Statement of Conservation Interest (C46)

July, 2003

Approval statement

We are pleased to approve this revised Statement of Conservation Interest for the White Lake Conservation Reserve.

The White Lake Conservation Reserve is one of 378 new protected areas approved through Ontario’s Living Legacy, a land use strategy aimed in part, at completing Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas. During the preparation of Ontario’s Living Legacy, the public was widely consulted and provided valuable input into what became Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. Public comments received during that time are reflected in this Statement of Conservation Interest.

The White Lake Conservation Reserve falls within Hills' (1959) ecological Site District 5E-11. The WLCR is underlain by regionally significant calcareous bedrock formations covered with ground moraine surface deposits of glacial origin. Variations in these earth science features and topography across the site give rise to an array of upland and wetland vegetation communities and related species, some of which are significant at local, regional or provincial levels. Despite the small size and fragmented nature of the site, the function of the site in protecting the above features is enhanced due to its proximity and connection with nearby Crown lands and the Pakenham Mountain Wetland Complex to the east. In a regional context, the White Lake Conservation Reserve is one of only a few sites in the Natural Heritage Protected Areas System in this part of Eastern Ontario.

The White Lake Conservation Reserve is situated within an area of eastern Ontario encompassed by the land claim of the Algonquin Nation. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Algonquin Nation are developing a protocol to guide discussions on a number of land use matters, including implementation of Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy.

The White Lake site has unique values that would benefit from protection at this time. The values at this site may be expanded in the future with the identification of other unique values through the protocol consultation process with the Algonquins. This SCI will protect the values of this site during the consultation process.

The White Lake Conservation Reserve is managed by the Kemptville District Office, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Art Currie
District Manager
Kemptville District

Ron Running
Regional Director
Southcentral Region

1. Introduction

This Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) aims to:

  1. summarize the earth science, life science and recreational values of the White Lake Conservation Reserve (WLCR)
  2. provide a background summary of activities occurring within or affecting the WLCR
  3. provide guidelines for the management of existing and future activities in the context of protecting the WLCR's natural and cultural values

Conservation Reserves are regulated under the Public Lands Act. A Statement of Conservation Interest is a policy document prepared under the authority of Procedural Guideline A – Resource Management Planning, PL Procedure 3.03.03 (OMNR, 1997).

1.1 Background information

Refer to Table 1 for a summary of background information pertaining to the White Lake Conservation Reserve.

The White Lake Conservation Reserve comprises approximately 188 hectares of Crown land within the geographic townships of Darling and Pakenham. These townships are within the Town of Mississippi Mills and Township of Lanark Highlands in Lanark County. The WLCR lies approximately 20 kilometres southwest of the Town of Arnprior and is within easy driving distance from a number of towns including Almonte, Carleton Place and Renfrew (Figure 2). The area can be accessed by a series of maintained paved and gravel roads.

This fragmented conservation reserve consists of five land-based parcels on the eastern side of White Lake in the Pickerel Bay area and four parcels on three islands within the Hayes Bay arm of White Lake (Figure 3). Although WLCR, Parcels 1 and 2 partially abut other Crown land parcels, the two remaining land-based parcels are surrounded exclusively by private property (Figure 3). The land-based fragments are all accessible by municipal and/or private roads, while the island parcels can only be accessed via boat. The area in the reserve’s vicinity is moderately developed, with a mixture of permanent residential lots, seasonal-use cottages/camps, and a few recreational resort areas.

The White Lake Conservation Reserve was recommended for regulation as part of the Ontario’s Living Legacy (OLL) Land Use Strategy (OMNR, 1999). The WLCR falls completely within the proposed White Lake Wetlands Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI), established for its representation of several unique earth and life science features (Brunton 1990, 1982; Reddoch 1984). The WLCR areas were selected as representative Crown land sites within the ANSI.

The WLCR has an associated forest reserve which is mentioned in sections of this SCI. The forest reserve was originally identified in the OLL Land Use Strategy as part of the recommended White Lake Conservation Reserve. Through boundary refinement and inventory processes, it was determined that this area contained mining claims, and thus had been designated as a forest reserve . After regulation of the WLCR it was found that mining claims in the area had lapsed. In the future the boundary of this conservation reserve will be re-regulated to include the land currently included in the forest reserve. In the interim, the forest reserve is afforded the same protection as a conservation reserve and conservation reserve policy applies.

Table 1. Summary of background information pertaining to the White Lake Conservation Reserve.

