Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve Management Statement
This document provides policy direction for the protection, development and management of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve and its resources.
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Statement of Conservation Interest
Ministry of Natural Resources
I am pleased to approve this Statement of Conservation Interest for the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve (C223).
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve, protecting a mature pine and red maple forest on a valley train landform, was regulated in December 2000. This 436-hectare conservation reserve is located in the Territorial District of Sudbury, in Northeastern Ontario and is composed entirely of Crown lands and waters.
Direction for establishing, planning and managing conservation reserves is defined under the Public Lands Act, the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy, and other applicable policy. The direction for this conservation reserve is in the form of a Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI), which defines the area that is being planned, the purpose for which the conservation reserve has been proposed, and it outlines the Ministry of Natural Resources' management intent for the protected area. This SCI has been created with input from program specialists within Sudbury District. It will provide both the foundation for continued monitoring of activities and guidance for managing the conservation reserve. More detailed direction is not anticipated at this time. However, should significant facility developments be considered or complex issues arise that require additional studies, more detailed management direction in the form of special protection measures, or a detailed Resource Management Plan, will be prepared with full public consultation.
Public and Aboriginal consultation occurred prior to the regulation of this conservation reserve. An additional consultation period took place in February 2003 that provided stakeholders with an opportunity to comment during the preparation and review of this SCI. Comments from the review period have been considered in the finalization of this document.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve will be managed under the jurisdiction of the Sudbury District Ministry of Natural Resources under the supervision of the Espanola Area Supervisor as designated by the District Manager.
OLL Planner, Sudbury District
Date: February, 2004
Recommended for approval by:
Date: February 29, 2004
Date: June 25, 2004
Draft Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) for Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve C223.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve, protecting a mature pine and red maple forest on a valley train landform, encompasses 436 hectares of Crown land and waters and is located within the Territorial District of Sudbury in Northeastern Ontario. This conservation reserve offers an ecological landscape representative of the Ecodistrict 4E-3 and the Northshore Forest Section. Further studies are required to identify other possible ecological associations and their significance. This site is located approximately 25 km northwest of the Town of Espanola.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is one of 378 new protected areas approved through Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (1999), a strategy aimed in part, at completing Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas. The site was regulated under the Public Lands Act on December 21, 2000.
Once a conservation reserve is regulated, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) will complete one of two approved planning documents, either a Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) or a Resource Management Plan (RMP). Both documents address the administration of land uses and activities that occur within the regulated boundaries of the conservation reserve. The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve experienced no new issues, conflicts, uses and/or proposals beyond those addressed during land use planning for the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. As a result, a SCI was completed. For conservation reserves having more complex issues, a RMP would be required.
When considering future permitted uses and/or developments, these must be consistent with the SCI. New uses are evaluated within the context of, but may not be limited to; Test Of Compatibility, Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects (MNR 2001), Exemption Order MNR 26/7 or its successor for future dispositions. Other protocols may be developed that address site specific sensitivities to identified features.
The goal of the Flat Creek Old Pine SCI is to describe and to protect natural and cultural heritage values while permitting compatible land use activities.
The purposes of this SCI are to:
- Provide background information and identify and describe the values of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve; and
- Provide guidelines for the management of current and future activities while protecting natural, social, and cultural heritage
During the preparation of Lands for Life planning process, the public was widely consulted and provided valuable input into what became Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (1999). Comments received during that time, and consultation related to the formal Public Lands Act regulation of the boundaries of this conservation reserve, were generally supportive of the protection of this area. Stakeholders who provided comment during the boundary consultation for this site were consulted regarding the draft Statement of Conservation Interest, and their comments were considered in the finalization of this document.
This SCI will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Implementation of the SCI will include monitoring activities to ensure adherence to management guidelines. Should significant facility development be considered or complex issues arise requiring additional studies, further management direction or special protection measures, this SCI will be amended or a more detailed RMP will be prepared with full public consultation.
The district will evaluate the significance of the required changes. Minor changes, which do not alter the overall intent of this SCI, may be considered and approved by the District Manager without further public consultation and the SCI will be amended accordingly. In assessing major changes, the need for a more detailed resource management plan (RMP) will first be considered. Where a RMP is not considered necessary or feasible, a major amendment may be considered with public consultation. Such amendments will also be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry. The Regional Director has approval authority for any major amendments for this SCI.
The management and administration of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve will be guided by the SCI and administered by the Sudbury District MNR, Espanola Area Supervisor. The SCI governs the lands within the regulated boundary of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve; however, to ensure MNR protection objectives are being fully met within the conservation reserve, activities on the surrounding landscape must consider the site’s objectives and heritage values. In addition, it is the intent of the SCI to create a public awareness that will promote responsible stewardship of protected areas and their surrounding lands in Ontario. With management partners such as Ontario Parks, industry, local governments, local First Nation communities, etc., the ministry will be able to pursue and advance sound environmental, economic and social strategies and policies related to the protection of this conservation reserve.
The Province of Ontario is home to a broad range of climate types, geography, and plant and animal species, all of which contribute to the variety and abundance of natural resources found here. The Ministry of Natural Resources is the lead conservation and resource management agency in the province and is therefore responsible for the management of these resources, in particular, forests, fisheries, wildlife, mineral aggregates and petroleum resources, Crown lands and waters, and provincial parks and protected areas (OMNR, 2000).
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is committed to the protection of natural and cultural heritage values and as such has developed strategies that will maintain the integrity and sustainability of the parks and protected areas system. Recently the Government of Ontario conducted a major land use planning exercise, which resulted in the release of the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999). The Land Use Strategy (LUS) focuses on four specific objectives that were established to guide the planning process. These are: to complete Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas; to recognize the land use needs of the resource-based tourism industry; to provide forestry, mining, and other resource industries with greater land and resource use certainty; and to enhance hunting, angling and other Crown land recreation opportunities. A major part of the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy was the government’s initiative to establish 378 new protected areas.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve (C223) was created as part of this expansion. As a result, the planning and management of this conservation reserve is consistent with the policies outlined in the Land Use Strategy. This conservation reserve is regulated under the Public Lands Act. Prior to its regulation, MNR met the Environmental Assessment Act requirements for the establishment and management of this conservation reserve. Ontario’s network of natural heritage areas has been established to protect and conserve areas that represent the diversity of the natural regions of the province, including the species, habitats, special features and ecological systems which comprise that natural diversity. Protecting these natural heritage areas is key to the sustainable management of natural resources. It ensures that representative sites are retained in their natural state and can continue to contribute to Ontario’s natural environment (OMNR, 1997a).
In order to preserve these sensitive areas they require protection from incompatible uses to ensure their values will endure over time. Conservation reserves have been identified as a way of providing necessary protection from incompatible uses such as forestry and aggregate extraction, while still permitting many of the traditional uses that allow the people of Ontario to enjoy our special heritage. An approved Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) or a Resource Management Plan (RMP) will guide the management and administration of each conservation reserve.
The management direction for this conservation reserve is a Statement of Conservation Interest. As a stewardship document, the SCI is the minimum level of management direction established for this conservation reserve. SCIs define the area that is being planned, the purpose for which the conservation reserve has been proposed, and it outlines the Ministry of Natural Resources' intent for the protected area. This SCI will govern the lands and waters within the regulated boundary of the conservation reserve. However, to ensure MNR protection objectives are being fully met within the conservation reserve, the surrounding landscape and related activities must consider the site’s objectives and heritage values. In addition, it is the intent of this SCI to create public awareness that will promote responsible stewardship of protected areas and surrounding lands. With management partners such as Ontario Parks, industry, local governments, etc. the MNR District Offices will be able to pursue and advance sound environmental, economic and social strategies and policies related to the protection of conservation reserves and provincial parks.
The purpose of this SCI is to identify and describe the values of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve and outline the Ministry’s management intent. The management direction will protect the site’s natural heritage values for the benefit of all Ontario residents and demonstrate its compatibility within the larger sustainable landscape. This direction will comply with land use intent as stated by the Ontario’s Living Legacy Lands Use Strategy and the Crown Land Use Atlas.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve protects an old-growth pine-red maple forest on the valley train landform in Site District 4E-3. Regulated in December 2000, this 436-hectare conservation reserve is located in the Territorial District of Sudbury, in Northeastern Ontario and is composed entirely of Crown lands and waters. The guidelines for the management of this conservation reserve are found in this document.
2.0 Goals and objectives
2.1 Goal of the statement of conservation interest
The goal of a conservation reserve, as stated in Policy PL 3.03.05, is to protect the natural heritage values on public lands while permitting compatible land use activities. The goal of this Statement of Conservation Interest is to provide the framework and direction to guide management decisions in order to ensure the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve will meet this goal through both short and long-term objectives.
2.2.1 Short term objectives
Objective 1: To define the purpose for which the conservation reserve has been identified and to outline the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources' management intent for the protected area.
- By identifying the state of the resource with respect to the natural heritage values being protected;
- By identifying current land use activities that are occurring on the land base.
Objective 2: To determine the best management strategy to protect the integrity of the values in the site.
- By determining the land use compatibility of current and potential land uses;
- By developing specific guidelines and prescriptions to manage existing and potential land uses.
Objective 3: To create public awareness of the values within this conservation reserve and promote responsible stewardship of the protected area.
- By creating fact sheets and pamphlets describing this conservation reserve and the resource(s) or values that it contains and protects.
- By seeking partnerships with local stakeholders to ensure the values of the site are properly protected.
This Statement of Conservation Interest meets the planning requirements for conservation reserves as determined in Procedure PL 3.03.05 which states that management plans must be written within three years of the regulation date (OMNR 1997b).
2.2.2 Long term objectives
Objective 1: To determine the long term management goals of the conservation reserve.
- By identifying the research needs, client services, and marketing strategies necessary to determine the position of this conservation reserve among the system of parks and protected areas in Ontario.
Objective 2: To determine the representative targets of the site.
