Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve Management Statement
This document provides policy direction for the protection, development and management of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve and its resources.
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C1597 Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve
Statement of Conservation Interest
I am pleased to approve this Statement of Conservation Interest for the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
The management direction for this conservation reserve is in the form of a Statement of Conservation Interest. The Statement of Conservation Interest 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' intent for the protected area. This Statement of Conservation Interest will provide guidance for the management of the conservation reserve and the basis for the ongoing monitoring of activities.
Direction for establishing, planning and managing conservation reserves is defined under the Public Lands Act and current policy. "Ontario’s network of natural areas has been established to protect and conserve areas representative of the diversity and the natural regions of the province, including species, habitats, features and ecological systems which comprise that natural diversity" (OMNR, 1997). Detailed direction and defined management will be incorporated into this Statement of Conservation Interest as well as public and aboriginal consultation.
The direction herein is consistent with the Ministry of Natural Resources' Ontario Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999). Decisions made at this time further clarify the permitted uses within the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. The site will be regulated under the Public Lands Act and the public and First Nations were informed and consulted during the preparation and review of this Statement of Conservation Interest. This Statement of Conservation Interest was reviewed by different specialists and the Nighthawk Area Team within the Timmins District.
The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve will be managed under the jurisdiction of the Timmins District Ministry of Natural Resources under the supervision of the Nighthawk Area Supervisor as designated by the District Manager.
Written and Submitted by:
Date: February 26, 2004
Recommended for approval by:
A/Timmins District Manager
Original signed and Approved by:
Northeast Regional Director
Date: February 26, 2004
In 1999, Ontario’s Living Legacy (OLL) Land Use Strategy identified 378 natural areas that contribute to the representation of the spectrum of the province’s ecosystems and natural features, including both biological and geological features, while minimizing impacts on other land uses. Protecting areas, species, habitats, special features and ecological systems is essential to the sustainable management of natural resources in the Province of Ontario. By ensuring representative sites are retained in their natural state, these areas can continue to contribute to Ontario’s natural environment for present and future generations (OMNR, 1997).
Conservation reserves have been established to preserve sensitive areas requiring protection from incompatible uses to ensure their values will endure over time. This designation permits many traditional land uses to continue while excluding activities such as commercial timber harvest, mining, and hydroelectric development that negatively impact the conservation reserve.
The 1,556 hectare Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is located approximately 32 kilometres east of the City of Timmins in Macklem Township. Special features identified within the conservation reserve include the shoreline bluffs along Nighthawk Lake, the small dune features located within the peatlands of the conservation reserve and the impressive combination of wetlands (King et al., 2003).
An approved Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI), an Enhanced Statement of Conservation Interest (Enhanced SCI), or a Resource Management Plan (RMP) will guide the management and administration of each conservation reserve. This SCI will provide the management direction for Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
2.0 Goals and objectives
This Statement of Conservation Interest will be used to identify needs and guide key management activities towards the protecting site-specific values and the overall ecological integrity of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. The management direction will protect the site’s natural heritage values and demonstrate its compatibility within the larger sustainable landscape. This direction will comply with the land use intent as stated by the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1997; OMNR, 1999).
2.2.1 Short term objectives
The short-term objectives of this SCI are:
- To define the purpose of Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve
- To define the management intent for Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve
- To create public awareness of the values within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve
- Promote responsible stewardship of the protected area and surrounding lands
This will be accomplished by:
- Identifying the state of the resource with respect to the protection of natural heritage values and current land use activities occurring within the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve
- Determining land-use compatibilities, thus creating the best management strategy to protect the integrity of identified values
2.2.2 Long term objectives
The Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) will determine the long-term management goals of the conservation reserve by identifying tourism and recreational use opportunities, research needs, client services and marketing strategies. By comparing scientific values found within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve to provincial benchmarks, representative targets (e.g. future forest conditions) can be determined for this site. Further monitoring or research needed to identify and to maintain the integrity of these characteristics can then be established.
The SCI will also provide direction to evaluate proposed new uses or economic ventures. To accomplish this, the Test of Compatibility shall be undertaken to determine the impact of the suggested use(s), either positive or negative, on the protected values and administrative needs of the conservation reserve (OMNR, 1997). The Test of Compatibility will provide the rationale for decision-making within the entire site, further clarifying permitted uses within the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
3.0 Management planning
3.1 Planning context
3.1.1 Planning area
The planning area is the regulated boundary of Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve as well as any associated forest reserves (Map 8.1). Several mining claims occupy the northeastern tip of the planning area along Night Hawk Lake; as well, the southern boundary of the planning area is covered in mining claims. These areas are designated as "forest reserve", and are not within the proposed regulated boundary of the conservation reserve.
Although outside the regulated boundary of the conservation reserve at this time, forest reserve areas have been included in the planning area. A forest reserve is a land use designation applied to areas that were initially identified for inclusion in the conservation reserve but where subsequent detailed examination determined that existing mining claims or leases still exist.
The planning area will form the area directly influenced by this Statement of Conservation Interest. The plan will recognize the protection of values within the planning area, however, to fully protect values within the conservation reserve additional consideration within larger land use or resource management plans may be required. 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 (OMNR, 2000). This was reaffirmed in 1997 when the Lands for Life planning process was announced. Previous gap analysis studies were used to propose where candidate areas would protect additional life and/or earth science representative features. The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs was identified as a life science site (GAP 3e3_8 in Lands for Life) and was subsequently identified in Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy as C1597 (OMNR, 1999).
Conservation reserves are governed under Section 4 of the Public Lands Act and their lands and waters, as described in the Schedules, shall not be used for mining, commercial forest harvest, hydro-electric power development, the extraction of aggregates or peat or other industrial purposes (OMNR, 1997).
Permitted uses in conservation reserves follow the direction expressed in the Land Use Strategy while ensuring prior commitments made by Timmins District, Ministry of Natural Resources are met (OMNR, 1999). In time, the Land Use Strategy will be superceded by MNR's online Crown Land Use Atlas. The Permitted Uses Table (Appendix B) illustrates the variety of uses that could potentially occur in a conservation reserve. In cases where a use already occurs, it will be permitted to continue as per the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1997). Where a permitted use does not already exist in a specific conservation reserve, the permitted use would be considered a new use and subjected to the Test of Compatibility. Most recreational (e.g. hiking, boating, bird watching, hunting, fishing) and non-industrial resource uses (e.g. fur harvesting and bait harvesting) traditionally enjoyed in the area are permitted to continue.