NameWhite Lake Conservation Reserve
Ontario Living Legacy DesignationC46
Site Region/DistrictGeorgian Bay/5E- 11
OMNR Region/District/AreaSouthcentral Region/Kemptville District Office
Total Area188 ha (plus 68 ha pending in forest reserve)
Regulation DateJune 28, 2003
OBM Map Sheets10 18 3800 50100; 10 18 3800 50150
UTM Coordinates (centroids)(Zone 18T)
Parcel 1: 382500 5014200; Parcel 2: 383400 5015650;
Parcel 3: 381560 5015920; Parcel 4: 382000 5017680;
Parcel 5: 383325 5017743; Parcel 6: 383674 5017753;
Parcel 7: 384100 5018060; Parcel 8: 384120 5018367;
Parcel 9: 384616 5018864

Figure 1. Regional Context

This is figure 1 regional context map of White Lake Conservation Reserve

Enlarge figure 1. Regional Context

Figure 2. Local Context

This is figure 2 local context map.

Enlarge figure 2. Local Context

Figure 3. The White Lake Conservation Reserve and Environs

This is figure 3 map of the White Lake Conservation Reserve and Environs

Enlarge figure 3. The White Lake Conservation Reserve and Environs

1.2 Representation targets

Earth science representation:

  • Grenville Province – Central Metasedimentary Belt
  • Sharbot Lake Terrane – metasediments and calcite marbles
  • Glacial Features – shallow ground moraine on marble bedrock

Life science representation:

The following landform and vegetation types are found within the WLCR:

  • Ground moraine with bare rock patches (Noble’s (1983) landform unit 1a-37)
  • Organic materials
Vegetation community types (see Lee et al., 1998):
Upland forest
  • Treed Rock Barren or Woodland
  • Mixed Forest on Shallow Soils
  • Coniferous Forest
  • Meadow Marsh
  • Tall Emergent Marsh
  • Floating Lakeshore Fen
  • Coniferous Treed Poor Fen
  • Coniferous Treed Swamp
  • Lacustrine System – Deep Water
  • Lacustrine System – Shallow Water

Note: Although the above vegetation communities are found at the WLCR, not all are well represented nor necessarily significant. Refer to Section 2.2 for more details on Life Science Values.

Cultural resources representation:

No specific research has been carried out to date.

1.3 Survey work

Survey levelEarth scienceLife scienceCulturalRecreational
ReconnaissanceDuba and Frey, 2000Brownell, 2000 Wetland EvaluationsNoneCase, 2000
Future requirementsNoneSpring botanical survey Monitor site for incompatible uses and impactsReconnaissance inventory and researchMonitor uses and impacts

2. Values to be protected

The WLCR contains earth science, life science and recreational values, with an emphasis on the former two.

2.1 Earth science

The conservation of earth science values relates to "the protection of selected, representative features of the province’s geological history and its physical expression on the landscape" (Crins and Kor 1999).

The WLCR falls within the Sharbot Lake Terrane, one of five lithotectonic terranes of the Central Metasedimentary Belt of the Grenville Province. The Sharbot Lake terrane represents the complex products of the mid-Proterozoic Grenville Orogeny. According to Duba and Frey (2000), the WLCR "contributes to the conservation of the Grenville continental accretion theme outlined by Davidson (1981 p.107-111)".

The geological focal point of the WLCR is the metamorphosed carbonates (marble) which underlie both wetland and upland areas in certain locations. This bedrock substrate is rarely exposed and is overlain, at times, by sandy loam glacial till surface materials, prevalent in upland areas, or by organic materials in wetland areas. Where the marble is closer to the surface, unique wetland and upland vegetation associations occur.

From an earth science perspective, the geological features found at the WLCR have a regional significance (Duba and Frey 2000).

2.2 Life science

The WLCR is located within Hills' (1959) ecological Site District 5E – 11. The WLCR falls within Noble’s (1988) landform unit 1a– 37. This unit, common in the Site District, is characterized by ground moraine with moderately broken shallow sandy till uplands and some bare bedrock. Pockets of organic soils are also found in low-lying areas within the WLCR. Differences in vegetation communities within the WLCR are generally reflective of the depth of these glacial till materials and the underlying presence of carbonate bedrock (Brownell 2001).

Life science significance is assessed using five main criteria (Crins and Kor 1999): representation, condition, diversity, ecological considerations and special features.

2.2.1 Representation

While landform unit 1a-37 is quite characteristic of the site district, differences in till thickness and the presence of marble bedrock at this site create variable conditions and vegetation communities. Sixteen vegetation community types are present within the WLCR (Brownell, 2001). Although many of the communities are characteristic of the site district, a few, including White Pine, Cedar swamp, and fen communities on marble substrate are significant.

Many of the communities listed below are only minimally or partially captured within WLCR boundaries. As such, the overall role and significance of the WLCR in representing these communities must therefore be assessed with caution.