- By identifying the scientific values in relation to provincial benchmarks;
- By identifying any monitoring or research necessary to identify and maintain the integrity of these characteristics beyond this plan.
Objective 3: To provide direction for the evaluation of new uses or economic ventures proposed.
- A Test of Compatibility shall be undertaken to evaluate the impact of suggested use(s), either positive or negative, on the protected values and administrative needs of the conservation reserve.
3.0 Management planning
3.1 Planning context
3.1.1 Planning area
The planning area for this site will consist of the regulated boundary for the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve as defined in section 4.1.3 Administrative Description. This land base will form the area directly influenced by the Statement of Conservation Interest. However, in order to ensure that the protection objectives are being fully met within the conservation reserve, the surrounding landscape and related activities must carefully consider the site’s values. Any strategies noted within this plan related to the site’s boundary or beyond will need to be presented for consideration within a larger planning context.
3.1.2 Management planning context
The need to complete the parks and protected areas system has long been recognized as an important component of ecological sustainability. This was reaffirmed in 1997 when the Lands for Life planning process was announced. Previous gap analysis studies were used to determine where candidate areas would be proposed in order to protect additional representative features. The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve was chosen as one of the candidate life science features and subsequently appeared in the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy as C223. The site was then regulated as Schedule 43, in Ontario Regulation 686/00 made under the Public Lands Act, December 20, 2000 and filed December 21, 2000 amending Ontario Regulation 805/94 (Conservation Reserves).
By regulation, this conservation reserve can not be used for commercial forest harvest or hydroelectric power development as per restrictions in the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy and the Crown Land Use Atlas. Currently no mining tenure exists within the site and the site has been withdrawn under the Mining Act. Most recreational and non-commercial activities that have traditionally been enjoyed within the conservation reserve can continue provided that they pose little threat to the natural heritage values. Similarly, most non- industrial resource uses such as fur harvesting are permitted if they are compatible with the values of the reserve (OMNR, 1999). This SCI and future management will continue to try and resolve conflicts regarding incompatibility between uses and to ensure that identified values are adequately protected.
This Statement of Conservation Interest will only address known issues or current proposals with respect to permitted uses or potential economic opportunities brought forward to MNR's Sudbury District Manager during this planning stage. However, in terms of approving future permitted uses and/or development(s), there are established mechanisms in place to address such proposals. Any future proposals will be reviewed using the Procedural Guideline B – Land Uses – Test of Compatibility Procedure PL 3.03.05 (OMNR, 1997b) or other standard MNR environmental screening processes (see Appendix A).
3.2 Planning process
Management of a conservation reserve includes, as a minimum, the regulation, provision of public information, stewardship, and security. It also includes authorization and setting conditions on permitted uses and ongoing monitoring of compliance with the approved management document. Management of conservation reserves is the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources at the district level, and will be done in accordance with Policy PL 3.03.05 (OMNR, 1997a) and an approved management document.
Once a conservation reserve has been established through the land use planning process it will be regulated under Section 4 of the Public Lands Act as an amendment to Ontario Regulation 805/94. Following the regulation it must be determined what level of management planning is required to fulfill the protection targets. There are two policy documents involved: a Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) as the minimal requirement for providing planning direction, and a Resource Management Plan (RMP) which would deal with more complex issues where several conflicting demands are placed on the resources. The guidelines for the preparation of these documents is outlined in Procedural Guideline A – Resource Management Planning (Conservation Reserves Procedure PL 3.03.05) (OMNR, 1997b). The appropriate document must be completed within three years of the regulation date.
In most cases management direction for conservation reserves will take the form of a SCI. A SCI is the minimum level of planning direction required for a conservation reserve. This form of management direction is generally used when the conservation reserve is seen to have few or no issues associated with it and any issues that do exist are local in nature and can be easily addressed through this process. If major issues arise and/or it is recognized that new decisions will need to be made beyond what is directed in the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999) a RMP is warranted.
For current planning purposes, the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve will be managed under the auspices of a Statement of Conservation Interest. Interested parties from both the private and public sectors were consulted during the Ontario’s Living Legacy (OLL) planning process from candidate conservation reserve to regulation. Following the regulation of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve in November 2002, a Terms of Reference was written to direct the completion of the management planning for this site and five other conservation reserves. The First Nations and the public were notified that the management planning for the six conservation reserves was beginning. This notification occurred via mail-out to the First Nations and stakeholders and an advertisement appeared in seven local newspapers during the week of December 9th, 2002. The Ministry of Natural Resources is exempt from providing notification of this planning process on the Electronic Bulletin Registry, under Section 30 of the Environmental Bill of Rights.
A draft version of this SCI was sent for review to members of the public and First Nations and MNR staff both at the district and regional office levels during February 2003.
Public consultation will be solicited during a review of any future land use proposals that would require new decisions to be made. In addition, any future proposal and/or any new, significant management direction considered will be published on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry (EBR).
The implementation of the policy will be the mandate of the MNR at the district level; however, association with various partners may be sought to assist in the delivery. This SCI is a working document; therefore it may be necessary to make revisions to it from time to time (see section 6.4 Implementation and Plan Review).
4.0 Background information
4.1 Location and site description
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is approximately 75 kilometers west of the City of Greater Sudbury and is located within the Sudbury MNR District, in the MNR's Northeast Region. The site is located in the central part of the geographic Township of Weeks in the Territorial District of Sudbury. It is approximately 25 km northwest of the Town of Espanola (Map 1), and is accessible by ATV, snowmobile or by walking from a secondary road that flanks the site to the northeast. Fleck Creek, Flat Creek, and a secondary road northeast are the main boundaries of the reserve (Map 2). Table 1 describes the location and provides administrative details of the site (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is located in Site District 4E-3, also known as the Mississagi Ecodistrict of the Lake Temagami Ecoregion. This site Ecodistrict is approximately between 81°30'W and 84°W Longitude, and 46°20'N and 47°50'N Latitude (Crins, 1996).
4.1.2 Physical site description
The climate in Ecodistrict 4E-3 has been classified as a mid-humid warm boreal eco-climatic region. Monthly precipitation ranges from 50 to 100 mm with maximums occurring in the summer period. The frost- free period extends from May to mid-September, while temperatures above 0°C last approximately seven months (Ecoregions Working Group, 1989).
The conservation reserve is located of the Mississagi Ecodistrict 4E-3, which is found in the Lake Temagami Ecoregion (Hills, 1959; Crins and Uhilg, 2000). The Temagami Ecoregion contains a rolling plain of rock-knob uplands, shallowly covered with stony silty sand, broken by occasional trains of sorted coarse and medium sand (gravelly in places). The Mississagi Ecodistrict features gently rolling plain of stony sandy till over bedrock with frequent flats and ridges of water–laid sand. Bedrock materials of the site are commonly granitic (acidic) in origin, with a few localized areas consisting of low-based materials.
The vegetation of the region is a transition between that associated with Boreal forest types and those characteristic of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest region (Poser, 1992). Pine is the common species of the region with red pine on shallow and exposed ridges, white pine on the deeper, retentive sites, and jack pine on fire disturbed sites.
Hard maple, red maple and yellow birch are found locally (Hills, 1959).
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is also within the Temagami Forest Section of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region (Rowe, 1972). The Temagami Forest Section is defined as a large upland area north of Lake Huron, stretching east and west from Lake Temagami, and occupying a generally southward-sloping surface. The typical association of this forest section consists of eastern white pine with scattered white birch and white spruce. Also common are mixtures of white birch, pine and spruce, with balsam fir, and poplar. Red pine stands are prominent in bluffs along ridges and jack pine is restricted to dry sandy areas or rocky sites. In the lowland areas, poorly drained depressions and swamps, black spruce with tamarack or eastern white cedar are typically found (Rowe, 1972).
Table 1: Location reference table.
|Name||Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve|
|Site Region/Site District (Hills 1959)||4E Lake Temagami 4E-3 Mississagi|
|Ecoregion Ecodistrict (Crins & Uhlig 2000)||4E Lake Temagami 4E-3 Mississagi|
|MNR Administrative Region/District/ Area||Northeast Region Sudbury District Espanola Area|
|Topographical Map Name/Number||Espanola 41I-05 Whiskey Lake 41J-08|
|Latitude/ Longitude||46°28'34"N 82°00'11"W|
|Elevation||Minimum: 280 m Maximum: 370 m|
|Watershed||Spanish River Watershed 2CE|
|Wildlife Management Unit||WMU 38|
|Forest Management Unit||Northshore Forest|
The 1990 Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) for the Spanish Forest was examined to determine the forest composition of the conservation reserve. The FRI interpretation classified stands in the site into six Working Groups poplar (Po), white pine (Pw), jack pine (Pj), white birch (Bw), white spruce (Sw), and cedar (Ce). The majority of the site is occupied by upland stands in the white pine and poplar working groups.
The white pine stand is the central feature of the site, extending towards the northwest boundary, and has a composition of 30% white pine with a mixture white birch and maple (soft and hard), plus some scattered black spruce, red pine, and poplar. The stand is aged by the FRI at 102 years, but a timber cruise conducted 1993 found that ages ranged from 78 to 127 years. The timber cruise also recorded many large old stumps for harvesting, likely occurring in the early part of the 20th century. The stand is well stocked, with good height growth ranging from 22 to 27 metres. The white pine stand occurs in the north central part of the conservation reserve blanketing the top of a large northwest to southeast trending ridge.
The poplar stands are the dominant working group in the site, occupying just under 50% of the area and are generally associated with bedrock drift complex. They are composed of 30-70% poplar with mixtures of jack pine, white birch, and spruce (black & white), plus scattered occurrences of soft maple, balsam fir, cedar and red pine. Black spruce, cedar, and balsam fir are more prevalent on the lower slopes and along the creeks, with white birch, jack pine and red pine more prevalent on the upper slopes and ridge tops. The stands growing on the ridge tops and adjacent to wet lowlands have poorer stocking and growth then the stands occupying mid slope and better drained areas. The poplar stands are immature to mature ranging in age from 37 to 82 years. They occupy the southeastern and western parts of the site. The white pine and poplar stands together compose almost 70% of the conservation reserve.
