Statement of Conservation Interest
Lake of the Woods Area,
Kenora District
June, 2000
Updated April 7, 2011
Next Examination Due December 31, 2020

Examination and adjustment history of management direction

Table of adjustment history of management direction

Dates, outcome and list of supporting documents associated with adjustment history of management direction.
Approval dateExamination or type of adjustmentExamination outcomeList of supporting documents

May 24, 2011


Administrative Update

  • Administrative Update form signed May 24, 2011.
  • Examination Confirmation Statement signed December 9, 2010.

Approval statement

I am pleased to approve this Statement of Conservation Interest for the Painted Rock Conservation Reserve.

This Statement of Conservation Interest provides guidance for the management of the conservation reserve and the basis for the ongoing monitoring activities. More detailed direction at this time is not anticipated. Should significant facility development be considered or complex issues arise requiring additional studies, more defined management direction, or special protection measures, a more detailed Conservation Reserve Management Plan will be prepared with full public consultation.

The public was widely consulted during the original regulation process and further consultation is not required at this time.

The conservation reserve will be managed under the jurisdiction of the Kenora Lake of the Woods Area Supervisor, Kenora District, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Original signed by:

Charlie Lauer
Regional Director
Northwest Region

1.0 Background information

Painted Rock Conservation Reserve contributes to achieving the objectives of Ontario’s Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006, including ‘to permanently protect representative ecosystems, biodiversity, and provincially significant elements of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage’ and ‘to provide opportunities for ecologically sustainable land uses.

The purpose of this document is to identify the natural heritage values of the Painted Rock Conservation Reserve, the activities which occur there and through a set of management guidelines, lay out the activities which will be permitted and not permitted and the direction of management for the area. For more information for the basis of this Statement please refer to the "Conservation Reserves Policy and Procedure PL3.03.05", specifically pages 2-6 and 14-22 of the of the procedure.

Background information

NamePainted Rock Conservation Reserve
Site Region/Site District5S-1
OMNR Administrative Region/ District/AreaNorthwest/ Kenora/Lake of the Woods
Total Area (ha)113
Regulation DateJanuary 7th, 1995
First Nations12 First Nations on Lake of the Woods
Latitude/Longitude49° 18' N/94° 04' W
FRI Stands174,175,176,177,178
General Location DescriptionIsland location locally known as "Picture Rock Island". 13 km. SE of Sioux Narrows in Whitefish Bay, Lake of the Woods
AccessThe Island is easily accessible by boat

1.1 Targets

This section provides a summary of the earth and life science values and cultural resources represented and recreational opportunities available or possible.

Life science representationOld growth white and red pine
A Bald Eagle (Special Concern) was observed in the conservation reserve during a site visit in 2010.
Earth science representationGranite and granitic gneisses of the Aulneau batholithic complex
Cultural resource representationSignificant pictograph site on SE portion of island
Recreational opportunitiesNature appreciation; Lake trout fishery; high tourism values.

1.2 Survey information

This section provides an overview of the inventories completed, their level of detail and any further inventories that are needed.

Survey LevelLife ScienceEarth ScienceCulturalRecreationalOther
ReconnaissanceYes - ground and aerial surveys completed in 1994NoYes, 1967 and 1975NoNo

2.0 Values to be protected

This section provides a description of the key natural heritage values on the site and their condition relative to past resource use and management activities and their sensitivity to future land use and management activities.

2.1 Values identified on the site

Life ScienceAn old growth red and white pine community at northern fringe of its range; stands of about 50% red pine and 20% white pine up to 160 years old. Island contains some of the most diverse undisturbed old growth pine found on Lake of the Woods
Earth ScienceStrongly broken bedrock; shallow soils; rugged landscape
CulturalPictograph site DhKm-3; SE shore
AboriginalAlgonkian rock art site with probable religious significance
TourismHigh tourism values in area
Recreational FishingHigh profile recreational fishery in adjacent waters of Whitefish Bay
Recreational HuntingIn a Bear Management Agreement Area KE7B-74 ; deer and waterfowl hunting in area
MiningLow mineral potential; no known mineral exploration activity (MNDM, Kenora)
Forest HarvestN/A – Islands in Lake of the Woods withdrawn from harvest
TrappingPart of registered trapline KE-135; limited potential on island

2.2 Values to be protected

The intent of this Statement is to protect these values by establishing management guidelines for existing and potential uses in this area given the level of past disturbance and the nature of the existing features.

Forest values – the forest in the entire area is to be protected (including the old growth component) from any alteration; forest type will naturally maintain itself for at least another 50-100 years. It may be a source for genetic material for northern red and white pine genotypes.

Cultural/Aboriginal Values – outstanding pictograph site.

Recreational Values – fishing and hunting opportunities; boating and viewing in adjacent areas.

Tourism Values – A unique and visually impressive stand of red and white pine, important for its aesthetic, habitat and possible genetic value; rock art site is well known and attracts many tourists; osprey nest has been reported.

3.0 Management guidelines

The following topics briefly indicate the existing situation followed by the management guidelines to be implemented or continued.

3.1 Land tenure

The Painted Rock Conservation Area is an island of Crown land. No disposition, by sale or Crown Lease or Land Use Permit, will occur within the reserve.

3.2 Existing and proposed development

No development exists on the island. No development will be allowed that would disturb the forest including its understory. Island access is possible only by water/ice.

