August 8, 2001

Approval statement

We are pleased to approve this Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) for the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve. It is one of 378 new protected areas approved through Ontario’s Living Legacy, a land use strategy aimed, in part, at completing Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas.

This site protects the Crown land portion of a provincially significant wetland complex on granite bedrock in ecological Site District SE-11. It contains flooded forests and natural levies along the Crowe River that support White Elm, Silver Maple and Green Ash. Back from the river are stands of Black Spruce and Cedar. This is the biggest and least disturbed collection of deciduous swamp habitats in the area. Like other large wetlands of the area, it has developed on top of wide flat deposits of glacial outwash and ancient lake deposits. It is bounded by landforms that were in contact with the glaciers - kame moraines that are found in few other spots in the area.

During the preparation of Ontario’s Living Legacy, the public was widely consulted and provided valuable input into what became Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. Public comments received during that time, and during the fine-tuning of the boundaries were generally supportive of the protection of this area, and are reflected in this Statement of Conservation Interest.

This Statement of Conservation Interest provides guidance for the management of Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve and provides the basis for the ongoing monitoring of activities. More detailed direction is not anticipated at this time.

The Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve is managed under the jurisdiction of Bancroft Area Supervisor, Bancroft District, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Approved by:

Date: August 8, 2001
Monique Rolf von den Baumen-Clark
District Manager
Bancroft District

Approved by:

Date Sept 11, 2001
George Ross
Regional Director
Southcentral Region
Regional Director South Central Region

1.0 Introduction

The Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve is located about 30 kilometres south of Bancroft, and 13 kilometres east of Apsley, in Chandos Township, in the County of Peterborough (Inset, Figure 1). The Conservation Reserve consists entirely of Crown land, but is not one continuous area. It comprises three separate blocks: 1) Lot 22 Concession 3; 2) lot 30 concession 4 and the west half of the east half of lot 30 concession 3 and, 3) lots 31and 32 concession 3 (Figure 1). These three blocks are totally surrounded by private lands.

The purposes of this Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) are to identify and describe the values of the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve. The SCI also outlines the activities that occur within the reserve and provides guidelines for the management of current protecting the natural and cultural values and future activities in the context of Conservation Reserves are established by Regulation under the Public Lands Act. Statements of Conservation Interest are prepared under the authority of Procedural Guideline A – Resource Management Planning (PL Procedure 3.03.05).

1.1 Background information

Name: Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve Ecological Site Region/ Site District: 5E-11
OMNR Administrative Region/District/Area: Southcentral Regions / Bancroft District / Bancroft Area
Total Area (hectares): 189
Regulation Date: August 10, 2000, by Ontario Regulation 461/100
OBM Map sheets: 1018235049600, 1018270049600
UTM Coordinates: 18T 2705 496250 centroid of largest block

1.2 Representation targets

Earth science representation:

  • area underlain by Loon Lake felsic and lesser mafic plutonic rocks
  • Belmont Domain, Elzevir Terrane of the southwestern part of the central Meta sedimentary Belt of the Proterozoic Grenville Province (Easton,1992a)
  • flat glacial outwash terrain, bounded by ice contact features (kame moraines).
Life science representation:
  • The lands included in the Conservation Reserve are a part of a major deciduous swamp complex in Site District SE-11. The Limerick tills in this area have higher (base) pH than is normal in Site Region SE-11, and vegetation species reflect this.
Cultural resources representation:
  • No research has been done to date and there are no known values within the reserve.
Recreational opportunities:
  • Only a reconnaissance level inventory has been completed (Bean 2001) for recreational opportunities in the Conservation Reserve. The Crowe River, which passes through portions of the Conservation is used for canoeing and fishing.

 1.3 Survey work

Survey LevelEarth ScienceLife ScienceCulturalRecreationalOther
ReconnaissanceChecksheet 2000;Checksheet 2001; Site Region 5E Report, Noble 1983NoneChecklist, 2001 
Detailed  None  
RequirementNone Not Anticipated  

2.0 Values to be protected

The Conservation Reserve is located entirely within Hills (1959) ecological Site District SE-11.Values include earth science, life science and recreational features, with an emphasis on life science representation values.

2.1 Earth science

Earth science values are focused on features (bedrock and surficial) that represent the chronology of earth history in the province (Davidson 1981).

Bedrock outcrop is extremely sparse in the Conservation Reserve. The bedrock, which underlies the Conservation Reserve, is within the Belmont Domain, Elzevir Terrane of the Central Metasedimentary Belt of the Proterozoic Grenville Province. The Elzevir Terrane is one of five lithotectonic terranes of the Central Metasedimentary Belt. Within the Elzevir Terrane, the Belmont Domain is one of three structural domains. This geological environment is part of the modem organization of the complex products of the mid-Proterozoic Grenville orogenic events (Easton 1992a & b).

