore and extends 200 m inland.

4.0 Zoning

Barron River will initially be zoned entirely as a Natural Environment Zone. All known significant natural features will be identified and measures to ensure their protection will be outlined in a future management plan.

5.0 Interim Management Guidelines

Unless otherwise noted, the management policies for Waterway class parks, presented in Ontario Provincial Parks: Planning and Management Policies will apply to this site (Appendix 1).

In the implementation of the approved Interim Management Statement, Ontario Parks may pursue opportunities for partnerships involving other agencies and groups. Park management and stewardship will be contingent upon availability of funding and unforeseeable changes in priorities or policy. All management and stewardship activities will meet the Environmental Assessment Act, Provincial Parks Act and other pertinent legislation.

5.1 Natural Resource Stewardship

The protection of provincially significant, special or representative life and earth science features will be the highest priority of Barron River Provincial Park.

Management of the area will ideally allow natural processes to continue to shape the ecology of the park and its shorelines where possible. A resource stewardship plan may be considered once a detailed life science inventory is completed.

All fires will be suppressed due to the adjacent private land holdings. Fire management through prescribed burning will not be considered at this time.

5.2 Cultural Resources

There has not been an assessment of cultural resources for Barron River Provincial Park. An historical study on the park may be considered prior to the initiation of the management planning process.

5.3 Recreational Activities

As noted in the Ontario Living Legacy Land Use Strategy, existing angling and hunting occurring within the park boundary will be permitted to continue.

Low-impact recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and nature-appreciation will be permitted and encouraged.

Campsites within the park boundary are to be phased out and rehabilitation may occur. Future camping opportunities may be established through a management planning process.

Any recreational activity found to have a negative impact on the protection objectives of Barron River Provincial Park, will have appropriate actions taken to minimize continued damage.

5.4 Land Tenure

The park is comprised of only the Crown land and Crown riverbed along the Barron River, between Algonquin and Lot 3 in Petawawa Township. No private lands are included in the park. There are no Licences of Occupation or Crown Leases. Land Use Permits exist for a snowmobile trail and for four hunt camps that are situated within the park boundary. These permits will be continued and are eligible for enhanced tenure, but will not allow for the purchase of the land.

In addition, Canadian Forces Base Petawawa conducts military exercises within and adjacent to the Park. A river crossing exists at Lot 26 and Concession 10 of McKay Township. There is a Land Use Permit adjacent to the park for a repelling site located at Lot 11, Concession 9 of McKay Township. During a management planning process, both of these activities will be reviewed for their potential impact on the park.

5.5 Existing and Proposed Development

There is no proposed development for Barron River Provincial Park at this time. A management planning process will be completed prior to any future development.

All existing trails will remain. However, it is recommended that a trail assessment be completed for Barron River Provincial Park to review the existing trail structure and to provide recommendations on current and appropriate uses. New development may be considered through a management planning process.

5.6 Commercial Activities

As outlined in the Ontario Living Legacy Land Use Strategy, commercial timber harvest, aggregate and mineral extraction, and hydro development will not be permitted.

There is one identified bait fish area and two registered trap lines within Barron River Provincial Park. These will be permitted to continue indefinitely. No new operations will be permitted.

5.7 Aboriginal Interests

Barron River falls within the Algonquin Native Land Claim area. This land claim is currently under negotiation.

5.8 Client Services

Natural Heritage Education programs and services will not be provided but may be considered through the management planning process. Basic information on the park may be provided through Ontario Parks’ printed media and web site.

5.9 Research

Research by universities and other qualified applicants will be encouraged. All research activities will conform with the Ontario Parks Research and Information Strategy, and Ontario Parks policies. Prior written permission will be required. All research will be non–intrusive in order to safeguard protection objectives.

Research priorities will be established through the management planning process. Research may deal with all aspects of scientific study, inventory or surveys of vegetation, ecological, cultural and recreational resources and processes.

5.10 Marketing

A marketing strategy is not a priority for the park. A marketing strategy may be considered when further information on park values is obtained.

6.0 References

Brunton, Daniel (1991). Life Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest in Site District 5-10, A Review and Assessment of Significant Natural Areas in Site District 5-10. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Jacques Whitford Environment Limited (1994) A Life Science Inventory of Race Horse Rapids Candidate Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (1999). Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. Queen’s Printer for Ontario.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (1994). Park Policy, Procedure and Bulletin. "PM 11.02.01, Preparation of Interim Management Statements" Provincial Park Operations Branch.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (1992). Ontario Provincial Parks Planning and Management Policies . Toronto: Parks and Natural Heritage Policy Branch.