Reflective of the management intent for Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve, future uses or developments proposed for this conservation reserve will be reviewed using the Procedural Guideline B - Land Uses - Test of Compatibility found in Policy PL3.03.05 (OMNR, 1997). The Test of Compatibility is conducted to weigh the future use against the potential impacts to site values. Proposed uses and/or developments may also be screened using A Reference Manual for MNR Class Environmental Assessments: Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects.
Consideration for proposals pertaining to the development/ use of cultural resources may be screened through Conserving a Future For Our Past: Archaeology, Land Use Planning & Development In Ontario, Section 3 (Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, 1997). Where necessary, the Ministry of Natural Resources will establish Area of Concern (AOC) descriptions and prescriptions for cultural heritage resources within forest management planning (FMPs).
These planning tools will help refine the review process once the proposal satisfies the direction and intent of the Public Lands Act, associated policies and this planning document.
3.2 Planning process
Concurrent to the completion of the land use regulation process, a planning exercise has occurred to determine the management direction for Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. Management of the conservation reserve includes, as a minimum, regulation, provision of public information, stewardship, and security. It also includes authorization and setting conditions on permitted uses and ongoing monitoring and compliance. 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, 1997) and an approved management document.
A Statement of Conservation Interest is the minimum level of management direction established for any conservation reserve. If during the planning process major issues arise and/or it is recognized that decisions will need to be made beyond what is directed in the Land Use Strategy, a Statement of Conservation Interest increases to an Enhanced Statement of Conservation Interest or a Resource Management Plan. In either elevated management direction, specific permitted uses will be passed through the Test of Compatibility and decisions on future uses may be made beyond what is directed in the Land Use Strategy. To date, no issues have been identified within the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve that would require decisions to be made beyond what was previously determined in the Land Use Strategy.
This SCI will govern the lands and waters within the planning area of the conservation reserve. To ensure Ministry of Natural Resources protection objectives are being fully met within the planning area, the surrounding landscape and related activities must consider the site’s objectives and heritage values.
First Nations and the public were notified when the draft SCI was ready for review. Public review period began on January 17th, 2004 for a 15 day period. Notification occurred via mail-out to the First Nations and stakeholders. As well, an advertisement was placed in four local newspapers: Timmins Daily Press, Timmins Times, Les Nouvelles and Northern Daily News. 2 responses were received, focusing on the permitted uses within the site.
Where future reviews and revisions are necessary, public and First Nation consultation would occur and notification on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry will be required. The Ministry of Natural Resources Timmins District will be responsible for ensuring this occurs.
4.0 Background information
4.1 Location and site description
4.1.1 Location and access
Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluff Conservation Reserve is located approximately 32 km east of the City of Timmins in Macklem Township. The western boundary of Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluff Conservation Reserve follows the shoreline of Nighthawk Lake; the southern boundary follows the Macklem – Thomas township line; the northern boundary of the site follows a creek in the west and is vectored in the east; the eastern boundary of the site is also vectored with a small portion in the north following a road. Access to Nighthawk Lake Shoreline Bluff Conservation Reserve is by trails from Gibson Lake Road or by Nighthawk Lake. There are numerous trails throughout the conservation reserve that are accessed by ATV's and snowmobiles.
Table 1: Location and Administrative Details for Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve
|MNR Administrative Region/District/Area||Northeast/ Timmins/ Nighthawk|
|Total Area||1,556 hectares (Forest Reserve 663 ha; Conservation Reserve 892 ha)|
|First Nations Interests||Matachewan First Nation / Flying Post First Nation / Wahgoshig First Nation|
|OBM Map Sheets||20 17 5000 53600 / 5100 53600|
|Canada Map Series||Waterbeag River 42A/07|
|UTM Coordinates Centroid||17 509736 5367797|
|Municipality||City of Timmins|
|Status||100% Crown Lands in Conservation Reserve; 100% Mining Tenure in Forest Reserve|
4.1.2 Physical site description
The 1,556 hectare Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve was originally classified as Cochrane Ecodistrict 3E-3 (Hills, 1959) and has since been reclassified as Kirkland Lake Ecodistrict 3E-6 (Crins and Uhlig, 2000; Appendix A). The conservation reserve is located in tertiary watershed 4MD of the Moose River Major Basin (OMNR, 2002). It is also found within the Abitibi River System (Ontario Power Generation, 2003).
Key values are those values that make this site unique and have led to its designation as a conservation reserve. The key value for Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is its representation of weakly broken outwash area dominated by 31-70 year old balsam fir and white birch.
4.1.3 Administrative description
The legal description of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve has yet to be regulated under the Public Lands Act and will eventually amend Ontario Regulation 805/94.
4.2 Site history
Nighthawk Lake was expanded when Frederickhouse Lake dam was established in 1938 (Ontario Power Generation, 2003). The Lake now abuts the shoreline bluff on the western edge of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
Bottley Lake is traditionally a winter fishing lake used by local anglers and accessed almost exclusively by snowmobile along Bottley Creek. The walleye population presence or absence is believed to be dependent on variance in water levels and past or present beaver dam obstructions. Information is passed via word of mouth on the presence or absence of walleye within Bottley Lake, and fishing pressure fluctuates accordingly.
Three inventories have been completed for the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve:
- Earth science checksheet by Ontario Parks (Kristjansson, in prep, 2004)
- Recreation inventory checksheet by Timmins District MNR (James, 2002)
- Life science checksheet by MNR Northeast Region (King et al., 2003)
5.0 State of the resource
The natural heritage of Ontario contributes to the economic, social and environmental well-being and health 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 in order to maintain species diversity and genetic variability. Protected areas also provide scientific and educational benefits. They generate tourism, thereby bolstering local and regional economies, and provide places where people can enjoy and appreciate Ontario’s natural diversity.
The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve was created as a representative area of weakly broken outwash dominated by 31-70 year old balsam fir and white birch within Ecodistrict 3E-3 (OMNR, 1999; Hills, 1959). Upon further analysis and boundary refinement, the conservation reserve was found to be dominated by trembling aspen and black spruce forest communities within Ecodistrict 3E-6 (Crins and Uhlig, 2000). Furthermore, the site is dominated by glaciolacustrine deposits, not outwash deposits. Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve does not capture the originally identified vegetation/landform combination within Ecodistrict 3E-3 and should be reevaluted to determine its significance within Ecodistrict 3E-6 (King et al., 2003). Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs still contributes to the overall protected areas objective.