The bedrock features of the Conservation Reserve have insignificant representation of the underlying plutonic components of the Belmont Domain (Frey, Duba 2000).

This is a large area of outwash sands (and possibly some lacustrine deposits) and includes some ice contact features, which may be locally significant.

2.2 Life science

The Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve is located within Hills (1959) ecological Site District. SE-11.


Considered a provincially significant wetland, no other deciduous swamp complex in ecological Site District SE-11 is known of this size and relatively undisturbed state. Extensive White Elm, Silver Maple and Green Ash stands form on wet, normally flooded swamp and levee forests along the Crowe River, mixing with large White Cedar stands and areas of open bog further back from the river. Black Spruce­ Cedar is a common association in the main body of the swamp (outside the reserve on private land), with small islands of mixed forest on drier uplands throughout.

The isolated 40 hectare parcel (lot 22 concession 3) is similar to the main part of the Conservation Reserve: low relief, treed swamps and bogs and upland mixed deciduous forests.

Because the Limerick tills of this area have higher contents of basic materials, the vegetation includes species that reflects this higher pH (Merchant 2001).


A municipal road crosses the southwest corner of the Conservation Reserve. Otherwise, the three Crown land blocks of the Conservation Reserve are “landlocked” by private lands, are readily accessible only along the Crowe River by canoe, and are relatively undisturbed.


A detailed inventory has not been carried out for these sites. It is anticipated that these swamps have a rich herb and moss layer, and high levels of hardwood shrubs.

Ecological considerations:

The large swamp complex includes private lands around the Conservation Reserve blocks. It has been protected from economic development because of its wetlands nature. However, permanent modifications to the water levels of the Crowe River could negatively impact the swamp complex.

Special features:

The Silver Maple-Green Ash swamp is the primary feature of the Conservation Reserve.


The Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve is a part of a provincially significant deciduous swamp complex.

2.3 Recreational/aesthetic values

The Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve is known to be used for canoeing and fishing.

3.0 Management guidelines

3.1 Land Tenure


Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve consists entirely of Crown land, except for the municipal road which crosses the southwest comer of the Conservation Reserve (and is not part of the reserve) (Figure 1). It is surrounded on all sides by private lands.

Except for a registered fur harvesting trapline (No. 91) and a commercial baitfishing license (Baitfish Block BU-2), both of which each include this site, there are no land use permits, licenses or easements that apply to land within the Conservation Reserve.


Sale of Crown lands within the Conservation Reserve is not permitted.

Fur harvest will continue to be authorized through the registered trapline area, and the Baitfish Block will continue to allow baitfish harvest on the Crowe River within the Conservation Reserve.

3.2 Development:


With the exception of the municipal road, which crosses the southwest corner of the Conservation Reserve, there is no development within it’s three blocks.


No additional development is anticipated within the Conservation Reserve.

New private access or resource access roads, and additions to existing roads are not permitted, including roads intended for seasonal use. New communications lines and transmission lines will be discouraged in the conservation reserve except under unusual circumstances where there are no other viable alternatives and where the line can be put in place without significant negative environmental or aesthetic impact

New recreational trails (for non-motorized activities) may be considered provided they meet the Procedural Guideline B - Test of Compatibility (Appendix 1), and MNR’s Environmental Assessment Act requirements

The Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy provides that controlled mineral exploration is permitted in specific new conservation reserves that have been identified as having provincially significant mineral potential. While there is currently no information indicating that this particular site may have provincially significant mineral potential, this determination has not yet been made. Roads necessary for access for mineral exploration and development are also permitted, with appropriate consideration for the protection of conservation reserve values. If mineral values are such that a site is to be developed as a mine, that area would be deregulated and an appropriate replacement area would be added to the conservation reserve.

3.3 Recreation activities


Existing known recreational activities include canoeing, and fishing.


Recreation use canoeing, fishing, and other nature related activities will be allowed to continue in the Conservation Reserve.

3.4 Commercial activities


Current commercial use of the Conservation Reserve includes fur harvesting (Trapping area BA 13) and a Baitfish Block (CH-4). Mining activities are not known to have occurred within the reserve


Fur harvest and baitfish harvesting will be authorized to continue within the Conservation Reserve.

Conservation Reserves do not permit mining, commercial forest harvesting, hydroelectric power development, the extraction of aggregate, peat, soils, or other industrial uses. (Public Lands Act, Ontario Regulation 805194). Other new commercial activities must meet the requirements of Procedural Guideline B-Test of Compatibility.

The mineral potential of the area will be assessed in accordance with Ontario’s Living Legacy commitments; if areas of provincially significant mineral potential are identified, controlled exploration will be allowed, as discussed in Section 3.2.

3.5 Aboriginal interests


During the consultation process on the refinement of the boundary of this conservation reserve, Ministry staff discussed this conservation reserve with representatives of the Curve Lake First Nation.