The white birch stands occupy mid slope positions along the western edge of the conservation reserve and grow in association with the white pine and poplar stands. They have a composition of 50% white birch with a mixture of poplar and jack pine, with scattered soft maple, spruce, and red pine. The other upland working group is the jack pine, which occupies sand flats along the northeast boundary of the CR and southeastern corner. These stands range from young plantations (planted late 1960's) to mature (probably fire origin) stands 70-82 years old. A mixed jack pine stand was harvested in the late 1960's along the road by the northeast border of the conservation reserve. Trees that were planted after the harvest were grown from a poor seed source and exhibit course branching and a poor form (Burkhardt et al., 2003). The composition ranges from 100% jack pine (plantations) to 50% jack pine with mixtures of black spruce, poplar, red pine and white pine.
The remaining stands belonging to the white spruce and cedar working groups are lowland stands growing within the flood plain along Flat Creek. The white spruce stands are classified as barren and scattered which means their stocking is 20% or less and probably represent areas dominated by alder with scattered groups or individuals of mature white spruce. The one cedar stand is a mature stand (92 years old) with a composition of 50% cedar with a mixture of black spruce and balsam fir.
An aerial reconnaissance survey by Thompson (2002), was conducted to check the FRI data for correctness (Burkhardt et al., 2003). From aerial and on ground inspection, it was determined that the cedar mixed stand contained no cedar and consisted predominantly of spruce, balsam fir and white birch. However cedar was found southeast of the wetland in the northwest corner of the site (Thompson, 2002). The predominant poplar mixedwood stand in the south half of the reserve was noted to contain white and jack pine with bedrock outcrop ridges that run parallel with Fleck Creek and around to Flat Creek. Rock ridges and outcrops are present throughout the site with more deciduous trees present on the tops of ridges (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
The original gap analysis for this site confirms the presence of one large hilltop stand of old-growth white pine and red pine aged at 150 years, mixed with red maple and a small amount of white birch (Crins, 1996). FRI data did recognize this white pine/red pine stand upon a hilltop in the center of the site. However, upon further analysis the stand age was determined to be 105 years making it mature with an onset of old growth of approximately 45 years (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
Fire records indicate that no fires have occurred in the past 15 years. During aerial reconnaissance in 2002 this was confirmed.
Non-forest vegetation communities are limited in this site district as wetlands of Fleck and Flat Creeks. These wetlands include shrub shore fen1 along the portion of Flat Creek in the northern part of the site and green alder dominated shrub shore fen and sheltered open water marsh in areas where Flat Creek meets the sites eastern boundary (Burkhardt et al., 2003). Located towards the west, there is a wetland complex with wet meadows. To the east, shrub shore fens are found where Fleck Creek becomes the sites southern boundary. Sheltered open water marsh and srub shore fens are also fond along Fleck Creek with an extensive shrub shore fen located in the southeast corner of the site (Burkhardt et al., 2003). Lastly, there is a wet meadow along the site’s northwestern boundary. During the aerial reconnaissance, black spruce communities were found along Fleck and Flat Creeks outlining a number of the wetland communities and creek banks (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
Aquatic communities in site district 4E-3 range from coldwater to warmwater systems (Crins, 1996). The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve contains two water systems, Flat and Fleck Creek. Both waterways are classified as coldwater systems and contain brook trout (OMNR, 2002).
Figure 1: Mature white pine stand with maple and white birch mix in the center of site.
Earth science features
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is located within the dome-like topography of the Canadian Shield, which is composed of Precambrian bedrock.
During the Pleistocene Epoch, all of Ontario was covered by a succession of ice sheets separated by interglacial periods. The last glacial advance, referred to as the Late or Classical Wisconsinan Stage, began approximately 23,000 years before present (Barnett, 1992). During these periods a thin, discontinuous cover of till was deposited throughout the area by glacial ice.
During the early 1980's an intensive soil survey was completed in Weeks Township. From this soil survey, the soils of the general area can be described as a thin continuous to discontinuous mantle of sandy tills, interspersed with exposed bedrock ridges and knobs. Lower areas frequently have numerous large boulders and bolder pavements. Glaciofluvial deposits of fine sands and silts are associated with the prominent drainage systems (Fleck, Flack Creek and Wakonassin River). Bedrock striations, glacial grooves, chatter marks, as well as the orientation of crag and tail features indicate a regional ice flow in a south-southwesterly direction (223° to 205°). In some cases, local bedrock structures caused the ice to deflect to the west yielding orientations up to 225° (Boissonneau 1965, 1968).
Erosional activity has been minimal since the disappearance of the ice sheet and the lowering of glacial lake water to present day levels. The area is dominated by bedrock drift complexes composed of till with small patches of organic deposits that have developed in depressions in the land surface. These organic deposits often overlie sand, silt and clay material (Kor, 2002). Modern alluvium2 has been deposited along the courses of existing creeks and rivers.
Based on Map 2543, Bedrock Geology of Ontario (Ontario Geological Survey, 1991), the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve appears to be underlain by massive to foliated, granitic rocks of the Superior Province, Precambrian Shield (Kristjansson, 2002).
Based on a brief helicopter reconnaissance survey, review of terrain geological mapping (Gartner, 1978, Data Base Map 5002; and VanDine, 1979, Data Base Map 5008), and interpretation of relatively recent aerial photography (1990), this site appears to be immediately underlain by areas of Bedrock- Drift Complex (Unit 2ac). Bedrock knob (or knoll) forms with intervening lower elevation areas that characterize the morphology of the bedrock surface. Moderate bedrock exposure associated with a discontinuous cover of till is anticipated. Also in the extreme northwest part of the conservation reserve, a minor area of Organic Deposits (Unit 9) occupies an intervening, lower elevation area within this upland (Kristjansson, 2002).
The remainder of the conservation reserve is occupied by lowland, which essentially bounds the imposing, bedrock-controlled Upland on its north, east and south sides. The lowland appears to be immediately underlain by Glaciofluvial Outwash Deposits (unit 5e) and Alluvial Deposits (Units 8c and 8). The glaciofluvial outwash deposits, due to deposition within relatively narrow, bedrock controlled valleys, are classified as valley train deposits. Based on map 5002 (Gartner, 1978) and Map 5008 (VanDine, 1979), the textural character of these deposits appears to range from sand to gravelly sand (Kristjansson, 2002).
A hand auger hole located within the glaciofluvial outwash deposits in the immediate vicinity of the northeast boundary of the conservation reserve, revealed medium to coarse sand with granules and occasional small pebbles. During post-glacial time, fluvial system have partially reworked these relatively narrow, planar expanses of valley train. A number of terrace forms (indicated as Unit 8c) and a well developed, contemporary alluvial plain (indicated as Unit 8) are representative of this post-glacial fluvial activity (Kristjansson, 2002).
The geological Features described above are commonly encountered throughout this region, and are considered to be only of local significance (Kristjansson, 2002).
Considering the relatively passive land uses anticipated within a conservation reserve (e.g., hunting), the various geological features are considered to have low sensitivity (Kristjansson, 2002).
Luvisols3 are the typical soils found in upland sites in Site District 4E-3, while gleysols and organic soils occur in poorly drained areas (Ecoregions Working Group, 1989). The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve has both upland and lowland areas and will therefore have a range of soil types.
Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve lies within the Spanish River Watershed. The waters are managed under the current Spanish River Water Management Plan. A new Water Management Plan is currently being developed for the Spanish and Vermilion Rivers.
4.1.3 Administrative description
The legal description of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve, regulated as Schedule 43 in Ontario Regulation 686/00 made under the Public Lands Act on December 20, 2000 and filed on December 21, 2000 amending Ontario Regulation 805/94, reads:
In the geographic Township of Weeks, in the Territorial District of Sudbury, containing 436 hectares, more or less, being composed of that part of the said Township of Weeks designated as Part 1 on plan known as C223 Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve filed on October 19, 2000 in the Office of the Surveyor General.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is located within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Sudbury District administrative area, which covers an area of approximately 3,207,000 hectares.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is also located within the legal boundaries of the Northshore Forest Sustainable Forest License area, which encompasses approximately 1.2 million hectares and spans two MNR Districts – Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.
4.2 History of the Site
The area where the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is located would have been ice-free approximately 10,000 to 11,000 years ago and would have been inhabited by Ontario’s First Nations shortly after. There has been a European presence in the area since the mid-1700's when competition in the fur trade became intense. This lasted until the late 19th century when logging became the primary industry (OMNR, 1985). Andrew Twit operated a lumber business in Weeks Township between 1909 and 1911. During this time he harvested 6.5 million board feet of white pine and red pine. Also operating in Weeks and Dunlop Townships between 1908 and 1913 was the Wolverine Cedar and Lumber Co., which harvested 60 million board feet of white pine and red pine. This timber was driven down the Spanish River to Spanish Boom at the river mouth, and then towed to Little Current to a sawmill (Thorpe 1950). W.L Plaunt built the road that forms the NE boundary of he CR during the late 1950's for log and lumber hauling. This road was built to avoid steep hills and tight turns on the Massey Tote road to the west.
Table 2 indicates the current status of natural heritage inventory that has occurred or that will be required in the near future.