5.1.1 Life science
Night Hawk Lake Conservation Reserve is dominated by the following forest communities: poplar dominant hardwood, poplar hardwood mixed, black spruce dominante conifer and black spruce pure. These communities combined encompass almost 40 percent of the planning area (King et al., 2003; Map 8.2.1). Other forest communities greater than fifty hectares within the planning area are eastern white cedar dominant, black spruce predominant conifer, poplar mixedwood and poplar/balsam fir true mixed. Forest communities less than fifty hectares include balsam fir mixedwood, poplar pure, eastern white cedar mixedwood, white spruce conifer mixed, poplar predominant hardwood, eastern white cedar predominant conifer, jack pine pure, black spruce conifer mixed, eastern white cedar pure, balsam fir predominant conifer, black spruce mixedwood, poplar conifer dominant and white birch mixedwood. White spruce predominant conifer and jack pine dominant conifer forest communities are less than one hectare each and do not contribute significantly to the total area.
The forest stands were also defined on Standard Forest Units (SFUs). The SFU's PO1 (Poplar), SB1 (Black spruce lowland), SP1 (Spruce pine) and LC1 (Lowland conifer), cover 67 percent of the total area. Other SFU's found within the conservation reserve are MW2 (Spruce fir mixed), BW1 (Birch poplar), PJ1 (Jack pine), BOG (Spruce bog) and PJ2 (Pine spruce). The PJ2 SFU represents only 0.11 hectares. The Ce dominant conifer (LC1) and Ce predominant conifer (SP1) stands in the northwest corner of the conservation reserve are considered to be old growth stands (Bridge et al., year; King et al., 2003).
The forest stands within the planning area are well stocked (King et al., 2003; Map 8.2.2). Age distribution throughout the conservation reserve is predominantly within the 60 – 89 years for poplar, balsam fir and white birch. The northwest tip near Nighthawk Lake has stands of cedar older than 150 years while the northeast portion of the conservation reserve has stands of black spruce and cedar between 90 and 119 years (Map 8.2.3).
Wetlands within the planning area consist of open water marshes, shore fens, open bog, treed bog, meadow marsh, poor fen, moderately rich fen and sheltered cattail marshes (Burkhardt, 2003; Thompson, 2001; Figure 1; Map 8.2.4).
Photo 1: Bottley Lake and south western wetland complex (Daraleigh Irving, September 2003)
5.1.2 Earth science
The provincial landform coverage divides the conservation reserve in half in a north-south direction. The western half of the planning area is classified as lacustrine deposits while the eastern half is classified as weakly broken outwash deposits. The planning area contains these landforms but the boundaries are different from initial classifications (Kristjansson, personal communication with Barb, 2003).
The interpretation was separated into the forest reserve area and conservation reserve area. The conservation reserve is dominated by silt and clay glaciolacustrine deposits (unit 6b) with minor areas of glaciolacustrine sediment drift cover (unit 2f) along the shoreline and various pockets of unsubdivided organic deposits (unit 9) on top of glaciolacustrine deposits (unit 6b) (King et al., 2003).
The forest reserve contained extensive areas of bedrock-drift complex covered with predominantly stratified sediment (unit 2b) with minor areas of predominantly glaciolacustrine sediment drift cover (unit 2f) in the northwest corner portion. The rest of forest reserve contains silt and clay glaciolacustrine deposits (unit 6b), glaciolacustrine sediment drift cover (unit 2f), and moderately extensive silty, fine sand glaciolacustrine deposit (unit 6a) along the east boundary. The moderately extensive silty, fine sand glaciolacustrine deposit (Unit 6a) contains sand dunes and is associated with an esker system of subaquatic outwash fans east of the site (King et al., 2003).
Photo 2: Shoreline bluff along Nighthawk Lake (Daraleigh Irving, September 2003)
The shoreline bluff is of local significance (Kristjansson, personal communication, 2003; Figure 2). The bluffs along the eastern shore of Nighthawk Lake are sensitive to erosion from wind and fluctuating water levels from the hydro dam on Frederickhouse River (King et al., 2003).
5.1.3 Quality of present representation
The quality of the representation or the current characteristics of the natural features found within the conservation reserve are as important as the overall representative features that are being protected. A number of criteria are considered in evaluating a site including: diversity, ecological factors, condition, special features and current land use activities.
Diversity is a measure of the site’s life and earth science heterogeneity. It is based on the number and range (variety) of the natural landscape features and landforms of earth science values and the richness and evenness of the life science component.
The diversity of the planning area is considered to be low based on its size, the number of SFU's represented and the presence of two landform features from provincial Ontario Forest Research Institute (OFRI) landform layer. With further analysis of the surfical geology and wetland classification, the diversity rating is expected to increase to medium (King et al., 2003).
Evenness is the number of communities that control the vegetative nature of the site. The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is dominated by poplar dominant hardwood, poplar hardwood mixed and black spruce dominant conifer forest communities as these top 3 communities contain 32 percent of the total area. When Standard Forest Units (SFUs) are considered poplar hardwood and black spruce forest communities (SFUs PO1, SB1 and LC1) further dominate the site by covering 57% of the total area (King et al., 2003).
b) Ecological factors
Ecological factors refer to current design of the conservation reserve including its 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 influence the site’s viability over time and be important factors in maintaining overall ecosystem health.
A site’s boundaries should be created to include the greatest diversity of life and earth science features to provide the maximum ecological integrity possible. It should be ecologically self-contained, bounded by natural features and include adequate area to buffer the core ecosystems from adjacent land use activities (OMNR, 1992). This conservation reserve contains a significant amount of vectored boundaries. The entire southern boundary of the conservation is vectored along the Macklem - Thomas township line, which is visibly marked on the ground. The northeast and eastern boundaries are vectored with a small section of the eastern boundary following a naturally abandoned road (Irving & Tam, personal observations, 2003; Figure 3).
Photo 3: Eastern boundary road (Daraleigh Irving, September 2003)
Some forest communities along the conservation reserve boundary are fractured and do not occur elsewhere within the site. Protection of these communities from intrusive activities is difficult without an adequately defined boundary. The Blueline Boundary (Map 8.2.3) captured the balsam fir stands in the northeast corner of the site. It is difficult to create an ecological or cultural boundary to the north when no features are present unless the creek and trail system is used. King et al. (2003) suggest that the eastern boundary could be extended to Gibson Lake Road however during discussion with the Sustainable Forest Licensee the boundary was moved from Gibson Lake Road to its present location to ensure forestry access to these newly planted blocks.
Condition is the amount of disturbance, man-made or natural, within the planning area. Disturbance within this conservation reserve is rated as medium as 10 to 20 percent of the area is currently under some form of known disturbance (Noordhof & Thompson, 2003).
Forest harvesting has taken place within the site over the past 30 years. Aerial reconnaissance survey indicates that no recent forest harvest operations have taken place within the planning area.
Erosion of the shoreline of Nighthawk Lake was observed.
