Statement of Conservation Interest

Ministry of Natural Resources
Lakehead Area
Thunder Bay District

August 2000

W. Pamela Whyte
Resource Manager - Information Management
Thunder Bay

Approval statement

I am pleased to approve this Statement of Conservation Interest for the Pearson Township 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 is not anticipated at this time. Should signfiicant facilily development be considered or complex issues arise requiring additional studies, more defined management direction, or special protection measures, a more detailed Conservation Reserve Management Pion will be prepared with full public consultation.

The public was widely consulted during the designation and regulation of the site and further consultation is not required at this time.

The conservation reserve will be managed under the jurisdiction of the Lakehead Area Supervisor, Thunder Bay District, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Original signed and approved by:

Jim Adams
A/District Manager
Thunder Bay District

Date: April 2, 2001

Charlie Lauer
Regional Director
Northwest Region

Date: April 12, 2001

1.0 Background information

The purpose of this document is to identify the natural heritage values of Pearson Township 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. From this, the management direction can be determined.

Background information

NamePearson Township Conservation Reserve
Site Region / Site District4W – 2
OMNR Administrative Region / District / AreaNorthwest / Thunder Bay / Lakehead Area
Total Area (ha)557
Regulation Date2000
First NationsRobinson/Superior (1850)
OBM20163000533 – 20163100533
Latitude/Longitude48°10'30 N 89°33 W
Basemap30533 - 31533
FRI StandsWhole and parts of stands – 71293,71292, 71377, 72032, 71374, 71375, 72364, 72632, 73007, 73073, 73359, 73204, 73565, 73775, 73491, 74095, 74043, 73426, 74309, 74172, 74204, 73387, 73696, 73185, 72941, 73012, 73027, 72827, 72840, 72044, 72210, 71922, 71680, 71648, 71599, 71371, 71367
General Location DescriptionThe site is located between lots 4 and 8, concessions 1, 2, and 3 in Pearson Township, approximately 40km southwest of Thunder Bay. Highway 597 passes near the west side of the area.
AccessThe reserve can be reached via a municipal road off of highway 597 from the north and south of this reserve. The site can also be accessed by canoe via Moores Creek. There are no formal access points to this site.

1.1 Targets

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

Life Science RepresentationProvincially significant wetlands, including marsh, fen and swamp areas.
Earth Science RepresentationA prominent diabase mesa bounds the southeast side, which lies partially within the boundaries of the reserve. The area also is a representation of lacustrine deposits and moderately broken ground moraine.
Cultural RepresentationNo documented cultural heritage values identified.
Recreational RepresentationOpportunities exist for recreational hiking trails, bird watching, hunting, snowmobiling and wildlife viewing.

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 LevelCompletedFuture Requirements
Life ScienceLife Science Inventory – 81/05/07
Wetland Evaluation – December 1997
No further Requirements
Earth ScienceCompiled 98-99No further Requirements
CulturalValues Checked – July 2000Aboriginal Consultation
RecreationalJuly 2000No further Requirements

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 ScienceProvincially significant wetland. Includes fen, marsh and swamp classes.
Earth ScienceDiabase Mesa binds the site from the southeast side.
CulturalThere are no cultural values identified at this site.
AboriginalThere are no aboriginal values found on this site.
TourismThere are no known traditional tourism values found in this site.
Recreational FishingMoores Creek and Mud Lake have potential for recreational fishing.
Recreational HuntingGood potential - access by foot and canoe during the summer months, snowmobile in the winter months. There are signs of moose and bear present within the boundaries. The site is also home to many species of waterfowl and small upland birds.
MiningNo active mining claims found within the boundary
AggregateNone on this site.
Forest HarvestCuts less than five years old are adjacent to the reserve to the south. A forest operator owns land adjacent to the reserve, which includes the small lake in the middle of the wetland. Most stands are at merchantable ages.
TrappingNo traplines within the site.
Bear Management AreaTB 13-025
Commercial FishCommercial baitfish licenses - 34

2.2 Values to be protected

The intent of this SCI is to protect 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 entire area of the reserve needs to be protected from human disturbances as the swamp is a provincially significant wetland and contains delicate flora and fauna types. The area that is not included in the ANSI report is to be equally preserved as sensitive boundary buffer areas.

Recreational and Commercial Values – This site offers very few present recreational uses and has limited potential because of its wetland classification. Potential uses may include canoeing, bird-watching, bear and moose sightings and other species of plants and animals found on the site (see Appendix 1.1) Some potential exists for hunting and baitfish activities but is limited due to the extremely wet condition of the road and canoe access.

Tourism Values – The area offers little tourism opportunities at this time. Areas outside the wetland could be developed as an interpretive center for aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal species.

3.0 Management guidelines

3.1 Land tenure and candidate acquisition

No dispositions (including Land Use Permits, Leases or Licenses of Occupation) will be issued for the site. The site is bisected by private in holdings which are within the wetland boundary as shown on the schedule "A". Acquisition of these lands should be considered in order to consolidate wetland values into the protected landbase.