  1. Aquatic Vegetation Type:
    • Lacustrine System – Deep Water
      • Wild rice tall emergent deep aquatic type
    • Lacustrine System – Shallow Water
      • Submerged shallow aquatic type
  2. Wetland Vegetation Type:
    • Meadow Marsh
      • Five sedge meadow marsh type
      • Rice cut grass meadow marsh type
    • Tall Emergent Marsh
      • Cattail marsh type
    • Floating Fen
      • Slender sedge – twig-rush fen type
    • Coniferous Treed Poor Fen
      • Tamarack poor fen type
    • Thicket or Shrub Swamp
      • Willow thicket swamp type
    • Coniferous Treed Swamp
      • White cedar swamp type
  3. Terrestrial Upland Vegetation Type:
    • Treed Rock Barren or Woodland
      • White Pine mixed treed rock barren type
    • Mixed Forest
      • Dry mesic White Pine mixed forest type
      • Mesic White Cedar – Balsam Fir mixed forest type
      • Mesic Sugar Maple mixed forest type
    • Coniferous Forest
      • Mesic-dry mesic Hemlock conifer forest type
      • Mesic-wet mesic White Pine conifer forest type
      • Mesic-wet mesic White Cedar conifer forest type

2.2.2 Condition

The condition of vegetation communities found within the WLCR generally reflects the degree and age of past logging activities. Brownell (2001) estimated that approximately 45% of the WLCR is in poor condition, mainly due to the harvesting of upland pine and mixed forests over the past 30 to 50 years. Thirty-seven percent of the WLCR, comprising mainly wetland communities, is in excellent condition since there has been little to no disturbance in these areas. The remaining 18% is in good to fair condition and is comprised of a few pockets of relatively undisturbed woodland on the more southern land-based parcels and on the island parcels. In addition, due to past harvesting, road and utility corridors cross the WLCR at several points. The WLCR is not heavily used for recreational activities at the present time. Overall, due to past logging disturbance and the WLCR's fragmented nature, its condition may be assessed as good to fair.

2.2.3 Diversity

Brownell (2001) reported the presence of 16 distinct vegetation communities at the WLCR. This survey took place in September/October 2000 and therefore only partially captured the total floral and faunal diversity at this site, especially in upland areas where many plants flower early in the season. Nonetheless, the number of species/communities in the WLCR is relatively high for its small size and reflects the variable influence of marble bedrock and ground moraine across this site. However, diversity must be evaluated using both the number of species/communities and the range of elements. The WLCR's small size effectively limits the overall diversity at this site since only portions of the identified communities are protected within the WLCR's boundaries, limiting the presence and abundance of some species. Despite the limitations imposed by the WLCR's size, the protection of a range of species in the WLCR is significant, especially those found on marble bedrock.

2.2.4 Ecological considerations

The White Lake Conservation Reserve is locally and regionally situated to play a role in ecological connectivity. The WLCR is proximal to a large area of Crown land to the south and southeast. This linkage with adjacent Crown lands provides connectivity for wildlife and enhances the possibility for the protection of local natural features. Similarly, the WLCR provides some of the only protected examples of the provincially significant wetland within the White Lake Wetlands candidate ANSI, the majority of which is comprised of privately owned land. The WLCR parcels provide a linkage between upland and wetland habitat. The WLCR is also positioned just east of the Madawaska Highlands, an important wilderness area in Southeastern Ontario, thereby providing further connectivity and protection along the eastern edge of the Frontenac Axis. Further, the WLCR is situated just west of the significant and extensive Pakenham Mountain Wetland Complex.

Although the WLCR serves as a protected link to nearby lands and features, the WLCR itself is small and disjointed and almost exclusively surrounded by private lands. As such, the WLCR is not well buffered from the influence of surrounding land uses including forest harvesting, cottage development, road building, and recreation activities.

2.2.5 Special features

An array of plant and animal species, varying in significance status, are found within the WLCR The following list is based primarily on a survey carried out in September/October 2000 (Brownell 2001). It is anticipated that a spring survey will increase the number of identified species.

Intermediate-aged Sugar Maple Deciduous Forest with Butternut on mesic loam

Sedge Fen
Tamarack-Cedar Fen (Swamp)
Mature White Pine Mixed Forest on mesic, sandy loam underlain by marble bedrock
Mature White Pine Coniferous Forest on mesic, sandy loam underlain by marble bedrock

  • Plants rare in Site Region 5E: Adlumia fungosa (climbing fumitory), Agalinis tenufolia (slender-leaved agalinis), Aster borealis (rush aster), Calamagrostis stricta (narrow reed grass), Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet bladder fern), Potamogeton illinoensis (illinois pondweed), Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)
  • Plants rare in Site District 5E – 11: Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern), Juglans cinerea (butternut), Ophioglossum pusillum (northern adder’s tongue), Potamogeton praelongus (white-stemmed pondweed), Scirpus hudsonianus (Hudson Bay bulrush)
  • Provincially rare insects: Aeshna clepsydra (mottled darner)
  • Provincially significant plant communities
  • Regionally significant plant communities

2.2.6 Summary of life science values

In spite of its size and arrangement, the WLCR displays a range of unique landform-vegetation associations and related species, some regionally or provincially significant. The WLCR also plays an ecological connectivity role at a local and regional scale. This, in addition to the fact that there are few regulated protected areas in this part of Eastern Ontario, makes the site significant within the natural heritage system.