Trails exist within the planning area and provide access for fishing, hunting and fur harvesting (King et al., 2003). Two private recreation camps are located near the mouth of Bottley Creek.
Mining activity (drilling) has occurred within the site. Trails lead to drill sites and a pipe marking a drill line was observed in the bog complex. These trails, particularly those through the bog, will continue to impact the site for many years. Two prospect shafts (15 feet deep and 20 feet deep) have been identified within the southern "forest reserve". It is unclear when the shafts were established and whether remedial fencing around the hazards has been done (OMNR, unknown).
d) Special features
Special features may include interesting landscapes, habitats or vistas, Species at Risk (SAR) and other earth and life science features such as broader landscape elements that contribute to the natural heritage richness of Ontario. Special features identified within the conservation reserve include the shoreline bluffs along Nighthawk Lake, the small dune features located within the wetlands and the impressive combination of wetlands. No SAR were identified within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
e) Current land use activities
Current land uses include fishing, baitfish harvesting, hunting, commercial fur harvesting and commercial hunting.
5.2 Social/economic interest
This section addresses the contribution of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve to the local economy and society through the opportunities it represents and the importance of these opportunities.
5.2.1 Local communities
The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is east of the City of Timmins. This area provides recreational/ commercial opportunities for the residents of and visitors to the area.
During the hunting and fishing seasons, tourism brings economic benefit to the City of Timmins and to the local outfitters. Other recreational/ commercial activities that may be found within the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve include ATVinging, snowmobiling, fishing, fur harvesting, hunting and general gathering and collecting (James, 2002).
5.2.2 First Nations
Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is found within the James Bay Treaty #9 and within the traditional territories of Matachewan First Nation, Flying Post First Nation and Wahgoshig First Nation. Matachewan First Nation has identified mining interest within the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. Flying Post First Nation and Wahgoshig First Nation have not identified any values within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. Aboriginal and Treaty Rights will be adhered to.
5.2.3 Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and the mining industry
In March 2002, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and the Ministry of Natural Resources came to a joint decision regarding mining issues and Ontario’s Living Legacy sites. All existing mining claims, leases, licenses of occupation and patents within forest reserves of Ontario’s Living Legacy sites remain protected under the Mining Act but excluded from the regulated area. No new exploration will be permitted within the regulated portion of the conservation reserve within OLL sites in the future.
5.2.4 Other government agencies, departments or Crown corporations
Ministry of Natural Resources Timmins District is working with the East Fire Region – Timmins Fire Management Headquarters to develop a fire management direction that protects the values found within the conservation reserve. The current fire management strategy identifies the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve within the intensive zone. Within the intensive zone, full suppression mandates that every fire must receive a response and is actioned aggressively.
5.2.5 Non-government organizations and other industry interests
Both the Partnership for Public Lands (PPL) and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) are participating in the review of this statement of conservation reserve. No issue has been raised in the Abitibi Water Management Plan regarding Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve (Ontario Power Generation, 2003).
5.3 Natural Heritage Stewardship
The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve’s distinct contribution is a combination of life science preservation, and educational and recreational opportunities. The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve also offers scientists, educators and recreationalists opportunities to learn about the site and enjoy its value. Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve should be recognized for its contribution to both life science features and earth science features and measures should be considered to minimize further impacts to the site (King et al., 2003).
By allocating these lands to the Parks and Protected Areas System through regulation, the province has ensured permanent protection for the conservation reserve and its values from industrial activities that may exist in the larger general use or more extensively managed landscape.
5.4 Fisheries and wildlife
Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is located within Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 29. Game and furbearer species which inhabit the area include furbearers (e.g. beaver, lynx, marten and mink), large mammals (e.g. moose and black bear) and birds (e.g. ruffed and spruce grouse). Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve falls within Bear Management Area TI-29-012 and trapline TI24.
Bottley Lake is a common fishing area during the winter months when access is possible by snowmobile. There is no fisheries survey information on the 86 hectare warm water fishery (OMNR, 2003?). Local knowledge within Timmins District Office suggest the presence of northern pike, white fish, burbot, white sucker, yellow perch and walleye are found within Bottley Lake. The walleye population presence or absence is believed to be dependent on variance in water levels and past or present beaver dam obstructions (Dean Touchette, personal communication, November 24th, 2003). Water level fluctuations (regulated or not) will affect whether a beaver can succeed in the environment. Winter drawdown on Nighthawk Lake does not provide good winter habitat for beaver; summer fluctuations are limited to 20 cm and should not affect beaver’s ability to find suitable habitat for lodges (Ontario Power Generation, 2003).
There are moderate to high ranked moose aquatic feeding areas surrounding the small lakes within the planning area (NRVIS, 2003). These wetlands support excellent aquatic bird habitat. Wetlands within the planning area are sensitive to human activity (King et al., 2003).
5.5 Cultural Heritage Stewardship
The MNR Cultural Heritage Specialist has carried out a stage 1 assessment to identify high potential sites within Nighthawk Forest through the forest management planning process. Native cultural heritage values have also been identified through the native consultation process. Two sites have been identified as high potential stage 1 cultural heritage sites within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
5.6 Land use/current or past development
This conservation reserve contains two mining claim areas, which have been designated as forest reserve. Current mining tenure is located in the northwest corner peninsula and the south/southeastern portion of the planning area (Map 8.1).
Mining and surface rights have been withdrawn from staking within the conservation reserve boundaries under the Mining Act (RSO 1990 Chapter M.14). Therefore, no new claims can be staked within the conservation reserve boundary.
Policies for the forest reserve are similar to the policies for new conservation reserves, except that mining and related access will be allowed in a forest reserve.
Two Land Use permits exist along Bottley Creek in the southwestern boundary portion of the site, both are private recreation camps. Access is granted from Night Hawk Lake; access may also be gained by trails from Gibson Lake Road.
5.7 Commercial use
The commercial use of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve includes baitfish harvesting, hunting and fur harvesting.
Other commercial uses such as forestry, hydroelectric development, mining activities, and aggregate operations do not occur within this site and are no longer permitted within the conservation reserve. However, Frederickhouse Lake dam controls water levels and flows into the water bodies within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
5.8 Tourism/recreational use/opportunities
Current recreational uses and opportunities of the site include ATVing, snowmobiling, fishing and hunting (James, 2002). There are currently no new proposals for recreational or tourism uses within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve.
Under Management Guidelines for future proposals, an evaluation of any proposal should include the following:
- Ensure natural heritage values identified herein are protected and the Test of Compatibility from PL 3.03.05 (OMNR, 1997) is used
- Different options are proposed for the development including the null option
- No change in use to be considered without public and Aboriginal consultation
5.9 Client services
Visitor services will primarily deal with responding to inquires about the basic level of information such as natural heritage representation and appreciation, wildlife viewing opportunities, access and boundaries. The role of Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve within the greater provincial parks and protected area system will be addressed.