Table 2: Inventory and Survey Information for Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve.
|Survey Level||Earth Science||Life Science||Cultural||Recreational|
|Reconnaissance||2002 (Kristjansson)||2002 (Thompson)||2003 (Avoledo and Kuisma)|
|Detailed||Not required||Not required||Not required||Not required|
|Further Requirements||Earth Science Checklist||Life Science Checklist||Recreation Checklist|
5.0 State of the resource
The natural heritage of Ontario contributes to the economic, social and environmental well being of the province and its people. Protecting areas of natural heritage is therefore important for many reasons such as maintaining ecosystem health and providing habitat to maintain species diversity and genetic variability. Protected areas also provide scientific and educational benefits, they generate tourism, which bolsters local and regional economies, and they provide places where people can enjoy and appreciate Ontario’s natural diversity while enhancing their own health and well-being. In order to protect this vital natural heritage, Ontario has established a provincial parks and protected areas system to try and represent the entire suite of natural features and ecosystems within the province. This representation and criteria includes diversity, ecological factors, conditioning [etc.] (OMNR, 1997c). These criteria are discussed in further detail below.
Completing the system of parks and protected areas is based on the concept of representation; that is capturing the full range of Ontario’s natural and cultural values. The goal of Ontario Parks is to place within the parks and protected areas system the best examples of our natural heritage including features, landscapes, and ecosystems at the Site District level. The complete system must therefore protect a range of natural heritage values based on the geological and biological diversity of the province (Davidson, 1997).
The best examples of representative features are considered to be provincially significant and may even be nationally or internationally significant. Locally and regionally significant areas also contribute to the system if they have been classified as the best representation currently available and have therefore been identified as meeting the representation targets in each site district.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve has been identified to contribute to the life science representation of the protected areas system in Ontario. Selection criteria for identification of the best representative life science features includes, diversity, integrity, associated earth science values, and special features. Due to the nature of very different types of life science values the application of the criteria may vary on a per-site basis.
The original gap analysis for this site states that Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve represents the late stages of succession in mid-tolerant pine ecosystems (Crins, 1996). This is the best-known example of mature pine/red maple forest within a valley train landform (OMNR, 2000). The site was designated as provincially significant due to the presence of old pines aged at approximately 150 years. However, further analysis showed these pines to be aged at 105 years. As a result, the site’s current significance level is unknown although the good condition of the mixed white pine community and relative lack of disturbance, in of itself is significant. Future life science gap analysis, using the current boundaries of existing and new OLL parks and protected areas and the new boundary for Ecodistrict 5E-4, should be conducted to ensure the provincial significance of this conservation reserve. It is possible that the trembling aspen on valley train may be provincially significant (Burkhardt et al., 2003). This protected area will eventually support old growth white pine, which will help the province meet some of its old growth objectives in the future.
Quality of present representation
Diversity is the measure of the relative number of different landforms, special features, numbers of different vegetation or wildlife communities found in an area. The greater the number and variability of these features the more diverse the area. The diversity of the conservation reserve is considered to be low. The site is dominated by mature popular and white pine mixed wood stands. Spruce, white birch, jack pine, balsam fir, and red pine complete the forest composition in these stands (Burkhardt and King, 2002).
Although comparatively the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve does not have a high degree of diversity in landform/ vegetation units, it still contributes to the overall diversity of the protected areas system in Ontario through its life science/ landform contribution.
The conservation reserve is 436 hectares in size and the life science value that it represents may have both regional and provincial significance thus the landform/vegetation unit contribution is highly important.
b) Ecological factors
The basic components that help define ecological factors include the size, shape and the ability of the site to maintain itself over time (Thompson, 1999). The ability of a site to buffer the core areas from adjacent land uses, its general location and location within the greater managed ecosystem will make the site more viable over time and help to contribute to the overall ecosystem health. Generally, larger sites with more diversity are better than small, non-diverse areas; sites with a more rounded or naturally delineated shape are better than long, linear sites; and sites that are linked to or near other protected areas are better than isolated protected areas.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is small and narrow, which makes protecting the natural values and establishing a core community within the site more challenging (Burkhardt et al., 2003). However, the larger stands located within the central portion of the site are well buffered from perturbations adjacent to the site. Generally the site boundaries follow natural or man-made features, such as creeks or roads, providing for adequate protection of the important forest stands within the site. For example, the boundary follows both Fleck and Flat Creeks and the eastern border of the site is along a secondary road. This type of boundary delineation is preferred as opposed to artificially vectoring (straight lining) the boundaries, which at times is unavoidable. Vectoring could sever the core values being protected. Portions of the northwestern boundaries are vectored making management for the site in the future more problematic. The vectored border cuts through a birch mixed wood stand and a wetland (grassy meadow) area (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
Although not in close proximity to other conservation reserves or provincial parks identified through Ontario’s Living Legacy, the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve lies adjacent to a newly created land use designation enhanced management area (EMA). EMAs have been established to provide more detailed land use direction in areas of special features or values. The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is located directlynortheast of the Savage Lake EMA. This EMA was created to manage recreational and resource sector uses to maintain the remote access character of the area, particularly the native brook trout streams and lakes. This EMA also provides a linkage with other nearby protected areas, thus allowing for corridors and preventing protected area isolation (OMNR, 1999).
Condition is defined as the amount of disturbance, whether man-made or natural, in the site. The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is presently in good condition and the amount of disturbance is low. This site is a remnant, being flanked on the northwest and southwest sides by harvest operations (Crins, 1996). The mixed jack pine stand next to the road was harvested and planted in the late 1960's. Planted trees have heavy branching and a poor form. All other harvesting and planting has occurred outside of the conservation reserve with the regeneration looking healthy.
The only man-made disturbance would be the secondary road along the northeast boundary. This road is to be upgraded to a primary road. Future monitoring will be necessary to ensure the road does not go beyond the road right-of-way and into the conservation reserve boundary (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
Natural disturbances may also occur on this site. The possibility of natural disturbances such as natural wind throw or fire disturbances exists. This possibility of experiencing fire disturbances in the future, would either be caused by lightning or human interference. Further groundwork is required to positively identify any natural disturbances.
d) Special features
The special features that this site boasts are the natural brook trout fishery in Flat Creek. The site contains varying topography which includes lowland wetland areas, rock outcrop and cliff faces (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
Figure 2: Black spruce along creek, white pine and soft maple mixture on top of ridge and mix of poplar, cedar and pine between the creek and the ridge.
e) Current land use activities
Current land use activities within or near the conservation reserve include; snowmobiling, ATV use, fishing, and hunting. There is a maintained trail, located southeast of the site, for hunting.
The site falls within a small portion of two active traplines, one active bear management area, as well as two baitfish harvest areas. Additionally, both Flat and Fleck Creeks support natural brook trout fisheries.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve was originally designated as being provincially significant due to the presence of old pines aged at approximately 150 years. Further analysis showed these pines to be aged at 105 years and as a result site’s current significance level is unknown. In the future, the protected area should be re-evaluated through gap analysis to determine its significance level. In addition, the trembling aspen on valley train may be of provincial significance (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
The site is generally undisturbed but has a low diversity and some inherent design limitations. The small size of the site and portions of the western and southern vectored boundaries ensured that some landform/vegetation features extend beyond the site’s boundaries. However, the core white pine communities appear to be adequately protected within the site’s boundaries. Additional protection of core values will require consideration for the values within large landscape management plans or strategies.
The natural heritage features are not significantly sensitive to current permitted uses; however, additional disturbance due to increased trail development or any forest or wetland community disturbance by humans would impact on the quality of the present representation within Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve.
5.1 Social/economic interest in the area
This section will address the contribution of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve to the local economy and society through the opportunities it represents and the importance of these opportunities.
a) Linkage to Local Communities
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve is accessible from the Cross-over road. This area may be used for recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing and Crown land camping. Residents and visitors to Ontario seeking recreation at other nearby protected areas, lakes or outfitter camps may also seek complimentary recreation opportunities in the area of this conservation reserve. Snowmobiles and ATV's use the secondary road, since there is no apparent access through the conservation site.
Some of the recreational and commercial activities that the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve represent may include hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, photography, canoeing, fishing, small game hunting/trapping, and large game hunting (moose, bear). There are several tertiary roads to the northeast, east, and southeast of the site that provides access for hunters (OMNR, 2002). Hunting and fishing are long-standing traditional activities and they are also a vital part of the local economy.
b) Heritage Estate Contribution
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve contributes to the province’s parks and protected areas system through its regulation, representation and the long-term management of its natural heritage values.
The protected area system allows for permanent protection of our history and special features, and it will provide valuable areas as benchmarks to scientists and educators as more of Ontario’s land base is developed or altered from its natural state. Each protected area contributes to this heritage in its own unique way – whether it is a contribution to the preservation of an earth science value, a life science value, a recreational or economic opportunity, or through its cultural/ or historical significance. The designation of an area as a conservation reserve helps define its role in the system.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve’s distinct contribution is a combination of life science/glacial history preservation, and educational and recreational opportunities. The site has limited access, therefore scientists, educators and recreationalists alike may have difficulty in accessing the site to learn about and enjoy its values.
c) First Nations
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve lies within the Robinson-Huron Treaty Area, Treaty #61. The protection of this area as a conservation reserve and the Statement of Conservation Interest are not meant to infringe on the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights of any First Nation in any way. At the present time, there are no known land claims by First Nations for the area in question.
d) Mining interests
This conservation reserve has no mining tenure within it. Mining and surface rights have been withdrawn from staking within the conservation reserve boundaries under the Mining Act (RSO 1990 Chapter M.14). Mining will not occur in any regulated protected area.
e) Forest and Fire Management History
The conservation reserve is relatively undisturbed and has not been recently affected by fires. The jack pine mixed stand was harvested in the 1960's along the road by the northeast borde Trees that were planted after the harvest have heavy branching and a poor form (Burkhardt et al., 2003).
f) Government Agencies, Departments or Crown corporations
Other Government Agencies that may have an interest in the site include the Ministry of Culture (MCL), the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation (MTR), the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH). Although there are no known cultural heritage values present at this time for this site. If values were identified in the site the MNR would work with the MCL to ensure proper protection of any cultural heritage resources.