The regulation and management of this conservation reserve will not impede the exercise of existing Aboriginal or treaty rights.

3.6 Natural resource stewardship

Guideline - general:

The Conservation Reserve will be managed with an emphasis on ensuring that the natural ecosystems and processes of the Conservation Reserve are not negatively affected by current and future activities. Therefore, applications for specific uses will be carefully studied and reviewed. The Ministry, partner organizations, and/or the proponents may undertake such studies.

The Conservation Reserve protects only a portion of the provincially significant wetland complex. The remainder of it is located on private lands surrounding the Conservation reserve blocks. The Ministry will work with the municipality, conservation authority and private landowners on the protection of the private land portions of this wetland.

Guideline -vegetation:

The intent of this site is to allow the existing vegetation communities to evolve naturally.

The Conservation Reserve is in MNR’s East Fire Region Sector 1 (Haliburton Highlands - Georgian Bay).This is classified as an intensive fire management zone where the objectives are to minimize hectares burned, values destroyed and social impact, and to extinguish fires as soon as possible.

Until a more detailed local natural resource plan or fire management plan provides alternate direction, fire protection for the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve will be carried out in accordance with the approved Fire Management Strategy that applies to surrounding Crown lands. A ’light on the land’ approach to fire suppression will be desirable in order to protect natural values; for example, minimal use of heavy equipment, trenching, tree cutting, camp construction, etc. will occur.

Programs may be developed to control forest insects and diseases in the Conservation Reserve where these threaten significant values in or adjacent to the site. Where insects or disease threaten significant values, in or adjacent to the site, control will be directed as narrowly as possible to the specific insect or disease. Biological control will be used wherever possible.

Guideline -wildlife:

The management of game and fur species in the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve will continue consistent with the wildlife management unit (WMU-60A), and trapline area (BA 13) within which it lies.

3.7 Cultural resource stewardship

No values have been identified within the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve to date.

Interested partners will be encouraged to undertake inventories and studies of the area.

3.8 Client services:


Other than a fact sheet, which is available for this Conservation Reserve, there are no services provided.


The focus will remain on low key information and self-interpretation of Conservation Reserve values and features. Consideration will be given to the strategic location of identity signs where the Crowe River and the municipal road cross the Conservation Reserve boundaries.

3.9 Research


Research to date has consisted of reconnaissance surveys and checklists of the earth science, life science and recreation values of the reserve. Additional assessment is not planned at present, though may occur if future opportunities are presented.


The Ministry will consider whether there is a need for further inventory and documentation of natural values. Research proposals and activities must follow Procedural Guideline C - Research Activities in Conservation Reserves (PL Procedure 3.03.05) (Appendix 2).

The mineral potential of the area will be assessed in accordance with Ontario’s Living Legacy commitments-once the criteria for determining Provincially Significant Mineral Potential have been approved.

3.10 Marketing


There has been no direct marketing of the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve to date. Promotion and information about this site has been primarily through the Ontario’s Living Legacy planning process, and recent Bancroft District public consultation regarding regulation of the boundaries of this site.


Direct marketing of the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve is not proposed. Fact sheets will continue to be available to inform the public about the role of the Conservation Reserve in a provincial system, and about its specific values.

4.0 Implementation

Administrative responsibility for the Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve lies with MNR’s Bancroft Area, Bancroft District. Implementation of this Statement of Conservation Interest will primarily involve monitoring activities to ensure adherence to the management guidelines. Other activities will include distribution of a fact sheet highlighting the important natural heritage values of the site, and responding to inquiries.

5.0 Review and revision of the statement of conservation interest

The Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve Statement of Conservation Interest will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

If changes are required in the Statement of Conservation Interest, they will occur through a standard process of minor and major amendments. Minor amendments will be processed in a relatively informal manner and will require the approval of the Area Supervisor. These amendments will deal with uses and activities that do not affect any of the policies in this SCI, such as new uses and/or activities that are consistent with existing uses.

Uses and/or activities that were not anticipated in the approved SCI and which have the potential to have a negative impact on the values of the Conservation Reserve will require a major amendment. This will include an opportunity for public comment and input, and will require the approval of the District Manager and Regional Director.


Bean C. 2001. Recreation Inventory Checklist Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve.Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Bancroft.

Davidson R. J. 1981. A framework for the conservation of Ontario’s earth science features. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Toronto.

Easton R. M. 1992a. The Grenville Province and the Proterozoic history of central and southern Ontario: in Geology of Ontario, Ontario Geological Survey, Special Volume 4, Part 2, p715• 904.

1992b Tectonic evolution of Ontario. Part 3: Mesoproterozoic evolution of the southeast margin of Laurentiain Geology of Ontario, Ontario Geological Survey, Special

Volume 4, Part 2, p1302-1314.