6.0 Management guidelines
6.1 Management planning strategies
Once established, protected areas will be managed to retain and/or restore natural features, processes and systems. They will also meet previous commitments identified in Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy and provide opportunities for compatible research, education and outdoor recreation activities (OMNR, 1999). Management and protection of the site will be under the Timmins District MNR, Nighthawk Area Supervisor. The management of this conservation reserve will meet the goal of protecting the natural heritage features while permitting compatible activities to continue by screening proposals through the Test of Compatibility. All new types of proposed development would require a detailed Test of Compatibility to be conducted to ensure key values will not be negatively impacted. These assessments will occur on a case-by-case basis by Nighthawk Area Team, Timmins District MNR. Management strategies will also be consistent with the objectives of increasing public awareness, promoting responsible stewardship, providing marketing opportunities, and identifying inventory, monitoring, assessment and reporting potential.
6.2 "State of the Resource" management strategies
The following section will describe specific Management Strategies to maintain, protect and enhance the existing natural heritage values and land use activities of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. A complete list of permitted activities can be found in the permitted use tables (Appendix B).
6.2.1 Natural Heritage Stewardship
Originally, Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve was found in Cochrane Ecodistrict 3E-3 (Hills, 1959) and was evaluated within the expanded parks and protected area based on its contribution to this Ecosdistrict. Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve is now located within the Kirkland Lake Ecodistrict 3E-6 (Crins and Uhlig, 2000) and further analysis is required to identify its importance within the new classification.
Natural heritage values will be managed in such a way as to mitigate and prevent any further damage to either the earth science features or the life science values. All earth science and life science features will be protected by defining compatible uses, enforcing regulations and monitoring and mitigating issues. No additional construction, maintenance, or further upgrade to trails will be permitted.
The MNR recognizes fire as an essential process in the maintenance and renewal of ecological and ecosystem health 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 endeavour to use "light on the land" techniques, which do not unduly disturb the landscape, in the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. Examples of "Light on the land" techniques may include, and are not limited to:
- Using natural openings for helicopters pads
- Ensuring camp locations are built outside the conservation reserve
- Limiting the use of heavy equipment within the conservation reserve
Fire and resource managers will identify those areas in which, and the specific conditions under which prescribed fires may be used to meet ecological or resource management objectives. These management objectives will be developed with public consultation prior to any prescribed burning, and reflected in future refinements of this SCI. 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) (OMNR 2003b).
The introduction of exotic and/or invasive species will not be permitted. Programs may be developed to control forest insects and diseases in the conservation reserve where these threaten significant heritage, aesthetics, or economic values. Where control is desirable and possible, it will be directed as narrowly as possible to the specific insect, disease or plant. Where action is necessary, biological control will be the preferred option whenever feasible.
Vegetation communities should not be disturbed any further through unnecessary clearing or fuelwood collection or any other use. Natural succession will be allowed to occur through passive management.
The collection/removal of native vegetation and parts thereof will not be permitted. However, subject to the Test of Compatibility, the Area Supervisor may authorize the collection of plants and/or parts for the purposes of rehabilitating degraded sites within the reserve if required and for research or scientific study.
For this site to continue to contribute to the protected areas system through its permanent protection of our life science history, the permitted uses need to be enforced. The site should be promoted for its educational opportunities. The role of this landform as a provincial benchmark should be studied further and studies should be conducted to determine possible rare, vulnerable or threatened species habitat. Natural forest succession could be monitored to determine the natural climax community.
Timmins District MNR will provide leadership and direction for maintaining the integrity of this site as a protected area. Research, protection, education and interpretation of protected area features of the site will be encouraged and fostered through local and regional protected area programs and initiatives.
6.2.2 Fisheries and wildlife
Fisheries and wildlife resources will continue to be managed in accordance with policies and regulations prevailing in the area and under the direction of the Nighthawk Area Supervisor. Provincial legislation and policies will dictate management and enforcement objectives for this conservation reserve.
Existing fishing, baitfish harvesting, fur harvesting and hunting will be permitted to continue by local outfitters, trappers, baitfish harvesters and the general public. First Nation Treaty Rights with regard to fish and wildlife activities will be respected. New commercial outfitting, outpost, hunting camps or trap cabins will not be permitted within the boundaries of the conservation reserve.
6.2.3 Cultural heritage values
High potential stage 1 cultural heritage values have been identified within Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs 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 (Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, 1997). Research and studies should be conducted to determine the existence of cultural or archeological resources.
6.2.4 Social/economic interest
The economic contribution of the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve to the local communities may be increased by implementing marketing strategies that draw tourism to the area.
Socially, this area provides recreational opportunities for the local people and tourists to enjoy for their own health and well-being. The people of Ontario will generally benefit from this conservation reserve through direct enjoyment of the area or through the knowledge that a component of our life science and earth science history has been preserved. Other interest groups, such as colleges and universities, can benefit from this conservation reserve as a place to study natural features and processes.
6.2.5 Land use/past and existing development
No road realignments, telecommunications and resource networks from crossing the site and interrupting its natural state.
The sale of land and creation of new recreation camps will not be permitted within the conservation reserve. The two existing private recreation camps may be eligible for enhanced tenure.
6.2.6 Commercial activities
Commercial activities such as fur harvesting, baitfish harvesting and bear management areas will be managed according to prescriptions in the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999). Trapline operations will be permitted to continue since there are no demonstrated conflicts between these activities and the values being protected. Existing bear management areas will be permitted to continue, including license transfer; however, new operations will not be permitted as per the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999).
Commercial forest harvest and hydroelectric development are not permitted within the planning area. Mining activities and aggregate extraction are not permitted within the proposed regulated portion of the conservation reserve.
The tourism and recreation opportunities present in the Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve will be managed by permitting current activities to continue unless shown to have significant impact on site values as per the Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999).
6.2.8 Client services
Under the direction of the Nighthawk Area Supervisor, Timmins District staff will respond to public, non-government organizations (NGOs), industry and MNR partner requests for basic information on Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. Interpretative pamphlets may be developed and made available at Timmins District office.
6.3 Promoting Inventory, Monitoring, Assessment, Reporting and research
The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve provides educational opportunities through its existence. 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 Timmins District MNR Nighthawk Area Team, to ensure that the studies are non-invasive and that no values will be damaged in the research process. Research programs will be subject to ministry policies and other legislation.
Approved research activities and facilities will be compatible with the protection objective. Permanent plots or observation stations may be established for long-term trials. The Ministry of Natural Resources may approve the removal of any natural or cultural specimen by qualified researchers. 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.