2.3 Recreation

Low impact recreational uses occurring within the WLCR, such as hunting and other outdoor recreation activities, are compatible with and benefit from the protection of the sites' natural, undeveloped state. Aside from hunting, evidence suggests that the WLCR parcels are not used frequently for recreational purposes (Case 2000).

3. Management guidelines

3.1 Land tenure


The WLCR consists entirely of Crown lands within the geographic townships of Darling and Pakenham which are now part of the Township of Lanark Highlands and the Town of Mississippi Mills, respectively. The fragmented parcels all abut private land with exception of Parcels 1 and 2 (Figure 3). Parcel 1 is adjacent to a Crown land parcel designated as a forest reserve, while Parcel 2 abuts the same forest reserve at its southern corner.

The forest reserve parcel in Lot 21, Concession 11 recognized a mining claim that existed prior to the Land Use Strategy decision to recommend this area for conservation reserve regulation. However, since regulation the mining claim has lapsed. Mining and mineral exploration are not permitted within the forest reserve.

No land use permits, leases, or licenses of occupation exist within the WLCR. However, two transmission line rights-of-way exist, one between Parcel 1 and the adjacent forest reserve, and another north of Lowney Lake Road through the forest reserve itself.


There will be no sale of Crown land within the WLCR. New land use permits will generally not be granted, although each situation may be examined on a case by case basis. New transmission lines, pipelines and road corridors will be discouraged. Any unauthorized occupations of lands within the WLCR will be dealt with in accordance with existing policies.

Consistent with Section 7.2.3 of the Strategy, forest reserves are areas where protection of natural heritage features are a priority and these areas will be managed similar to conservation reserves. Since the existing mining claim was retired through normal processes, this parcel will be added to the WLCR through future regulation and has been withdrawn from mining and mineral exploration.

The purchase of adjacent private lands, with the aim of increasing ecological connectivity and natural heritage value representation within the WLCR, may be considered. Similarly, Crown land immediately to the southeast of the forest reserve may be considered as a future addition to the WLCR, for its representation of white pine vegetation communities on marble substrate. In addition, a nearby parcel of Crown land at the western end of Peneshula Road, containing rare old growth cedars (age > 200 years), should also be considered.

3.2 Development


There are no existing facilities within the WLCR. The land based parcels are all accessible by numerous municipal and private roads that pre-date the WLCR. There are no MNR resource access roads to or through the WLCR. The island parcels are only accessible by water (Figure 3).

Peneshula and Lowney Lake Roads currently form the southeastern boundaries of the WLCR Parcel 1 and the adjacent forest reserve area. The Pickerel Bay Road, leading northwest from the intersection of these roads, effectively divides the forest reserve in half. These primary corridors, located outside of the WLCR boundaries, are the main access roads to the eastern half of White Lake and are heavily used.

Within the WLCR boundaries, a secondary road, crossing Parcel 3 on its northeastern side, is used to access cottage lots on the lake edge and is maintained year round by the Municipality of Lanark Highlands. Further, an old, unauthorized bush road crosses the forest reserve area and the WLCR Parcel 2, eventually connecting with a tertiary road to the northeast. A gate established by the owner of the adjacent lot exists at the edge of the forest reserve. The trail was used in the past to access a homestead within Parcel 2, long since fallen down. The trail remains accessible by vehicle, although little obvious work has been carried out to maintain it.

Two transmission line rights-of-way exist as detailed in Section 3.2.


The construction and upgrading of new roads through the WLCR parcels will not be allowed. However, the use of existing road segments crossing WLCR parcels will be allowed to continue. Any expansion of these segments will be discouraged and subject to a 'Test of Compatibility' as per the Public Lands Act Procedural Guideline B (Appendix 1). Road maintenance activities should be carried out with minimal environmental impact.

The use of bush trails will be allowed to continue, although upgrading or maintenance will be discouraged. Uses should be low impact and compatible with the significant wetland, life science and recreational values of the WLCR.

Maintenance of the existing transmission line rights-of-way is permitted, however new facilities should avoid conservation reserve lands wherever possible.

3.3 Recreational activities


Although the greater White Lake area is evidently used by anglers, cottagers and local hunters, reconnaissance level field work suggests that the Crown land parcels are not frequently used for recreational purposes. The predominant users of the parcels are adjacent or local landowners who use the parcels for hunting (Case 2000). Sport fishing occurs within the adjacent White Lake waterbody, however the conservation reserve boundary does not include the waterbody. The island parcels of the WLCR have also been used in the past for crown land camping. The land based WLCR parcels, and certainly the island based parcels, are not likely destinations for out-o f-town visitors due to the prominence of privately owned land and the disjunct arrangement of WLCR parcels. Further, there is no indication that the one existing bush trail and two utility corridors are used substantially for snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use.