The MNR will also work in conjunction with the MTR to identify and enhance any potential tourism opportunities, in particular where Resource-Based Tourism (RBT) potential is identified. RBT operations include; hunting, fishing, as well as ecotourism opportunities. Proper evaluation will be undertaken where opportunities are identified to ensure consistency with the management policies of this conservation reserve.
The MNR would also work in conjunction with the MMAH should there be any proposed development in the area. The MMAH needs to be aware of the location of this site in order to comment on proposed cottage lot development. Proper protection of values within the site would be given due regard should development occur in the immediate area.
Non Government Organizations and other Industry interests
Non-Government organizations who may express an interest in the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve may include: the Partnership for Public Lands, the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters, the Sudbury and Area Trapper’s Council, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and the Sudbury Trail Plan Association.
The existence of this protected area will provide enhanced recreational potential and these associations may wish to approach the MNR as stewards of the protected area. The MNR will work in conjunction with any association who identifies an interest or compatible use potential within the site.
Other industries or companies that may have an interest in the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve may include the Prospector’s Association, the Sustainable Forest Licensee (Northshore Forest Inc.), and the Aggregate Producer’s Association. The interests of these companies or industries may be limited to recognizing the boundaries and values protected within in order to uphold the MNR's management policies within the conservation reserve.
5.2 Fisheries and wildlife
There are two coldwater streams within this site. Both Fleck and Flat Creek are home to natural brook trout fisheries.
Typical wildlife that may be found within the conservation reserve would be consistent with the wildlife found in Wildlife Management Unit 39. The site is within two registered traplines, one bear management area and two baitfish blocks. Traplines have been present in the area since the 1930's and the local area has been successfully managed to maintain a healthy balance of wildlife populations.
It is not known if any vulnerable, threatened or endangered species exist on or near the site. Further detailed habitat studies would address this.
5.3 Natural heritage stewardship
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve contributes to the natural heritage life science representation through its landform/ vegetation complexes.
The aerial reconnaissance survey was brief and not much time was spent identifying the plant species. Therefore, a complete inventory of flora would be beneficial in identifying other species that inhabit the site. Earth science representation is also present in the valley train formation, however this common landform alone has only local significance within this site. The conservation reserve also contributes to the variety of recreational opportunities that can be found in the parks and protected areas system. Currently, there are no monitoring or research programs in place for this conservation reserve.
5.4 Cultural heritage stewardship
There are no known cultural heritage values within the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve although no detailed research has been conducted as of this date to document possible cultural heritage values. However, the area has been occupied for over a century and the possibility of heritage values being present does exist. If archaeological/ or cultural resources are discovered within the conservation reserve proposals pertaining to the development and use of these resources will be screened through direction provided in Conserving a Future For Our Past: Archaeology, Land Use Planning & Development In Ontario (MCzCR, 1997). MNR would work with the Ministry of Culture to ensure proper protection of these cultural heritage resources.
Figure 3: Alder, black and white spruce along Flat Creek.
5.5 Land use/current or past development
There is no mining tenure near the site and no mines have been developed on the site in the past. There are no patent lands nested within the site and there are no other forms of tenure such as land use permits or licenses of occupation.
5.6 Commercial use
Commercial use of the site includes black bear hunting, and commercial fur harvesting. The area is also included in two baitfish licences.
5.7 Tourism/recreational use/opportunities
Current recreational uses and opportunities of the site include hiking, fishing, hunting, and bird watching. Winter activities such as ice fishing, skiing and snowshoeing are also potential recreational uses in the area.
Further detailed recreation inventory studies need to be undertaken to confirm the existence of recreational uses and potential. Other tourism opportunities include snowmobiling and moose hunting.
The forest access road and trail network is the only form of existing infrastructure near the site.
5.8 Client services
Currently, client services are being provided at the Sudbury District MNR office in the form of knowledgeable staff and available fact sheets and site maps. Further client services will be developed as a result of this plan, please see section 6.2 State of the Resource Management Strategies.
6.0 Management guidelines
6.1 Management planning strategies
The land use intent outlined in the OLL Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999) provides context and direction to land use, resource management, and operational planning activities on Crown land. Commitments identified in the above strategy and current legislation (Policy 3.03.05 PLA) will form the basis for land use within Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve. Management strategies for these uses must consider the short and long-term objectives for the reserve. For up to date information on permitted uses refer to the Crown Land Use Atlas.
Protected areas will be managed to retain and/or restore natural features, processes and systems. They will also provide opportunities for compatible research, education and outdoor recreation activities (OMNR, 1997c). Proposed uses and development will be reviewed on a case-by- case basis. A Test of Compatibility, (Procedural Guidelines B – Land Uses PL 3.03.05) must be passed before they are deemed acceptable. The emphasis will be on ensuring that the natural values of the conservation reserve are not negatively affected by current and future activities. Therefore any application for new specific uses will be carefully studied and reviewed via the above environmental screening process, as well as any other MNR environmental screening processes.
Management strategies will also be consistent with the objectives of increasing public awareness, promoting responsible stewardship, providing marketing opportunities, and identifying Inventory Monitoring Assessment Reporting (IMAR) potential.
6.2 "State of the resource" management strategies
The development of this SCI and the long- term management and protection will be under the direction of the MNR's Espanola Area Supervisor. The following section will deal with the management strategies that are specifically laid out to maintain, protect and enhance the existing natural heritage values and land use activities of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve.
Natural heritage values
The management intent for the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve will be to allow for natural ecosystems, processes and features to operate undisturbed with minimal human interference while providing educational, research and recreational activities. Forest ecosystem renewal will only be entertained via a separate vegetative management plan.
The MNR recognizes fire as an essential process fundamental to the ecological integrity of conservation reserves. In accordance with existing Conservation Reserve Policy and the Forest Fire Management Strategy for Ontario, forest fire protection will be carried out as on surrounding lands.
Whenever feasible, the MNR fire program will endeavor to use "light on the land" techniques, which do not unduly disturb the landscape, in this conservation reserve. Examples of light on the land techniques may include limiting the use of heavy equipment or limiting the number of trees felled during fire response efforts.
Opportunities for prescribed burning to achieve ecological or resource management objectives may be considered. These management objectives will be developed with public consultation prior to any prescribed burning, and reflected in the document that provides management direction for this conservation reserve. Plans for any prescribed burning will be developed in accordance with the MNR Prescribed Burn Planning Manual, and the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (approval pending).
Defining compatible uses, enforcing regulations and monitoring and mitigating issues will protect all earth and life science features. Industrial activities such as commercial timber harvest and new hydro generation will not be permitted within the conservation reserve. Extraction of unconsolidated sand, gravel, soils or peat is not permitted. Energy transmission, communication and transportation corridors or construction of facilities are discouraged within the boundaries of the conservation reserve. Such structures negatively impact on the quality of representative features that require protection. Alternatives should be reviewed via larger landscape planning processes. New roads for resource extraction and/or private use will generally not be permitted, nor will additions to existing roads or up-grading of existing roads be permitted. Other activities that do not pass a Test of Compatibility will be prohibited (OMNR, 1997a).
The deliberate introduction of exotic and/or invasive species will not be permitted. Management activities on the site will strive to reduce the chance of unintentional introductions. Programs may be developed to control forest insects and diseases where there is a concern that significant values may be compromised. Remedies must focus on the outbreak or infestation. Native biological or non-intrusive solutions should be applied whenever possible.
The collection or removal of vegetation and parts thereof may be permitted subject to a Test of Compatibility. MNR's Espanola Area Supervisor may authorize such activities for purposes of wild rice harvesting, food harvesting, removing exotic species, rehabilitating degraded sites within the reserve, collecting seeds for maintaining genetic stock and/or for inventory or research. The cutting of trees for non-commercial purposes (e.g. fuel-wood) is not permitted.
MNR will provide leadership and direction for maintaining the integrity of this site as a heritage estate. To ensure MNR protection objectives are being fully met within the conservation reserve, activities on the surrounding landscape should consider the site’s objectives, heritage values and the design flaws currently present. MNR via input and plan review will ensure the conservation reserve’s values are considered in local and adjacent land use strategies and plans. Research, education and interpretation will be encouraged to provide a better understanding of the management and protection of the natural heritage values and will be fostered through local and regional natural heritage programs, initiatives and partnerships. Furthermore, adequate protection of core values will require cooperation with adjacent land users to help compensate for the conservation reserve’s small size and any design flaws.
Cultural heritage values
It is not known if cultural heritage values exist in the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve. However, if values are confirmed, management would be consistent with Conserving a Future For Our Past: Archaeology, Land Use Planning & Development In Ontario (MCzCR, 1997). MNR would work with the MCL, should any cultural or archaeological values be discovered within the site to ensure adequate protection. Research and studies should be conducted to determine the potential and/or existence of cultural or archeological resources. Since the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve has been accessible for many years there is a possibility that cultural or historical resources do exist.
Land use/past and existing development
The sale of lands within the conservation reserve is not permitted as per the OLL LUS (OMNR, 1999). No new recreational camps will be permitted. Road realignments, telecommunications and other resource networks will be discouraged from crossing the site and interrupting the conservation reserve’s natural state. New roads for resource extraction and/or private use will generally not be permitted, nor will additions to existing roads or up grading of existing roads be permitted.
No mineral exploration is permitted within this conservation reserve. This direction is based on a commitment made by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in the spring of 2002. This direction replaces that identified in the 1999 Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy, which stated that controlled mineral exploration would be permitted in new conservation reserves which were identified as having provincially significant mineral potential.
Through the ministry’s plan input and review process, applications for more intense use will be reviewed to ensure natural heritage values within the conservation reserve are considered and protected in planning decisions on adjacent private land.
Any new developments (e.g. tourism developments) proposed for the conservation reserve must go through a Test of Compatibility to ensure that the activity is permitted and to ensure the natural heritage values within the site are protected. If a proposal is considered, public consultation may be required. If accepted, an amendment of the SCI would be required.
