Interim Management Statement

Ontario Parks
Central Zone, Huntsville
February, 1998

Approval statement

I am pleased to approve this Interim Management Statement for Dividing Lake Provincial Nature Reserve. This Nature Reserve contains biological features of provincial significance and representation of locally significant geological features. The Park is known for stands of 35 metre high white pine found in conditions approximating the ecological situation existing prior to the arrival of the first loggers. The pines stand above the canopy of a towering mature sugar maple-American beech-yellow birch tolerant hardwood forest. This rugged landscape is underlain by ancient gneisses (1.8 to 1.4 billion year old) of the Central Gneiss Belt.

This Interim Management Statement will provide direction for the custodial management of Dividing Lake Provincial Nature Reserve until a comprehensive Park Management Plan is prepared. The Park is under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Arrowhead Provincial Park.

Brian Pfrimmer
Central Zone Manager
Ontario Parks

Management guidelines

Interim Management Statements identify: park values; guidelines to protect those values; and restrictions on use.

The policies in this Interim Management Statement are consistent with provincial policies for park planning and management, and reaffirm the priority on the protection objective for Dividing Lake Provincial Nature Reserve while having regard for the other three park objectives of heritage appreciation, recreation and tourism.

Land uses

A metes and bounds description currently delineates the Park. A boundary plan will be prepared to replace this. Figure 2 illustrates the approximate boundary of this 350 hectare Nature Reserve.

There are no hydro transmission lines, pipelines or other easements / corridors in the Park. The disposition of real property or rights to Crown resources will not be permitted in the Park. Existing dispositions will not be expanded and will be dealt with further at the management planning stage.

Summer access is via the Wildcat Canoe Route linking the Nature Reserve to Algonquin Provincial Park immediately to the east. A snowmobile trail provides winter access. A former forestry access road extends to within 2 km of the Park’s west boundary at Dagger Lake.

Recreation activities

Recreation uses (e.g. walking, hiking, etc.) are not managed. Heritage appreciation through self guided interpretation will be encouraged using existing canoe route information, including the Algonquin Provincial Park canoe route map, which includes the Nature Reserve.

Mechanized travel within the Park is not permitted. There is an existing TOPS snowmobile trail in the Park maintained by a local snowmobile club. Since this is a conflicting use by policy, the trail will be rerouted outside the Nature Reserve as soon as possible.

Hunting is not permitted in the Nature Reserve by regulation under the Game and Fish Act (R.R.O. 502, O.Reg. 49/95, s.1) and by provincial park policy.

Two canoe portages, Rockaway Lake to Minkey Lake, and Minkey Lake to Dividing Lake will be maintained.

Camping is not a permitted use within the Nature Reserve. A low maintenance back country campsite exists within the Nature Reserve. This site is maintained by Algonquin Provincial Park and will be dealt with when a management plan for Dividing Lake is completed.

Commercial activities

Commercial uses are not permitted (e.g. mineral exploration, mineral collecting, trapping, commercial tourism services, hydro development, etc.) within the Nature Reserve.

Two existing traplines have limited impact on the Park, BR02NO14 in the north (2%) and BR02NO21 to the south (1%). Only those commercial traplines operated by Status Indians protected by treaty rights will be permitted. Non-native trapline licenses will be phased out by 2010, or when the trapper retires, whichever is sooner. Once a non-native trapper retires, the line may be transferred to a native trapper, or the line may be surrendered with no transfer taking place. An amendment to existing traplines would restrict trapping along the portion of the line that is situated within park boundaries.

Aboriginal interests

The Nature Reserve is not subject to any native land claims.

Geological and biological features

Initial work on the natural heritage values of the Park was completed in the 1970's. The earth science features include gneisses of the Opeongo Domain of the Central Gneiss Belt (Easton, 1992). Glacial deposits are limited to thin till over bedrock, except near the shore of Dividing Lake where there are small outwash sand deposits. A mature tolerant hardwood forest of sugar maple-American beech-yellow birch dominates the site. White pine of 35 m in height tower above the forest canopy (Brunton, 1991, Crins and Darbyshire, 1977).

Management in the area would ideally allow natural processes to continue to shape the ecology of the forest and non-forest communities. Given that the Nature Reserve abuts Algonquin Provincial Park, management planning will consider the zoning and management of adjacent lands.

Natural fires will be suppressed. Fire management through natural or prescribed burning will be considered during the park management plan or fire management planning process.

Cultural resources

There has been no assessment of cultural resources: archeological sites, historical use or artifacts, historical landscapes.

Visitor services

Visitor services in this location will deal with the provision of information and self use interpretation. Information on the area should identify: park boundary, natural heritage targets, viewing opportunities and research activities.


Research will deal with all aspects of scientific study, inventory or surveys such as studies of vegetation and ecological processes, cultural resource inventories or special studies, and user surveys. It will be consistent with Ontario Parks Research and Information Strategy.

As in the past biological and geological research will be encouraged. Research will develop a data base on the geological and biological features within the Nature Reserve and on related properties. Comparative studies will be encouraged to understand the features and processes in the Nature Reserve with similar areas in Site District 5E-9.

An updated Regional Earth Science Systems Plan would assist in placing Dividing Lake in a regional context and to better assess the significance of the Park’s geological features.


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


Brunton, D.F. 1991a. Life Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest in Site District 5-9, Parks and Recreational Areas Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Algonquin Region, Huntsville, 161 p.

Brunton, D.F. 1991b. Dividing Lake Provincial Nature Reserve, Area of Natural and Scientific Interest-Life Science Checksheet.

COSEWIC, Canadian Species at Risk, April 1997

Crins, W.J. and Darbyshire, P. 1977. Life Science Checksheets for Nature Reserve Zones in Algonquin Provincial Park (Two Volumes), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Huntsville.

Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. 1974. Kawagama Lake: Topographic Map Series, 1:50 000 Sheet 31 E/7.

Easton, R.M. 1992. The Grenville Province and the Proterozoic History of Central and Southern Ontario; Geology of Ontario, Ontario Geological Survey, Special Volume 4, Part 2, p. 714-904.

Geddes, R.S. and McClenaghan, M.B. 1984. Quaternary Geology of the Kawagama Lake Area, Nipissing and Muskoka Districts and Haliburton County; Ontario Geological Survey, Map P. 2705, Geological Series Preliminary Map, Scale 1: 50 000; Geology 1983.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1983. Bracebridge District Land Use Guidelines, 57 p.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1985. Dividing Lake Nature Reserve Interim Management Statement (draft).

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1992. Ontario Provincial Parks: Planning and Management Policies, 1992 Update, 90 p.

Simpson, H. 1979. Algonquin Region Life Science Systems Plan (Revised), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Division of Parks, Huntsville.

The Friends of Algonquin Park, Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park, 1997, 1:126,720