Existing low impact recreation uses such as hiking, walking, nature appreciation, hunting, angling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing will be allowed to continue within the WLCR. The WLCR boundary does not include the adjacent White Lake waterbody; and angling will be allowed to continue in the adjacent White Lake. Camping will be allowed within the WLCR, however no infrastructure will be provided for this use.

Mechanized travel, including snowmobiling, may currently occur on existing bush trails, however are not permitted off trails, except for direct retrieval of game. Due to the small size of the WLCR parcels and the sensitivity of wetland vegetation, no authorization will be given to establish new trails for motorized vehicle use. Proposed new trails for non-motorized use will be assessed based on the 'Test of Compatibility' (Appendix 1).

3.4 Commercial activities


Current commercial activities consist of a fur harvesting license within Parcel 1 and a portion of the adjacent forest reserve area. The WLCR is also within a Bear Management Area (BMA) CP 63-11, although there was no evidence of bear baiting or hunting with the WLCR boundaries. There are no existing tourism facilities, outfitting services, resorts or outpost camps within the WLCR.

It is noted that the WLCR is within a bait fish harvest block and the small watercourses and wetland areas may be currently used for bait fish harvesting. Although a commercial fishing license exists for White Lake, the WLCR is land based and therefore commercial fishing does not take place within the conservation reserve boundaries.


Fur harvesting through registered traplines will continue to be permitted in the WLCR, unless there are significant demonstrated conflicts. New licences will be considered based on the 'Test of Compatibility'.

New BMA's will not be authorized within or overlapping with the WLCR. A request for transfer of the existing BMA may be considered by the Ministry. If the existing BMA should lapse, its use will not be reinstated.

Conservation Reserves do not permit mining, commercial forest harvesting, hydroelectric power development, the extraction of aggregate and peat or other industrial uses (Public Lands Act, Ontario Regulation 805/94). Other new commercial activities must meet the requirements of Procedural Guideline B - Land Uses - Test of Compatibility (Appendix 1).

Mineral exploration and mining are not permitted within the White Lake Creek Conservation Reserve. The existing forest reserve, which no longer contains a mining claim, is afforded interim protection and does not permit mining or mineral exploration.

New tourism facilities, resorts, lodges, outpost camps will not be permitted within the WLCR. Similarly, commercial food harvest is not a permitted use.

3.5 First Nations


The White Lake Conservation Reserve is situated within an area of eastern Ontario encompassed by the land claim of the Algonquin Nation, which is currently being negotiated by Ontario, Canada and the Algonquin Nation.


The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Algonquin Nation are developing a protocol to guide discussions on a number of land use matters, including the implementation of Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy.

In the creation of the WLCR, it is not intended that any existing Aboriginal or Treaty rights, as recognized by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, will be abrogated or derogated.

3.6 Natural Resource Stewardship

3.6.1 General


Most of the uses that have traditionally been enjoyed in the WLCR will be allowed to continue.


The WLCR will be managed to promote the natural functioning of ecological processes with minimal human disturbance or intervention. Any proposed future uses or activities affecting natural values within the WLCR, including vegetation, fisheries, wildlife, and landforms, will be subject to a thorough review by the Ministry.

3.6.2 Vegetation management


About 40% of the WLCR has been subject to some form of forest management over the past 50 years. Logging was carried out within portions of the WLCR and the forest reserve about 40 to 50 years ago. In addition, a small red pine plantation exists within Parcel 3.

Also of note is a White Pine Seed Production Area (SPA) established within a section of the forest reserve north of the intersection of Lowney Lake and Peneshula Roads. A shelterwood improvement cut and underplanting of white pine seedlings occurred within the Seed Production Area in 1976 and 1981 respectively, to enhance the production of white pine and its seed. An adjacent Seed Collection Area, comprising a portion of Parcel 1, also exists although has not undergone any management.

Fire has likely not occurred in the area since the late 1800's.


Although forest harvesting will not be permitted within the WLCR or forest reserve area, specific vegetation management projects may be considered.

Management of the red pine plantation in Parcel 3 will aim to re-establish a more natural vegetation community structure. The development, approval and implementation of a site specific management plan for this parcel will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Kemptville District Office.

Seed collection will be allowed to continue within both the Seed Collection and Production Areas as per relevant Ministry guidelines. Collection activities will be carried out with minimal impact on natural features and values.

A request for renewal of the Seed Production Area (SPA) will be reviewed by Kemptville District MNR staff to determine renewal objectives and the potential implications for protected area values. Renewal may be allowed where it will be of net benefit to the WLCR. To the greatest possible extent, renewal of a SPA should be designed to replicate natural conditions within the normal cost range associated with such 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 proposals by appropriate Kemptville District MNR silvicultural and program staff in order to determine the actions that would best support the long term ecological integrity of the area.

Vegetation control will be permitted where necessary for public utilities and rights-of-way.