The economic contribution of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve to the local community could be harnessed through marketing strategies that will maintain existing tourism in the area, while allowing the nearby towns and tourist operators to benefit through money spent at the local businesses. Socially, this site provides a recreational area for local people to enjoy for their own health and well-being. The people of Ontario generally benefit either through direct enjoyment of the area or through the knowledge that a piece of our life science and glacial history has been preserved.
Other interest groups such as colleges and universities can benefit from this reserve as a place to study several natural features and processes, and the local parks, towns and tourist outfitters would benefit economically through the presence of researchers.
Fisheries and wildlife
Sport fishing and hunting will be permitted within this conservation reserve. Fish and wildlife resources will continue to be managed in accordance with specific policies and regulations defined by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and the Espanola Area Supervisor. Management of these resources will have consideration for the earth and life science features contained within the site.
Wildlife viewing activities may be enhanced via client services with the existing trail networks supporting this activity. New trail development may be entertained for this activity providing a Test of Compatibility is conducted and passed.
Commercial, non-industrial activities such as fur harvesting, bait fish harvesting and Bear Management Areas will be managed according to prescriptions in the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999). Fur harvesting by registered traplines and bait fish harvesting operations will be permitted to continue since there are no demonstrated conflicts between these activities and the values being protected. New operations would be subjected to a Test of Compatibility to ensure that the wildlife populations could sustain additional activity. Existing Bear Management Areas (BMAs) will be permitted to continue, however, new operations will not be permitted as per the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999). MNR managers will work with operators to ensure that the natural heritage values within the conservation reserve are respected.
Tourism and recreation
The earth and life science features and their protection, shall be the overall theme for tourism and recreation within the conservation reserve. There are no existing tourism facilities located in or directly adjacent to this conservation reserve. Any proposed tourism infrastructure or facilities would be required to undergo a Test of Compatibility and if accepted, further planning would occur, requiring public consultation and an amendment to this document. The existing local tourist outfitters can continue accessing this conservation reserve as they have in the past, however, MNR will work with the proponents to ensure the values of the conservation reserve are respected and maintained to the highest level possible (see previous Commercial Activities Strategies).
Most recreational activities that have traditionally been enjoyed in the area can continue provided they pose little or no threat to the natural ecosystems and features protected by the conservation reserve. Current activities include fishing, hunting, bird watching, hiking, skiing, ATV use and snowmobiling. Camping may also be a current use of the conservation reserve and will be permitted to continue.
Snowmobiles and All Terrain Vehicles (ATV's) are permitted on existing trails. Under the OLL LUS (OMNR, 1999), all mechanized travel is restricted to existing trails. Off trail vehicle use is permitted for the retrieval of game only. To protect the natural heritage features within the conservation reserve, MNR will seek direction from local communities on how to reduce off trail use, if such activities become problematic.
Clients indicating their interest in the management, planning and future use of the conservation reserve will be put on a mailing list and notified of any future planning initiatives for the site.
Client services will be provided at the Sudbury District office and at nearby provincial parks through knowledgeable staff. In the future, information may be delivered from different sources; however, the MNR Sudbury District office will be the lead agency for responding to inquiries regarding access permitted and restricted activities, values and recreation opportunities. A management agreement may be pursued with an appropriate partner to share responsibilities for information services and the delivery of other aspects of this SCI.
It is further recommended that visitors and conservation reserve users and the local population be informed of the significance and sensitivity of the site via fact sheets, community visits and other educational or interpretive programs.
Traditional activities and Aboriginal rights as defined in the Robinson-Huron Treaty #61 and other relevant Acts, will not be affected within the boundaries of this conservation reserve. The First Nation communities are encouraged to continue to use these areas as they have in the past.
6.3 Promote scientific research
Scientific research by qualified individuals or institutions, which contributes to the knowledge of natural and cultural history and to environmental and recreational management, will be encouraged. Requests or applications to conduct research will be filtered through the Sudbury District MNR office to ensure that the studies are non-invasive and that no values will be damaged in the process. Research programs will be subject to ministry policies and other legislation.
Approved research activities and facilities will be compatible with the protection objectives. Any research activity or research developments or facilities will not be considered until a Test of Compatibility is conducted and proposal is approved by the Espanola Area Supervisor. The Test of Compatibility and environmental screening process could include a review of the demand for structures or activities and may require more detailed life or earth science or cultural information and possibly more detailed planning. Scientific research will be consistent with provincial and regional protocols and strategies. Permanent plots or observation stations may be established so researchers can return over time. The Espanola Area Supervisor may approve the removal of any natural or cultural specimen by qualified researchers. Consultation with local First Nation communities shall occur prior to the removal of aboriginal cultural specimens. Any materials removed will remain the property of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Any site that is disturbed will be rehabilitated as closely as possible to its original state. The Espanola Area Supervisor may apply additional conditions.
Encouraged research may focus on the interrelationship with other nearby protected areas. In particular, to gauge the effectiveness of isolated protected areas and how these areas need to be connected through supportive landscape management in order to maintain ecosystem health and diversity. Also the effects of straight boundaries versus naturally delineated boundaries should be explored. Further research and monitoring requirements will be determined through forthcoming regional and provincial strategies.
Further inventories are required for life science evaluation, earth science evaluation and recreation use and potential. This research should be conducted at the earliest opportunity and this information should be incorporated into this report immediately following completion. The checksheets that are completed as a requirement for this research should be appended to the updated Statement of Conservation Interest upon completion as well.
Additional research may focus on the interrelationship with other nearby protected areas – in particular to gauge the effectiveness of isolated protected areas and how these areas need to be connected through supportive landscape management in order to maintain ecosystem health and diversity. Also the effects of straight boundaries versus naturally delineated boundaries should be explored. Other specific research projects that could be undertaken may include: the effects of human disturbance on the site, determination of the existence of any rare, vulnerable or threatened species, and/or vegetation climax community. Further research and monitoring requirements will be determined through forthcoming regional/provincial strategies.
6.4 Implementation and plan review
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve Statement of Conservation Interest will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and as required. Implementation of the SCI and management of the reserve are the responsibility of the Espanola Area Supervisor. Partnerships may be pursued to address management needs.
Adaptive management strategies will be used in the event of new information that has a significant effect on the current Statement of Conservation Interest. If changes in management direction are needed at any time, the significance of the changes will be evaluated. Minor changes that do not alter the overall protection objectives may be considered and approved by the District Manager without further public consultation and the plan will be amended accordingly. In assessing major changes,the need for a more detailed Resource Management Plan will first be considered. Where a RMP is not considered necessary or feasible, a major amendment may be considered with public consultation. The Regional Director will approve major amendments.
The Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve will be marketed as a mature pine- red maple forest on a valley train landform. Factsheets will be prepared to inform the public about these values which will be available at the Sudbury District MNR office, local provincial parks, and potentially at tourist outfitters. Marketing efforts to increase use are not a priority and will be kept to a minimum.
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Boissonneau, A.N. 1965. Surficial geology of Algoma, Sudbury, Timiskaming and Nipissing; Ontario Department of Lands and Forests; Map S465, Scale 1:506 880.
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Boissonneau, A.N. 1968. Glacial history of northeastern Ontario: II the Timiskaming- Algoma area; Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol.5, p.97-109.
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Crins, W. J. 1996. Life Science Gap Analysis for Site District 4E-3. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Internal Report.
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Harris, A.G., S. C. McMurray, P.W.C. Unlig, J.K. Jeglum, R.F. Foster, and G.D. Racey 1996.Field Guide to the Wetland Ecosystem Classification for Northwestern Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Northwest Science and Technology. Thunder Bay, ON. Field Guide FG-01. 74 pp. + Appendices.
Hills, G. A. 2239. A ready reference to the description of the land of Ontario and its productivity. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests.
Kor, P.S.G. 2002. Flat Creek Old Pine C223 Earth Science Inventory. MNR internal inventory record.
Kristjansson, R. 2002. Draft Earth Science Planning Summary-Flat Creek Old Pine (C223) Earth Science Features. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. 1997. Conserving a Future for out Past: Archaeology, Land Use Planning and Development in Ontario. Revised 1998. Ontario Archaeological Society, Inc. 43 p.
Noble, T. W. 1983. Life Science Report, Site Region 4E, Northeastern Region. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 150 p. (with additional pages in checksheets and appendix, 1:250 000 maps).
Ontario Geological Survey, 1991. Bedrock Geology of Ontario, East Central Sheet: Ontario Geological Survey, Map 2543, Scale 1:100,000.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources 1985.Chapleau District Background Information – Historic Use. Sudbury District Office Spanish River Files – History and Culture.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997a. Conservation Reserves, Policy PL 3.03.05. 8 pp.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997b. Conservation Reserves, Procedure PL 3.03.05. 22 pp.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997c. Nature’s Best. Ontario’s Parks and Protected Areas: The Framework and Action Plan. 37 pp.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1999. Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. 136 pp.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2000. Lands for Life/ Ontario Living Legacy-Site Archive-C223-Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve. 2000.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2000. Beyond 2000. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. 20 p.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2002. Natural Resources Values Information System. Sudbury District Database. 2002.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. 2001. Implementing Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (July 1999), MNR_MNDM Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Version 1.0. Unpublished. 14 pp.
Poser, S. 1992. Report of the Status of Provincial Parks in the Site Regions and Districts of Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources Report.
Rowe, J. S. 1972. Forest Regions of Canada. Department of Fisheries and the Environment Canadian Forestry Service Publication No. 1300, Ottawa, Ontario. 172 pp., maps.
Thompson, J. E. 1999. Building the System. Criteria to Consider when Allocating to Parks and Protected Areas. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Internal Report. 7 pp.
Thompson, J. E. 2001. Planning Process for Conservation Reserves Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) and Resource Management Plans (RMP), Northeastern Region Guidelines, Version 2.1. Unpublished, 49 pp.
Thompson, J.E. 2002. Aerial Reconnaissance Notes. VanDine, D.F., 1979. Northern Ontario Engineering Geology Terrain Study, Data Base Map, Blind River: Ontario Geological Survey, Map 5008, Scale 1:10,000.