3.2 Existing and proposed development

No development or permanent structures exist in the area, with the exception of a municipal road that runs through the center of this site (running north south). Section 2.3 of the Provincial Policy Statement discusses Natural Heritage features and areas. These areas, including significant wetlands south and east of the Canadian Shield, will be protected from incompatible development. Development and site alteration will not be permitted in this site according to this policy statement. Development and site alteration may be permitted on adjacent lands to the significant wetland if it is demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or the ecological functions for which the area is identified.

3.3 Recreational activities

Most recreational activities that have traditionally been enjoyed in this area can continue provided they pose no threat to the natural ecosystems and features protected by the conservation reserve. These permitted uses include wildlife viewing, hunting, walking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Sport fishing and boating will continue in adjacent waters.

3.4 Commercial activities

The Pearson Township Conservation Reserve is part of the Lakehead Forest Sustainable Forest License and will be permanently withdrawn from the Forest Management Plan allocation. An examination of the possible impact of activities on adjacent lands should be evaluated in the FMP.

The conservation reserve has been withdrawn from all mining exploration and extraction activities by MNDM at MNR' request.

This conservation reserve is not a part of a registered trapline which is presently active.

The area is part of a Bear Management Area. Hunting may continue in this conservation reserve.

The reserve is part of a baitfish license. Existing use will be permitted to continue. New operations may be considered.

No other commercial activities exist in the area. No new activities, such as mining, commercial logging, hydro-electric power development, new transmission lines (e.g. power or communications), pipelines, highways or roads, and the extraction of aggregate or peat, will be permitted.

3.5 Aboriginal interests

Nothing in this Statement of Conservation Interest affects in any way existing or future aboriginal or treaty rights.

A pre-consultation letter was sent to the Fort William First nation the representative First Nation in June 2000 followed by a formal "invitation to participate" in August 2000 In November 2000 District staff met with the Chief, Band Manager and land claim representative. Pearson wetland is within the traditional use area of Fort William First Nation and may be within the area of interest of the current land claim. Pending resolution of the land claim (approximately 5 years) continuing interim protection and with drawl of the area from the forestry license is recommended. Regulation will be deferred.

3.6 Natural Resources Stewardship

3.6.1 Vegetation management

The area will naturally evolve and should be stable for some 50-100 years. As this conservation reserve is currently surrounded by high timber values of the Lakehead Forest Sustainable Forest License, it will remain as part of the MNR's intensive fire management zone. All fire occurrences are considered a high priority for action and will be aggressively suppressed.

3.6.2 Fish and wildlife management

Nothing is required other than existing Wildlife Management Unit and sport fishing regulation and management activities.

3.6.3 Landforms

No management activity is required except protection.

3.7 Cultural Resources Stewardship

No management activity is required at this time based on existing information.

3.8 Client services

Information about this conservation reserve should be made available to ensure that all resource users are aware of its location, its recognized values (provincially significant wetland with some rare species), and the permitted uses within the area.

3.9 Research

Non-destructive research related to the inherent values of this site will be encouraged. The principle feature, the wetland may provide some interest for naturalists relative to the flora and fauna species found there.

3.10 Marketing

No management activity is required at this time. A fact sheet has been created and readily available to the public through the Internet or area offices.

4.0 Implementation

The Lakehead Area Team, Thunder Bay District, implements these management guidelines. Any affected clients will be immediately informed of proposed changes to this Statement of Conservation Interest.

5.0 Review and revisions

5.1 Review and revisions

Pearson Townships Conservation Reserves Statement of Conservation Interest will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

If changes in management direction are needed at any time, the significance of the changes will be evaluated. Any major amendments will require full public consultation and the approval of the Regional Director. This Statement of Conservation Interest complies with all requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act and the Environmental Bill of Rights.

5.2 Public consultation

5.2.1 Results of past consultation

Public Consultation was held for this site between August 15th and September 15th, 2000. Affected and interested parties were mailed fact sheets for those sites affecting them or of concern to them, along with a map that illustrated its location and the proposed boundaries. Comments and concerns were taken by the District Planner and entered into a database for further review.

Three responses to Pearson Township were received. There were no proposals for boundary changes or against regulation arising from the public consultation. Only additional information was requested.

5.2.2 Future consultation

Future consultation may occur should policies affected the activities in the park be changed.

5.2.3 Authors

This Statement of Conservation Interest was prepared by Pamela Whyte, Resource Manager Intern – Thunder Bay District.

6.0 References

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

Pearson Township Conservation Reserve – Information Fact Sheet (2000)

Pearson Township ANSI Report - 1981

Activities/Use policies in Conservation Reserves (April 2000)

Ontario Living Legacy – Land Use Strategy (July 1999)

Provincial Policy Statement (1996)

Wetland Evaluation – Pearson Township Wetland