The MNR recognizes fire as an essential process fundamental to the ecological integrity of conservation reserves. In accordance with existing Conservation Reserve Policy and the Forest Fire Management Strategy for Ontario, forest fire protection will be carried out 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, to protect the ecological and biological importance of the White Lake Conservation Reserve. Examples of light on the land techniques may include limiting the use of heavy equipment or limiting the number of trees felled during fire response efforts.

Opportunities for prescribed burning to achieve ecological or resource management objectives may be considered, however these opportunities are limited when considering the vegetation communities contained within the conservation reserve. These management objectives will be developed with public consultation prior to any prescribed burning, and reflected in the document that provides management direction for the conservation reserve. Plans for any prescribed burning will be developed in accordance with the MNR Prescribed Burn Planning Manual, and the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (approval pending).

Programs may be developed to control forest insects and diseases in the WLCR or the forest reserve where these threaten significant natural heritage values. Where control is desirable, it will be directed as narrowly as possible to the specific insect or disease. Biological control will be used wherever possible.

Food gathering is permitted for personal consumption only and must be conducted in a sustainable manner, and such that it does not harm the values of the WLCR.

3.6.3 Wildlife management


The WLCR is part of Wildlife Management Unit 63A, which allows a regular gun hunt for deer, moose and bear as well as early and late archery seasons for deer. There are also open seasons for various small game and waterfowl species in the area. A fur harvesting licence also encompasses the site.


The relevant Ontario Hunting regulations will guide hunting in the White Lake Conservation. Fur harvesting will be managed through the maintenance of the current licensing system. The WLCR boundary does not include the adjacent White Lake waterbody; and angling will be allowed to continue in the adjacent White Lake with an appropriate fishing license.

3.7 Cultural Resource Stewardship


No cultural resource values have been identified to date.


Research of cultural heritage topics will be encouraged, such as the history of colonization and resource use in the area, consistent with Procedural Guideline C – Research Activities in Conservation Reserves (Appendix 2).

3.8 Client services


No on site services currently exist for the WLCR. Public inquiries to date have been dealt with through the MNR Kemptville District office or MNR Southcentral Regional Office in Peterborough.


Proposed services will focus on low key information and self-interpretation of area values and features. Information will likely focus on written media outlining the values found within the WLCR, its role within the provincial and regional natural heritage system and the uses compatible with its protection. The Ministry will assume responsibility in meeting this objective and continue responding to requests for information concerning the WLCR. Additional services may also include signs on the WLCR's periphery identifying the area as a Conservation Reserve.

3.9 Research


Research to date has been limited to the identification of valued landform - vegetation features.


Consideration will be given for inventory and documentation of natural and cultural values, and the assessment of use/activity impacts. All research will be carried out in a non-destructive manner. Research proposals must follow Procedural Guideline C – Research Activities in Conservation Reserves (Appendix 2).

3.10 Marketing


No marketing of the WLCR has occurred to date. Promotion has generally occurred as part of the Ontario’s Living Legacy program. A Fact Sheet, containing a summary of the WLCR's values and objectives, was made available to the public during OLL consultation and subsequent inquiries.


Given the small size of the WLCR, marketing efforts to increase uses are not a priority and will be kept to a minimum. Fact sheets will be updated as new information is gathered. These and other publicly available reports will continue to be provided upon request.

4. Implementation

Administrative responsibility for the White Lake Conservation Reserve belongs to the Kemptville District Office, Ministry of Natural Resources. The district office will continue with the custodial care of the WLCR and will seek partnerships with local interests wherever appropriate. Given the small size of the WLCR, emphasis will be placed on awareness information highlighting the area’s values and appropriate uses. Further inventories of cultural history and life science values within the WLCR will be encouraged. Future activities will be monitored to minimize negative impacts and to ensure proper adherence to management guidelines.

Conservation Reserve priorities will include:

  • Include the regulation of the forest reserve parcel (Lot 21, Concession 11) to the White Lake Conservation Reserve boundary, as well as other ecologically significant Crown land parcels
  • Ensure compliance to prescribed management policies of the approved Statement of Conservation Interest
  • Encourage research and studies focusing on the prehistoric and historic use of the conservation reserve and its vicinity
  • Monitor and evaluate recreational and commercial use levels and impacts
  • Encourage further inventory and research of the significant life science resources of the conservation reserve
  • Encourage research about significant flora and fauna species and communities, and potential impact on these by various recreation activities
  • Support cooperative ongoing education of resource users with respect to resource and land stewardship values, in order to maintain the ecological integrity of the site and to provide long term recreational opportunities; and
  • Provide client services (e.g. brochure or fact sheet) at nearby MNR offices

5. Review and revision of the Statement of Conservation Interest

This Statement of Conservation Interest (SCI) will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

If changes are required in the Statement of Conservation Interest, they will occur through a standard process of minor and major amendments. Minor amendments will be processed in a relatively informal manner and will require the approval of the Area Supervisor. These amendments will deal with uses and activities that do not affect any of the policies in this SCI, such as new uses and/or activities that are consistent with existing uses.