Map 1: Showing location of the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve in relation to Espanola, Ontario.
Map 2: Site map of Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve.
Map 3: Species Composition.
Appendix A: permitted uses table
Permitted Uses Table for Conservation Reserves As Per Policy
|Facility infrastructure||Maybe||Maybe||Any new facilities are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Rock climbing/caving||Maybe||Maybe||Rock climbing and/or caving is permitted where it does not detrimentally affect the values to be protected.|
|Camping||Maybe||Maybe||Camping is permitted where it does not detrimentally affect the values to be protected.|
|Hiking Trails||Yes||Maybe||Any new hiking trails will be subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Cross-Country Skiing Trails||Yes||Maybe||Any new cross-country skiing trails are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Cycling/ Mountain Biking Trails||Yes||Maybe||Any new cycling trails are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Horse Riding Trails||Yes||Maybe||Any new horse riding trails are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Snowmobiling Trails||Yes||Maybe||Any new snowmobiling trails are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Non-Trail Snowmobiling||Maybe||Maybe||Non-trail snowmobiling is only permitted for the retrieval of game.|
|ATV Trails||Yes||Maybe||Any new ATV trails are subject to a "test of compatibility" & approval by the Area Supervisor|
|Non-Trail ATV Use||Maybe||Maybe||Non-trail ATV use is only permitted for the retrieval of game.|
Science, education & heritage appreciation
|Photography & Painting||Yes||Yes||N/A|
|Collecting||No||No||Collecting may be permitted as part of an authorized research project. The issuance of permits will be considered on a per-site basis.|
|Food harvesting||Maybe||Maybe||Any new food harvesting is subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor" .|
|Fishing||Maybe||Maybe||Any new commercial fishing is subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Bait Fish harvesting||Yes||Maybe||Any new baitfish harvesting operations are subject to a " test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor. Transfer requests for existing baitfish operations will be considered on an on- going basis subject to a review of potential impacts.|
|Trapping||Yes||No||Any new traplines are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor. Transfer requests for existing traplines will be considered on an on-going basis subject to a review of potential impacts.|
|Resort – outpost camp||Yes||No||Any new outpost camps/resorts are subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor. Transfer requests for existing outpost camps/resorts will be considered on an on-going basis subject to a review of potential impacts.|
|Outfitting – bear management||Yes||No||Transfer requests for existing Bear Management Areas will be considered on an on-going basis subject to a review of potential impacts.|
|Wild rice harvesting||Yes||Maybe||Any new wildrice operations will be subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Featured species management||Maybe||Maybe||Any new featured species management is subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Natural systems management||Maybe||Maybe||Any new natural systems management will be subject to a "test of compatibility" and approval by the Area Supervisor.|
|Hydro power generation||No||No||N/A|
|Energy transmission corridors/ Communication Corridors||Yes||No||New communication lines and transmission corridors are discouraged from within conservation reserves but can be considered under unusual circumstances where there are no other viable alternatives and where the line/corridor does not significantly impact the values the site is trying to protect. Approval from the Area Supervisor is required.|
|Resource access roads||Maybe||No||Existing roads can continue to be used. Continued use will include maintenance and may include future upgrading. New roads for resource extraction will not be permitted, with the exception of necessary access to existing forest reserves for mineral exploration and development.|
|Private access roads||Maybe||No||N/A|
|Fuelwood Cutting||Maybe||No||The cutting of trees for non-commercial purposes may be authorized by permit subject to a review of the impact of the values to be protected. This flexibility is only for leaseholders and property owners who do not have road access.|
|Extraction of Peat, Soil, Aggregate||Maybe||No||N/A|
|Land Disposition||Maybe||Maybe||Sale of Crown lands in a conservation reserve is not permitted, except for certain minor dispositions (e.g. sale of road allowance in front of existing cottage, sale of small parcels to provide adequate installation of a septic system) where it does not detrimentally affect the values the area is intended to protect. Renewals of existing leases or land use permits will be permitted. Tourism facilities can apply to upgrade tenure from LUP to lease. Requests for transfer of tenure will be considered on an on-going basis. New leases or land use permits will be allowed for approved activities.|
|Private Recreation Camps (Hunt Camps)||Yes||No||Transfer requests for existing private recreation camps will be considered on an on-going basis subject to a review of potential impacts. Existing private recreation camps may be eligible for enhanced tenure (i.e. lease) but not purchase of land.|
Appendix B: SCI test of compatibility
From the SCI Test of Compatibility NER Guideline in Planning process for Conservation Reserves Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) and Resource Management Plans (RMP) Northeast Region Guidelines Version 2.1 September 17. 2001 Appendix 4, page 44.
Test of compatibility:
1. Conformity to SCI – This is not applicable to evaluating current or new uses that come forward during the SCI planning process. However, the SCI should include a statement that speaks to the required screening of any future use or uses that are not covered in the current SCI.
2. Screening Process – proposed uses for the area must be assessed before they are approved. To establish a minimum standard, NER recommends that the Screening Process identified in Section 4.2 of A Class EA for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Phase IIb: Draft Class EA (subject to approval by MOE) be used to screen projects and options.
The Screening Criteria from the draft Class EA (Table 4.1) is further detailed below within the context of SCI planning.
3. Impact Assessment – the Test of Compatibility from the Conservation Reserve Policy PL 3.03.05 identifies the classes of values and main concepts that need to be considered in determining the impacts of uses on a specific Conservation Reserve. These include:
- Natural heritage
- Research activities
- Current uses
- Area administration
- Accommodating the use outside the CR
- Area accessibility.
The class EA (Table 4.1) presents similar values and concepts under the following considerations:
- Natural environment
- Land use, resource management
- Social, cultural and economic
The above considerations and classes of values are meant to assist planning staff in answering the following questions for any potential use:
- Will the new use impact any values within the Conservation Reserve?
- If so how?
- To what degree?
- Is it tolerable?
The new screening process and associated criteria identified in Table 4.1 of the draft Class EA gives planning staff more direction than the Conservation Reserve Policy 3.03.05. However this section attempts to assist planning staff by providing some direction for further interpreting the criteria to complete a Test of Compatibility for uses within a Conservation Reserve.
The following information for each Conservation Reserve is available and can be used to assess the required criteria:
- Background information and current inventory data
- Current inventory evaluations (e.g. earth, life and recreational check-sheets)
- Future ongoing analysis on the site
Interpretation of background information & current inventory data:
Background information files, summaries and other data can be beneficial in determining additional criteria that could be added to or address criteria already mentioned in the EA screening process. Criteria that are linked to habitat needs or specific life or earth science features are often first record during a District’s initial review of a site. Databases such as NRVIS or documents such as Lake Survey files, Site District Reports or Forest Management Plans can identify the location of values and sometimes determine a value’s significance or sensitivities.
Current inventory evaluations:
The most current state of the resource for a specific OLL Conservation Reserve will be the earth, life and recreational check-sheet. These documents determine the current earth and life science values, their present state and their significance. The recreational check- sheets determine current recreational features and current and potential recreational activities and feature significance and sensitivity to present and future uses.
For earth and life science check-sheets, five (5) major sections are completed that include; representation and the quality of the representation (e.g. based on condition, diversity and ecological considerations) and special features. These five categories are reflected within the screening criteria presented in draft Class EA document or could be used to develop additional criteria. Some thoughts concerning the five categories are further discussed below.
Representation within OLL inventoried sites contain the type, number, location and shape of the community based values within the Conservation Reserve. For example the number of different forest cover types, wetland and freshwater communities, earth science features or recreational features defined in recreational check-sheets. The survey determines if the values are totally within the site or if the value straddles the site’s boundary? This section and the significance section of the check-sheet can help you define significant earth or life science features, important wildlife habitat, or record the location and extent of old growth within a site or other features. Representation determines not only specific communities or special features but also establishes the core protected areas within the Conservation Reserve, which is a value that has to be protected as well. Finally, any list of screening criteria should mention the affect a potential permitted use may have on the quality of the representation present within the site. The quality of the site’s representation is mentioned in the following three categories below.
Condition is the level of natural and human disturbance that the site has experienced to date. The major natural disturbances in Northeast Region include; burned, blown down, flooded or insect effected stands or areas. Human disturbances could include; clear-cut areas, mining related sites, drainage areas, ditches or pits, utility corridors, railways, roads, hiking or ATV trails, assess points, dams, cottages or other facilities on site. Such actions or structures can effect the site negatively by influencing specific special features (e.g. nest sites or wildlife travel corridors) or severing significant communities or the Conservation Reserve’s core protected areas. This section could help interpret the following screening criteria; affect on water quality, specific species or habitat needs or criteria that speak to undisturbed core protected areas. Such core protected areas criteria could include for example - affect a permitted use or potential use has on natural vegetation and habitat through fragmentation or how use could affect easily eroded or sensitive wind blown deposits?
This is a measure of the site’s life and earth science heterogeneity. For earth and life sciences the evaluation is based on the number and variety of natural landscape features and landforms for earth science values and the relative richness and evenness of a site’s life science components. For our life science check-sheet inventory we determine richness by counting the number of vegetative cover types present within a site and evenness as the proportion of each cover type represented within a site. So an OLL site that has many cover types of roughly the same size is more diverse than a site with few cover types or where a site has the same number of cover types but has reduced evenness (e.g. one cover type dominates with the other cover types present but with little area devoted to them). Criteria that speak to all aspects of diversity should be part of any screening process.
This is where we discuss the design of the site, its strengths and weaknesses and potential problems that may arise during planning. Ecological considerations include; size, shape, buffering capacity from adjacent land use activities, watershed location and linkage to the larger landscape. Generally speaking the following are some rules of thumb;
- Larger sites are preferred over smaller sites because of their greater potential for ecological diversity and stability.