Other specific research projects that could be undertaken may include: the effects of human disturbance on the landform, determination of the existence of any rare, vulnerable or threatened species, vegetation climax community, or wind throw and harvest area re-growth. Additional life and earth science inventories may be completed.
6.4 Implementation and plan review
This Statement of Conservation Interest will take effect immediately following approval by the Northeast Regional Director. Implementation activities will primarily involve monitoring to ensure adherence to the management direction. Other implementation activities may include creating a fact sheet or pamphlet to be placed at the MNR District office, and responding to any inquiries about the site. Implementation of this Statement of Conservation Interest and management of the conservation reserve are the responsibility of the Nighthawk Area Supervisor and Nighthawk Area staff in Timmins. Compliance activities will be identified and prioritized in the Timmins District Annual Compliance Operation Plan.
This Statement of Conservation Interest should be reviewed in 5 years to determine if it is providing adequate direction and protection for the protected area values. If changes in management direction are needed at any time, the significance of the changes will be evaluated. Minor changes, which do not alter the overall protection objectives, may be considered and approved by the Area Supervisor without further public consultation and the management direction will be amended accordingly. In assessing major changes, the need for a more detailed Enhanced SCI or Resource Management Plan (RMP) will first be considered. Where a management plan is not considered necessary or feasible, a major amendment may be considered with public consultation. The Regional Director will be required to approve major amendments. The SCI or future RMP, if required, plus the Crown Land Use Atlas will be amended to reflect any changes in management direction.
Inventory, monitoring, assessment, and reporting should be ongoing and findings will be amended to the Statement of Conservation Interest as the studies are completed or at the time of the 5 year review. After the initial review, and dependent on study findings, a new schedule for review will be determined. Additional planning will be linked to the IMAR and research findings and any new information. Adaptive management strategies will be used when new information has a significant effect on the current Statement of Conservation Interest.
The Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve will be marketed as a life science site with impressive wetland complexes. Fact sheets may be prepared to inform the public about these values, which will then become available at the Timmins District MNR office. Marketing efforts to increase use are not a priority and will be kept to a minimum.
Crins, W.J., and Uhlig, P.W., 2000. Ecoregions of Ontario: Modifications to Angus Hills' Site Regions and Districts. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Hills, G.A., 1959. A Ready Reference to the Description of the Land of Ontario and its Productivity. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests.
James, L. 2003. Recreation Inventory Checklist: C1597 Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Kristjansson, F.J., in prep, 2003. Earth Science Inventory Checklist – Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve C1597. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
MCZCR, 1997. Conserving a Future For Our Past: Archaeology, Land Use Planning & Development in Ontario. Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation.
King, L., Burkhardt, B., and Longyear, S., 2003. Night Hawk Lake Shoreline Bluffs Conservation Reserve (C1597): Life Science Checksheet – Step 4. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resouces.
OMNR, unknown. File: MIN.HZD.PRO Porcupine McNavy & Brisson Prospect Macklem Township. Timmins District.
OMNR, 1997. Conservation Reserves Policy 3.03.05. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
OMNR, 1999. Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
OMNR, 2000. Beyond 2000 MNR Strategic Direction. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Peterborough, Ontario.
OMNR, 2002. MNR districts and major basins of Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
OMNR, 2003a. A Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects. Ministry of Natural Resources Environmental Assessment Report Series. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Queen’s Printer.
OMNR, 2003b. A Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves. Ministry of Natural Resources Assessment Report Series. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Queen’s Printer.
Ontario Power Generation, 2003. Abitibi River Management Plan. Ontario Power Generation.
Poser, S.F., 1992. Report on the Status of Provincial Parks in Site Regions and Districts of Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Rowe, J.S., 1972. Forest Regions of Canada. Department of Fisheries and the Environment, Canadian Forestry Service.
Thompson, J.E., 1999. Cheatsheet "Building the System". Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
8.1 Planning area
8.2 Life science checksheet maps
8.2.1 Forest communities
Enlarge: Forest Communities Map
8.2.2 Stocking distribution
Enlarge: Stocking Distribution Map
8.2.3 Old growth
9.1 Appendix A: Physical Site Description
Table 2: Physical Site Description
|Physiographic Section||Abitibi Uplands Section in James Physiographic Region|
|Characteristics||Broad rolling surfaces that rise gently from the Hudson Bay Lowland in the north characterize the Abitibi Uplands. Large areas of the Abitibi Upland section are mantled by glacial lake deposits (Bostock 1970).|
|Ecoregion||Lake Abitibi Site Region/Ecoregion - 3E|
|Characteristics||Moderately to gently rolling bedrock, generally covered by deep deposits of clay, silt and sand (Hills, 1959).|
|Vegetation||Good stands of spruce, fir, poplar and birch on moderately sloping fresh sites; White and red pine occur on sand ridges; American elm and white cedar are found only in protected valleys.|
|Climate||Mid-humid, mid-boreal (Hills, 1959; Poser, 1992).|
|Ecodistrict||Kirkland Lake Ecodistrict 3E-6 (Crins and Uhlig, 2000)|
|Characteristics||Moderately broken but few local 'mountains' exist (Hills 1959; Poser 1992).|
|Soils||Thin with local pockets of deeper silt, clay and sand (Hills 1959; Poser 1992).|
|Kirkland Lake Ecodistrict 3E-6 (Crins and Uhlig, 2000)||Moderately broken but few local 'mountains' exist (Hills 1959; Poser 1992).|
|Forest Section||Northern Clay (B.4) within Boreal Forest Section|
|Vegetation||This section occupies the central portions of the gentle northward slopes of the Laurention plateau in Quebec and Ontario. Widespread surface deposits of water-worked tills and lacustrine materials and a fairly level topography condition the forests of this section. The Clay Belt to the north and the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Forest Region to the south, influence this area in regards to vegetation. Stands of black spruce and wetlands are common. Improvement in drainage, due either to slight changes in relief, to shallowly buried coarse drift or to position beside rivers and lakes, is reflected in hardwood or mixedwood stands of trembling aspen, balsam poplar, balsam fir, white spruce and black spruce. Jack pine is a dominant species on drier sites (Rowe 1972).|
9.2 Appendix B: Conservation Reserves policy
Amended by Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy, September 26, 2000
- According to conservation reserve policy, and statements made in the Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (LUS), all uses within conservation reserves are subject to a "test of compatibility", that is, the use must be compatible with the conservation of the ecological features for which the site was identified (e.g., landforms, vegetation communities, hydrology, species, etc.)