Uses and/or activities that were not anticipated in the preparation of this SCI and which have the potential to have a negative impact upon the values of this conservation reserve will require a major amendment. This amendment process will include an opportunity for public comment and will require the approval of the District Manager and Regional Director.


Brownell, V. 2001. A biological inventory of the White Lake Study Area (Draft 1). Produced for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Kemptville.

Brunton, D.F. 1982. A brief life science evaluation of the Stewartville Cedar Swamp and the White Lake Fen. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Huntsville.

Brunton, D.F. 1990. Life science areas of natural and scientific interest in Site District 5-11. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreational Areas Section, Eastern Region, Kemptville.

Case, B.S. 2001. A recreation inventory of the White Lake Conservation Reserve (Draft 1). Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Kemptville.

Crins, W.J. and P.S.G. Kor. Natural heritage gap analysis methodologies used by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Draft 25). 1999. Open File Natural Heritage Technical Report 9901. Lands and Natural Heritage Branch, OMNR, Natural Heritage Section, Peterborough.

Davidson, R.J. 1981. A framework for the conservation of Ontario’s earth science features. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Toronto.

Duba, D. and E. Frey. 2000. White Lake Wetlands Conservation Reserve (C46) Earth Sciences Checksheet. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Kemptville.

Hills, G.A. 1959. A ready reference to the description of the land of Ontario and its productivity. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, Division of Research, Maple, Ontario.

Lee, H.T., W.D. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for Southern Ontario: first approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.

Noble, T.W. 1983. Biophysiographic Analysis, Site Region 5E, Algonquin Region, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997. Policy Statement PL 3.03.05 for Conservation Reserves. Compiled by the Lands and Natural Heritage Branch. Peterborough.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1999. Ontario’s Living Legacy: Land Use Strategy. Peterborough.

Reddoch, J. 1984. White Lake Fen. Trail and Landscape. 18: 134-144.

Appendix 1 Procedural Guideline B – Land Uses – Test of Compatibility (PL Procedure 3.03.05)

The Conservation Reserve policy provides broad direction with regard to the permitted uses. The policy provides only an indication of the variety of uses that will be considered acceptable in conservation reserves. The only caution is that "any new uses, and commercial activities associated with them, will be considered on a case by case basis, and, they must pass a test of compatibility to be acceptable." What does a 'test of compatibility' mean?

An examination of this must start from the premise of why an area is set aside – specifically, its representative natural heritage values. Criteria are then identified to guide compatibility considerations. These criteria apply to the long-term acceptability of both existing uses and new uses.

  1. Conformity to SCI/RMP: SCI describe values for which an area has been set aside and the range of appropriate uses that will be permitted in the area. SCI may also speak to the acceptability of other 'new' uses currently not occurring in the area.

    The first 'test' is: "do proposed new land uses and/or commercial activities conform to the direction of the SCI/RMP for the conservation reserve? Would the new use(s) depart from the spirit of appropriate indicator land uses in the SCI/RMP?"

  2. Impact Assessment: If the proposed use(s) pass test 1 it is important to determine their impact on the area before they are approved. This should include the following:
    • Impact on natural heritage values: "will the new use(s) impact any natural values in the area? If so how and to what degree? Is it tolerable?"
    • Impact on cultural values: "will the new use(s) impact an historical or archaeological values in the area?"
    • Impact on research activities: "will the new use(s) affect research activities in the area?"
    • Impact on current uses: "will the new use(s) have any negative impact on the array of current uses?"
    • Impact on area administration: "will the new use(s) increase administrative costs and/or complexity?" (For example, the cost of area monitoring, security and enforcement).
    • Impact on accommodating the use outside the conservation reserve: "Could the use(s) be accommodated as well or better outside the conservation reserve?"
    • Impact on socio-economics of the area: "will the new use(s) affect the community(ies) surrounding the area in a positive or negative way?" (For example, will the new use make an area less remote thereby affecting a local tourism industry that is dependent on the area’s remoteness for its appeal?"
    • Impact on area accessibility: "does the new use(s) give someone exclusive rights to the area or a portion of the area to the exclusion of other existing uses?"

The following table provides a guide of indicator uses for the consideration of uses that may be permitted within conservation reserves. For any specific conservation reserve that test of compatibility should be applied to determine which specific uses are acceptable.