- Rounder sites are better than elongated sites for they have more intact core and can buffer adjacent land use activities better than elongated sites.
- Sites that contain headwaters have more control over environmental inputs than sites located down stream.
- Biological boundaries that are linked to larger undisturbed lands are better than cultural boundaries such as roads or railway lines that sever the site from its larger landscape for long periods of time. Cultural boundaries are preferred over vector boundaries that can divide or fragment core protected areas
So by looking at the size, shape and location of a site with respect to its larger environment, planners may be able to address specific screening criteria. Such screening criteria could include; effect on water quality or quantity, effect on fish and wildlife habitat and linkages, effect of drainage, sedimentation and erosion, potential long term planning problems because a site is very small in size or linear in shape, etc.
Of all the data that is collected within a site, the special features section may be the most easily understood values. Generally landscape and habitat values are mentioned under the representation section of the check-sheet with specific values such as; Old Growth, Species at Risk (SAR), colonial birds, moose aquatic feeding areas, raptor nests, etc. are presented within this section. Data are available from FMP's or NRVIS databases as well as fish and wildlife files and reports and know recreation values available from District staff. The Class EA screening criteria contains a number of these values.
Note: Within the check-sheets be sure to review the significance level, recommendations and associated documentation listed with any particular check-sheet. For more information on check-sheet development see J.E. Thompson, 2001. Life science check- sheets information template. OMNR internal report. 6pp.
Future ongoing analysis on the site:
If during planning specific information is not available to complete impact assessment analysis, then SCI's should note the information gap and document the need to collect the required information in the future. In addition, future inventory, monitoring, assessment and research within the Conservation Reserve may also help planners and managers deal with future uses and impact assessments.
Appendix C: public and aboriginal consultation summary
- Site Name and Proposed Size (ha): Flat Creek Old Pine (82 Ha.)
- Land Use Strategy Area #: Conservation Reserve
- MNR District: Sudbury District
4.0 Public and aboriginal consultation
4.1 Public consultation
Details of public consultation:
- District Manager letter was sent in December 2002 letting stakeholders know that planning was commencing for the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve and to notify MNR by mail or phone if they were interested in being contacted when the draft SCI was ready for public review. Adjacent landowners, municipalities and other groups or individuals who may have had an interest in the site were contacted, including the following breakdown:
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Nickel District Conservation Authority
- Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
- Ministry of Transportation
- City of Greater Sudbury
- Inco Limited
- Partnership for Public Lands
- Other interested individuals and/or adjacent landowners
- Newspaper advertisement in December 2002 asking the public to notify MNR if they are interested in being on the mailing list for review of the draft SCI. The ad appeared in the following papers:
- Sudbury Star
- Le Voyageur
- Elliott Lake Standard
- Mid North Monitor
- The Manitoulin Expositor
- Northern Life
- Gore Bay Recorder
- The following summarizes the number of responses received:
- 23 individuals and/or organizations would like to be notified when the draft SCI is for public review.
- District Manager letter sent in February 2003 letting stakeholders know the draft SCI is ready for public review. Letters were only sent to the 23 individuals and/or organizations that asked to be notified.
- 1 letter received
- 1 email received
Summary of significant issues:
- Respondent recommended having archaeology addressed in the management plans for new conservation reserves. Recommended that planning documents commit that the altering of any undisturbed or uncultivated land would be screened by a licensed archaeologist.
Analysis of issues:
- SCI to address cultural heritage values
4.2 Aboriginal consultation
Details of aboriginal consultation:
- Sudbury District staff initiated consultation with First Nations in the fall of 2002 prior to the release of the draft statement of conservation interest for this conservation reserve. This consultation occurred concurrently with the consultation of early SCI documents.
- District Manager letter sent in December 2002 to initiate consultation with First Nations on the planning on the Flat Creek Old Pine Conservation Reserve. The letter was sent to the following:
- Ojibways of Sucker Creek
- United Chiefs and Council of Manitoulin
- Union of Ontario Indians
- Wikwemikong Unceded Nation
- Whitefish Lake
- Sagamok Anishnawbek
- Serpent River First Nation
- The following summarizes the number of responses received:
- 11 Verbal (phone conversations initiated by MNR)
- District Manager letter was sent in February 2003 to the following First Nations letting them know the draft SCIs were available for review:
- Ojibways of Sucker Creek
- United Chiefs and Council of Manitoulin
- Union of Ontario Indians
- Wikwemikong Unceded Nation
- Union of Ontario Indians
- Whitefish Lake
- Sagamok Anishnawbek
- Serpent River First Nation
- The following summarizes the number of responses received:
- 11 Verbal (phone conversations initiated by MNR)
- District staff met with:
- Chief of the Ojibways of Sucker Creek (Sept. 12/02)
- Lands technician from Sagamok Anishnawbek (Sept. 30/02)
- Robinson-Huron Chiefs (Oct. 16/02)
- Director of Sustainable Development for Wahnapitae First Nation (Nov. 1/02)
- Chief of Wikwemikong (Nov. 14/02)
- Chief of Sheshegwaning (Dec. 3/02)
- Lands technician from Whitefish Lake First Nation (Jan. 10/03)
- Lands technician from Wikwemikong (Feb. 11/03)
- The Chief of Ojibways of Sucker Creek met with MNR staff on September 12, 2002 to discuss OLL. He expressed no concern with the sites being planned for this year for his community but knew there would be an impact at the treaty level. He mentioned that he would speak to the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) to see if they could provide us with support on OLL. We never heard anything from UOI.
- The Chief of McChigeeng First Nation was contacted by telephone on October 15, 2002 he discussed with Suzanne Arsenault the planning of this year’s OLL sites. He was not concerned with any of them.
- Zhiibaahaasing was contacted by telephone on September 23, 2002 and October 10, 2002 to discuss OLL. The lands technician mentioned he had reviewed the packages sent to the community by MNR and would contact us if the Chief wanted to meet. Despite our attempts no meeting has been scheduled to date.
- Wikwemikong Unceded Nation was contacted by telephone on November 4, 2002 to discuss OLL. At that time we were informed that the Chief would be meeting with our DM the next week. Cindy Blancher-Smith and Bruce Richard met with the chief November 14, 2002 and discussed broadly the projects MNR Sudbury is involved in and how they could participate. The lands specialist met with MNR staff on February 11, 2003 to discuss OLL. A brief overview of OLL was given. He requested that a package be sent to him with a map of all OLL sites in the district, a status list of the sites and a summary of past consultation with his community. This information was sent to the lands specialist February 24th, 2003.
- Wauwauskinga was contacted by telephone on October 10, 2002 and December 9, 2002 to discuss OLL. The lands tech will be speaking to Chief and Council about OLL and will let us know if they want to meet us. Despite our attempts no meeting has been scheduled to date.
- Sagamok Anishnawbek met with MNR staff on September 30, 2002 to discuss OLL. The lands technician mentioned the community would not be interested in the planning of this year’s sites but it is part of the area where they traditionally hunt, fish and collect herbs.
- Sheguiandah First Nation was contacted by telephone on October 1, 2002. The Chief said he would look at the packages sent to him and contact us if he would like to meet. Despite our attempts no meeting has been scheduled to date.
- Sheshegwaning First Nation was contacted by telephone on September 10, 2002 about OLL. A meeting was scheduled. December 3, 2002 a meeting was held between MNR representatives and the Chief. He did not want to discuss OLL, he was upset with the consultation process to date with respect to the project. He felt OLL was infringing on aboriginal treaty rights.
- Wahnapitei First Nation was contacted by telephone on September 12, 2002 to discuss OLL, a meeting was arranged. MNR staff met with the Director of Sustainable Development on November 1, 2002 to discuss OLL. He had an interest in reviewing 2 of this year’s SCIs for C213 and C166.
- Whitefish Lake First Nation was contacted by telephone on Nov. 1, 2002 to discuss OLL. The lands technician met with MNR staff January 10, 2003 to discuss OLL. He had no interest in the planning of this year’s sites.
- The Robinson-Huron Chiefs (15 of 19 attended) held a meeting on October 16, 2002 and MNR Sudbury was invited to present all projects in treaty area within the next year. OLL was one of the projects mentioned and there was discussion on the project.
Summary of significant issues:
- First Nations do not consider any contact with MNR consultation.
- First Nations feel the OLL process is flawed. They believe that decisions are already made before consultation begins.
- First Nations feel the OLL process does not respect native culture and their rights.
Analysis of issues:
None of the above issues can be dealt with through a planning exercise – these are strictly process oriented, not how will we manage the conservation reserve. It is our understanding that the policies which have been developed (and which are fundamentally disagreed with) are not up for further negotiation.
Recommend that the statement of conservation interest be approved as the management direction for the conservation reserve.
6.0 Approval of consultation documentation
Ontario Parks Contact Person:
Date: February 2004
Ontario Parks Contact Person:
Appendix D: Statement of Conservation Interest Amendments
1Fen: Peatland with water table at or above the surface with very slow water movement through communities via seepage that results in a more mineral, nutrient and oxygen-rich environment than bogs. Generally fens contain peat accumulations greater than 40 cm deep. Sometimes floating mat with sedges, mosses, shrubs, and sparse tree layer present. Indicator plants include: Larch (Larix laricinea) and Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) or Black Spruce (Picea mariana), Speckled Alder (Alnus incana), Dwarf Birch (Betula pumila), Bluejoint Grass (Calamagrostis canadensis), assorted sedges, Sweet Gale (Myrica gale) with ericaceous shrubs present – especially in more nutrient poor fens (Harris et al. 1996).
2Alluvium is defined as a deposit of fertile soils left during a time of flooding and is generally associated with river valleys or delta areas.
3Luvisols are well to imperfectly drained mineral soils that have developed under the influence and growth and decomposition of forest vegetation in mild to cold climates. Their main characteristics are a light colored eluvial or leached Ae horizon and an illuvial or zone of accumulation textural B horizon (Clayton et al.1977).