Frey E. & Duba D. 2000. Earth Sciences Checksheet, Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Bancroft.

Hills, G. A. 1959. A ready reference to the description of the land of Ontario and its productivity. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, Division of Research, Maple, Ontario.

Merchant B. 2001 Life Sciences Checksheet. Crowe River Swamp Conservation Reserve. (Interim) Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Bancroft.

Noble T. W. 1983. Biophysiographic Analysis of Site Region SE. Central (Algonquin) Region, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

OMNR 1999. Ontario’s Living Legacy, Land Use Strategy, July 1999.Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough.

Appendix 1: Procedural guideline 8-land uses-test of compatibility (PL Procedure 3.03.05)

The Conservation Reserve policy provides broad direction with regard to the permitted uses. The policy provides only an indication of the variety of uses that will be considered acceptable in Conservation Reserves. The only caution is that “any new uses, and commercial activities associated with them, will be considered on a case by case basis, and, they must pass a test of compatibility to be acceptable.” What does a ’test of compatibility’ mean?

An examination of this must start from the premise of why an area is set aside-specifically, its representative natural heritage values. Criteria are then identified to guide compatibility considerations. These criteria apply to the long-term acceptability of both existing uses and new uses.

  1. Conformity to SCI/RMP: SCI describes values for which an area has been set aside and the range of appropriate uses that will be permitted in the area. SCI may also speak to the acceptability of other ’new’ uses currently not occurring in the area.
    • The first ’test’ is: “do proposed new land uses and/or commercial activities conform to the direction of the SCI/RMP for the Conservation Reserve? Would the new use(s) depart from the spirit of appropriate indicator land uses in the SCI/RMP?”
  2. Impact Assessment: If the proposed use(s) pass test 1it is important to determine their impact on the area before they are approved.
    • This should include the following:
    • Impact on natural heritage values: “will the new use(s) impact any natural values in the area? If so how and to what degree? Is it tolerable?”
    • Impact on cultural values: “will the new use(s) impact an historical or archaeological values in the area?”
    • Impact on research activities: “will the new use(s) affect research activities in the area?”
    • Impact on current uses: “will the new use(s) have any negative impact on the array of current uses?”
    • Impact on area administration: “will the new use(s) increase administrative costs and/or complexity?” (For example, the cost of area monitoring, security and enforcement).
    • Impact on accommodating the use outside the Conservation Reserve: “Could the use(s) be accommodated as well or better outside the Conservation Reserve?”
    • Impact on socio-economics of the area: “will the new use(s) affect the community(ies) surrounding the area in a positive or negative way?” (For example, will the new use make an area less remote thereby affecting a local tourism industry that is dependent on the area’s remoteness for its appeal?"
    • Impact on area accessibility: “does the new use(s) give someone exclusive rights to the area or a portion of the area to the exclusion of other existing uses?”

Appendix 2: Procedural guideline C-research activities in Conservation Reserves (PL Procedure 3.03.05)


To encourage contributions to the goal of Conservation Reserves by:

  • Providing direction for research activities associated with Conservation Reserves; and
  • Establishing a process for the review and approval of proposals by researchers, which could have an impact on the values protected by the Conservation Reserve.


Research means any investigation or study of the natural, cultural, economic, management or other features or characteristics of Conservation Reserves.


Research will be encouraged to provide a better understanding of the natural values protected by a Conservation Reserve and to advance their protection, planning and management. The Statement of Conservation Interest will define, for each Conservation Reserve, the key research issues, set out the parameters within which research may occur and identify research needs.

Applications and approvals

Researchers must apply in writing to the Area Supervisor for permission to conduct research. The request letter must contain a statement explaining why the proposed research should be undertaken in the particular Conservation Reserve in preference to another location.

Proposals will be reviewed and approved by the Area Supervisor, guided by the SCI prepared for each reserve (see Guideline A - Resource Management Planning) and using Guideline B-Land Uses-Test of Compatibility. Permission must be granted in writing, including any conditions to be met in conducting the research, prior to the undertaking of any research project.

Term and conditions

Permission to conduct research under this policy will be valid for a period of 12 consecutive months from the date of issue. Permission to continue a research project for an additional periods of 12 months or less may be granted upon submission of a written request and a progress report. The Ministry may require the posting of collateral to assure that the terms and conditions of granting permission are met.

The Area Supervisor may suspend or revoke permission at any time for failure on the part of the researcher to meet:

The intent of this policy:

  1. The requirements under the Public Lands Act, including all amendments, where applicable.
  2. The requirements under any other Act or regulations of Ontario or Canada, including those governing the taking, handling, storing, confining, trapping, excavating and marketing any specimen, artifact, information or action (for example, scientific collector’s permit.
  3. The conditions and agreements specified in granting permission.

Final report

The researcher will submit copies of reports, publications and theses following the results of the project to the Area Supervisor.