Indicator Uses for Conservation Reserves - Generic and Specific

Industrial activities

ActivitiesGeneric Policy - ExistingGeneric Policy - NewSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - ExistingSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - New
Commercial timber harvestNoNoNoNo
Cutting of trees by leaseholders and property owners for fuelwood and small-scale usesMaybeMaybeNoNo
Timber salvage/sunken log retrievalMaybeMaybeNoNo
Mineral explorationNoNoNoNo
Extraction of peat, soil, aggregate, other materialsNoNoNoNo
Forest renewalMaybeMaybeNo1No1
Hydro power generationNoNoNoNo
Communications corridorsYesNoYes2N2
Energy transmission corridorsYesNoYes2No2
Transportation corridorsYesNoNo2N2
Resource access roadsMaybeMaybeNoNo
Private access roadsYesNoYes3No

Recreation activities

ActivitiesGeneric Policy - ExistingGeneric Policy - NewSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - ExistingSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - New
Sport fishing
Sport hunting
Facility developmentMaybeMaybeNoMaybe
Non-trail snowmobilingMaybeMaybeNo4No4
Non-trail ATV useMaybeMaybeNo4No4
Motorized boatingYesYesNoNo
Trails: - hikingYesMaybeNoMaybe5
- snowmobilingYesMaybeNoNo
- cyclingYesMaybeNoMaybe5
- horse ridingYesMaybeNoMaybe5
- cross-country skiingYesMaybeNoMaybe5
Private recreation campsYesNoNoNo

Commercial activities

ActivitiesGeneric Policy - ExistingGeneric Policy - NewSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - ExistingSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - New
Bait-fish harvestingYesMaybeYesYes
Commercial fur trapping Trapping cabinYes YesMaybe NoYes NoMaybe No
Out-post camps/tourism facilitiesMaybeMaybeNoNo
Commercial bear hunting (tourist operators)YesNoYesNo6
Wild rice harvesting Food harvestingYes MaybeMaybe MaybeNo NoMaybe No

Resource management activities

ActivitiesGeneric Policy - ExistingGeneric Policy - NewSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - ExistingSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - New
Resource inventoryingYesYesYesYes
Resource monitoring Fire protectionYes YesYes YesYes YesYes Yes
Insect and diseaseMaybeMaybeMaybe7Maybe7
Featured species & vegetation managementMaybeMaybeYesMaybe

Other activities

ActivitiesGeneric Policy - ExistingGeneric Policy - NewSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - ExistingSpecific Application In White Lake Conservation Reserve - New
Food gatheringYesYesYesYes9
Land disposition Habitat management for wildlifeYes MaybeMaybe MaybeNo NoNo Maybe


On specific policy application in the White Lake Conservation Reserve:

1There is an existing white pine seed production area and red pine plantation located within the Conservation Reserve and future management of the site maybe allowed to replicate natural conditions and complete the seed production area cycle.

2Existing use is permitted to continue. New transportation corridors, communication lines, and transmission lines are discouraged in conservation reserves except under unusual circumstances where there are no other viable alternatives.

3Existing private access roads can continue to be used, however expansion will be discouraged.

4For direct retrieval of game only.

5Trail maybe permitted subject to the 'Test of Compatibility'.

6Reinstatement of a lapsed BMA will not be authorized within the Conservation Reserve.
New operations are not permitted.

7Control of insects and diseases will be addressed on a site basis.

8Seed collection will be allowed to continue within both the seed collection and production areas as per relevant Ministry guidelines. Collection activities will be carried out with minimal impact on natural features area values.

9Permitted for personal consumption only and must be conducted in a sustainable manner, and such that it does not harm the values of the conservation reserve.

Appendix 2 Procedural Guideline C – Research Activities in Conservation Reserves (PL Procedure 3.03.05)


To encourage contributions to the goal of conservation reserves by:

  • Providing direction for research activities associated with conservation reserves; and
  • Establishing a process for the review and approval of proposals by researchers, which could have an impact on the values protected by the conservation reserve


Research means any investigation or study of the natural, cultural, economic, management or other features or characteristics of conservation reserves.


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. The Statement of Conservation Interest will define, for each conservation reserve, the key research issues, set out the parameters within which research may occur and identify research needs.

Applications and approvals

Researchers must apply in writing to the Area Supervisor for permission to conduct research. The request letter must contain a statement explaining why the proposed research should be undertaken in the particular conservation reserve in preference to another location.

Proposals will be reviewed and approved by the Area Supervisor, guided by the SCI prepared for each reserve (see Guideline A – Resource Management Planning) and using Guideline B – Land Uses – Test of Compatibility. Permission must be granted in writing, including any conditions to be met in conducting the research, prior to the undertaking of any research project.

Term and conditions

Permission to conduct research under this policy will be valid for a period of 12 consecutive months from the date of issue. Permission to continue a research project for an additional periods of 12 months or less may be granted upon submission of a written request and a progress report. The Ministry may require the posting of collateral to assure that the terms and conditions of granting permission are met.

The Area Supervisor may suspend or revoke permission at any time for failure on the part of the researcher to meet:

  1. The intent of this policy
  2. The requirements under the Public Lands Act, including all amendments, where applicable
  3. The requirements under any other Act or regulations of Ontario or Canada, including those governing the taking, handling, storing, confining, trapping, excavating and marketing any specimen, artifact, information or action (for example, scientific collector’s permit)
  4. The conditions and agreements specified in granting permission

Final report

The researcher will submit copies of reports, publications and theses following the results of the project to the Area Supervisor.