3.3 Recreational activities

  • Sport fishing is allowed in adjacent waters
  • Sport hunting will continue in the area
  • Activities such as snowmobiling and the use of all-terrain vehicles will generally be permitted to continue on existing trails, only where they do not adversely affect the values being protected. No new trails will be permitted.

3.4 Commercial activities

  • The area forms part of a native trapline and trapping will continue as a permitted activity
  • The area is presently part of a Bear Management Area, which will continue
  • No other commercial activities exist on the island; no new ones will be permitted; i.e. road construction, aggregates, utility corridors
  • The area has been permanently removed from the Kenora Management Unit (FMP) allocation.
  • The area has been withdrawn from all mining exploration and extraction activities by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and Forestry at MNR's request.

3.5 Aboriginal interests

The Conservation Reserve is located within the Treaty 3 Area. The eleven First Nations on Lake of the Woods and the Treaty 3 Office did not express concern about the creation of this Conservation Reserve. Nothing in this Statement of Conservation Interest affects in any way existing or future aboriginal or treaty rights.

3.6 Natural resources stewardship

3.6.1 Vegetation management

The island vegetation will naturally evolve and should be stable for some 50-100 years. In recognition that fire is an important natural disturbance on the landscape, fire management of Painted Rock Conservation Reserve will be governed by the Lake of the Woods Fire Response Plan (OMNR 2007). This direction is consistent with the Forest Fire Management Strategy for Ontario (OMNR 2004) and Fire Management Policy for Provincial Parks and Conservation.

Due to the size of this island reserve and the old growth vegetation values, no cutting of fuelwood or building logs will be permitted. The steep slopes and shallow soils over bedrock make the site susceptible to erosion should disturbance take place.

3.6.2 Fish and wildlife management

Nothing required other than existing WMU and sport fishing regulation and management activities.

3.6.3 Landforms

No requirements except continued protection.

3.7 Cultural resources stewardship

Indian pictographs are considered by many to be sacred religious sites and should be treated with care and respect and should not be touched as perspiration can break down the paint. These sites are valuable archaeological records of past Indian cultures and are protected under The Ontario Heritage Act, 1974.

These particular pictographs, Borden designation site DhKm-3, are believed to be Algonkian in origin. They are well known locally and published in tourist guides to the area. The site is on the southeast of "Picture Rock Island" (local name) some fifty feet above the water and clearly visible 500 yards away.

3.8 Client services

Information about this conservation reserve will be made available. Resource users will be alerted to its location and permitted uses.

3.9 Research

Non-destructive research related to the study of old growth white pine communities and aboriginal culture related to the pictographs will be encouraged in this conservation reserve.

3.10 Marketing

No requirements at this time.

4.0 Implementation

These management guidelines will be implemented immediately by Lake of the Woods Area, Kenora District (pending any input resulting from this document’s posting on the EBR). Any MNR Resource Management Plans or Land Use Plans which include this area will be amended accordingly. Any affected clients will be immediately informed of amendments to this management direction. Administrative responsibility for the Conservation Reserve rests with the Planning and Information Management Supervisor. Implementation will primarily involve monitoring activities to ensure adherence to the management guidelines.

5.0 Review and revisions

5.1 Review and revisions

Methods of reviewing management direction will be consistent with the Protected Areas Planning Manual (OMNR 2009) and its associated guidelines. In accordance with the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006, MNR will annually examine management direction documents that have been in place for ten years or more. The next scheduled examination for Painted Rock Conservation Reserve will be in 2020.

5.2 Public consultation

5.2.1 Results of past consultation

Under the previous Keep It Wild Initiative, contact was made with First Nations, the timber companies and local communities in June, 1994. Newspaper advertisements and a district information package was distributed in August, 1994. As a result, two local users (BMA holder, LUP holder) expressed concern about loss of hunting opportunities if the island was to become a Nature Reserve Park. NWOTA expressed similar concerns. There was support for protection of identified values.

5.2.2 Present and future consultation

More widespread consultation is not deemed necessary at this time because of the extensive consultation, which occurred in 1994 (see Section 5.2.1).

6.0 Author

This Statement of Conservation Interest was prepared by Betty Wires, Area Supervisor, Lake of the Woods Area, Kenora District.

7.0 References

Dewdney & Kidd. 1973. Indian Rock Paintings of the Great Lakes, 2nd ed. Pp. 55-57.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997. Conservation Reserves Policy and Procedure. PL 3.03.05.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2004. Fire Management Policy for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves. PL 3.03.09

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2004. Forest Fire Management Strategy for Ontario. Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto. 64 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2009. Ontario Protected Areas Planning Manual. Peterborough. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. 50 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. 1980. The Archaeology of Northwestern Ontario: Indian Rock Paintings and Carvings. pp. 30-32.

Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act. 2006. Toronto. 44 pp. [online]

Reid, C.S.P. 1976. Environment, Man & Maymaygway shi: The Dimensions of Past Human Cultural Impact in the Lake of the Woods Area. Pp. 30, 62.

Figure 1: Painted Rock Conservation Reserve Regional Setting

Map showing the location of Painted Rock Conservation Reserve in location to surrounding region

Figure 2: Painted Rock Conservation Reserve Boundary

Map showing the boundaries of Painted Rock Conservation Reserve