- The following detailed clarification of conservation reserve policies should be read in the context of the general policies, and notes on Aboriginal rights, that are outlined at the beginning of the paper
- Existing Policy: Statements of policy for conservation reserves established prior to the OLL-LUS, primarily as outlined in the Conservation Reserve Policy and Procedure, February 1997
- OLL-Land Use Strategy Policy: Statements of policy in the LUS applicable to the recommended conservation reserves in the OLL planning area
- Policy Clarification: Statements that clarify policy direction with respect to new and/or existing OLL conservation reserves within the OLL planning area
|Issue and Activity||Existing Policy||OLL: Land Use Strategy Policy||Policy Clarification|
|Commercial timber harvest||Not permitted||Not permitted||Consistent with existing policy|
|Cutting of trees by leaseholders, cottagers and other property owners for fuelwood and other smallscale uses||No explicit policy||No policy stated||No fuelwood permit will be authorized by the Mattagami Area Team.|
|Timber salvage/sunken log retrieval||No explicit policy||No policy stated||If provided for in an SCI or RMP, standing, fallen or sunken trees may be removed for resource management purposes. Such trees may be marketed if economical.|
|Mineral exploration||Not permitted||Not permitted||Consistent with existing policy.|
|Mining||Not permitted||Not permitted||Consistent with existing policy.|
|Extraction of peat, soil, aggregate, other materials||Not permitted||No policy stated; existing policy|
|Forest renewal||Forest renewal is not directly addressed in existing policy as it is an activity associated with commercial timber harvesting which is not permitted in conservation reserves.||Not directly addressed||This issue arises where a new conservation reserve was cut recently, and there is a question as to whether the forest company should carry out planned forest renewal work.|
MNR's position is that the companies have harvested the areas, and have an obligation to proceed with renewal, unless this requirement is waived by MNR. If renewal is to occur, the work should normally be carried out by the forest company.
Any possible renewal should be reviewed to determine the nature of the renewal proposal and the possible implications for protected area values. Renewal can be conducted where it will be of net benefit to the protected area. To the greatest extent possible, the renewal should be designed to replicate natural conditions (e.g., if planting is carried out, the more random the planting, the better), although the company cannot be expected to carry out renewal that would be beyond the cost of normal renewal activities. Tending should be considered on a case-by-case basis and be driven by the desired outcome of renewal.
In all cases of proposed renewal activities, there must be prior review and approval of the proposals by appropriate silvicultural and program staff responsible for the management of the protected area, in order to determine what actions would best support the long-term ecological integrity of the area.
|Hydro power generation||Not permitted||Not permitted|
|Communications corridors||Existing use permitted to continue; new corridors to be discouraged through planning.||No policy stated; existing policy applies||The intent of the policy is to actively discourage these uses, but it is recognized that in some circumstances there will be no alternatives; this will be determined through planning.|
|Energy transmission corridors||Existing use permitted to continue; new corridors to be discouraged through planning.||No policy stated; existing policy applies||The intent of the policy is to actively discourage these uses, but it is recognized that in some circumstances there will be no alternatives; this will be determined through planning.|
|Transportation corridors||Existing use permitted to continue; new corridors to be discouraged through planning.||No policy stated; existing policy applies||The intent of the policy is to actively discourage these uses, but it is recognized that in some circumstances there will be no alternatives; this will be determined through planning|
|Resource access roads||Existing resource access roads can continue to be used. New resource access roads will not be permitted.||Existing forest access roads may occur within areas identified as recommended conservation reserves. These roads may be essential for continued access beyond the recommended conservation reserve for forest management or recreational purposes. Where alternative access does not exist or road relocation is not feasible, these roads will continue to be available for access.|
Continued use will include maintenance and may include future upgrading.
New resource access roads will not be permitted with the exception of necessary access to existing mining claims and leases or for future mineral exploration and/or development.
|MNR has made a commitment through the Ontario Forest Accord that, in the case of new linear shaped conservation reserves, provision will be made for the timely implementation of a limited number of crossings to provide access to timber harvest areas that would otherwise be uneconomical to access. These crossings should be identified by December 31, 1999. Once the protected areas are in regulation, decisions on crossings will normally be made as part of the management planning process.|
New roads for resource extraction will not be permitted, except for those identified in Forest Management Plans before March 31, 1999 and for which no viable alternative exists.
|Private access roads||No explicit policy||No explicit policy|
The general policy on honouring "existing commitments" applies to commitments made to private access roads prior to 29 March 1999.
|New private access roads, including additions to existing roads, will not be permitted except where there are existing commitments.|
The maintenance of existing private access roads will be permitted, however, the upgrading of existing private access roads will not be permitted.
Where MNR made a commitment, prior to March 29, 1999, to permit a private access road within a recommended protected area, the road proposal will be subject to completion of a public planning process. The Field Environmental Planning Procedure from the Small Scale Class E.A. is recommended as a suitable process. In addition, the Ministry will concurrently prepare an Interim Management Statement (IMS) or a Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI), depending on whether the area in question is a park or a conservation reserve.
|Issue and Activity||Existing Policy||OLL: Land Use Strategy Policy||Policy Clarification|
|Sport fishing||Existing and new uses permitted||Existing and new uses permitted||The Ontario fishing regulations will continue to govern fishing in conservation reserves.|
|Sport hunting||Existing and new uses permitted||Existing and new uses permitted|
|Facility development||Existing facilities/use may be permitted. New facilities may be considered.||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Non-trail snowmobiling||Use may be permitted for direct retrieval of game only||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Non-trail ATV use||Use may be permitted for direct retrieval of game only||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Motorized boating||Existing and new uses permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Camping||Use may be permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Trails: hiking, snowmobiling, cycling, horse riding, cross-country skiing||Existing use permitted to continue. New trails may be permitted.||Existing authorized trails can continue unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. New trails can be considered through planning.||LUS is consistent with existing policy|
|Private recreation camps||Existing camps permitted to continue. New camps will not be permitted. Transfer requests will be considered in the context of an SCI or RMP for the conservation reserve||Existing authorized recreation camps permitted to continue, and may be eligible for enhanced tenure, but not for purchase of land.||As the LUS is silent on establishment of new seasonal recreation camps, the existing policy will apply (new camps not permitted).|
In conservation reserves in the OLL planning area, existing private recreational camps, including hunt camps, are eligible for enhanced tenure, but not purchase of lands. Enhanced tenure is defined as anything beyond the term and form of current tenure.
Enhanced tenure is not guaranteed. If lands were needed to protect significant natural or recreational values, enhanced tenure would not be granted.
A decision to grant enhanced tenure, or to transfer recreational camps will be addressed through a screening process, and preferably in the context of a Statement of Conservation Interest.
In the absence of an SCI, decisions arising from the application of screening criteria will be limited to an extension of the term only (up to 10 years) and will not include any change in the nature of the tenure from that existing at the time of the request.
Requests for the transfer of recreation camp tenure may be approved subject to the application of the screening criteria.
If an existing recreation camp holder wishes to relinquish their tenure and to sell any existing improvements, MNR will consider purchase of the improvements.
|Issue and Activity||Existing Policy||OLL: Land Use Strategy Policy||Policy Clarification|
|Fishing||Existing use may be permitted to continue. New operations may be permitted.||Existing use permitted to continue, unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. New operations can be considered subject to the 'test of compatibility'.||The LUS is consistent with existing policy.|
The existing policy and the LUS are both silent, however, on transfer requests. Under existing policy, requests for transfer will be considered within the context of the SCI or RMP prepared for the conservation reserve. For the new conservation reserves recommended in the LUS, transfer requests will be dealt with on an ongoing basis, and not deferred until completion of a SCI or RMP.
|Bait-fish harvesting||Existing use permitted to continue. Transfer requests will be considered in the context of the SCI or RMP for each conservation reserve. New operations may be permitted.||Existing use permitted to continue, unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. New operations can be considered subject to the 'test of compatibility'.||The LUS is consistent with existing policy. The LUS is silent, however, on transfer requests; Requests for transfer will be dealt with on an ongoing basis, and not deferred until completion of a SCI or RMP.|
|Commercial fur trapping||Existing use permitted to continue. Transfer requests will be considered in the context of the SCI or RMP for each conservation reserve. New traplines may be permitted.||Existing use permitted to continue unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. New operations can be considered, subject to the "test of compatibility".||The LUS is consistent with existing policy. The LUS is silent, however, on transfer requests. Requests for transfer will be dealt with on an ongoing basis, and not deferred until completion of a SCI or RMP.|
As part of the determination of whether new trapping would be permitted, the associated trails that would be required should be considered.
|Trapping cabin||Existing use permitted to continue. New cabins not permitted||Existing policy applies||Repair and replacement of existing cabins should normally be permitted, as long as the scale and function are not significantly altered.|
The relocation of existing cabins may be permitted if consistent with the protection of natural heritage values and other uses/activities.
|Outpost camps/tourism facilities||Existing outpost camps permitted to continue. Transfer requests will be considered in the context of an SCI or RMP for the conservation reserve. New outpost camps not permitted||Existing authorized tourism facilities can continue unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. The operators of tourism facilities can apply to upgrade tenure from LUP to lease. New tourism facilities can be considered during planning for a conservation reserve.||The LUS differs from existing policy in several areas: LUS implies more than outpost camps in discussion of tourism facilities (for eg., main base lodges) new tourism facilities can be considered through planning permit holders can apply to upgrade tenure from LUP to lease|
In addition, the LUS is silent on transfer requests. Requests for transfer will be dealt with on an ongoing basis, and not deferred until completion of an SCI or RMP.
|Commercial bear hunting (tourist operators providing bearhunting services to non-resident hunters)||Existing use permitted to continue. Transfer requests will be considered in the context of the SCI or RMP for the conservation reserve. New operations not permitted.||Existing use permitted. New operations not permitted.||The LUS is consistent with existing policy. The LUS is silent, however, on transfer requests. Requests for transfer will be considered on an ongoing basis, and not deferred until completion of a SCI or RMP. Bear management areas that have never been active should not be activated. Where BMAs have lapsed, their use should not be reinstated.|
|Wild rice harvesting||Existing use permitted to continue. New operations may be considered.||Existing use permitted to continue, unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. New operations can be considered, subject to the 'test of compatibility'.||The LUS is consistent with existing policy. The LUS is silent, however, on transfer requests. Requests for transfer will be considered on an ongoing basis, and not deferred until completion of a SCI or RMP.|
|Food harvesting||Existing use may be permitted to continue. New operations can be considered.||No policy stated. Existing policy applies.|
Resource management activities
|Issue and Activity||Existing Policy||OLL: Land Use Strategy Policy||Policy Clarification|
|Resource inventory||Existing and new inventory activity permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Resource monitoring||Existing and new monitoring activity permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Fire protection||Forest fire protection will be carried out in accordance with approved Fire Management Strategies unless alternative direction for fire suppression or fire management is approved through an SCI or RMP||No policy stated; existing policy applies||Regional fire management strategies vary across the province. Where aggressive fire suppression is undertaken, a 'light-on-the-land' approach to fire management in conservation reserves is desirable (i.e., minimal use of heavy equipment, trenching, camp construction, tree cutting, etc.). If habitat regeneration becomes an issue in future, prescribed burning could be considered on a per-site basis.|
|Insect and disease||Control of insects and diseases will be addressed on a site basis||No policy stated; existing policy applies|
|Featured species management||Existing and new featured species management may be permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies. Some area-specific policies address this activity.||New featured species management activity will not be permitted until a SCI or RMP is prepared. Existing habitat management practices will be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the protection of identified natural heritage values.|
|Issue and Activity||Existing Policy||OLL: Land Use Strategy Policy||Policy Clarification|
|Research||Research will be encouraged to provide a better understanding of the natural values protected by a conservation reserve and to advance their protection, planning and management.||No policy stated; existing policy applies.|
|Collecting||Collecting is not permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies.||Collecting may be permitted as part of an authorized research project. The issuance of permits will be considered on a per-site basis.|
|Food gathering||Existing and new use are permitted||No policy stated; existing policy applies.|
|Land disposition||Sale and lease of lands is not permitted. Permitted uses may be authorized by land use occupational authority excluding a sale or lease. Where incompatible uses are currently permitted through land use occupational authority, such uses will be phased out either by cancellation of occupational authority or acquisition as funds are available.||Sale of lands is not permitted with the exception of some types of minor dispositions (for eg., the sale of road allowances in front of an existing cottage, the sale of small parcels of land to provide adequate area for the installation of a septic system) where it does not detrimentally affect the values an area is intended to protect. Renewals of existing leases or land use permits are permitted. Requests for transfer of tenure will be considered in the context of the SCI or RMP. New leases or land use permits will be allowed for approved activities.||Commitments to sell or lease Crown land within new conservation reserves in the OLL planning area made prior to the release of the proposed LUS will proceed, subject to meeting all other necessary requirements.|
|Habitat management for wildlife||No explicit policy||No policy stated||Specific management prescriptions will be identified in SCIs and RMPs. No new habitat management will be permitted until an SCI or RMP is prepared. Existing habitat management practices will be reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with the protection of identified natural heritage values.|