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                              February 6, 2003
 

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      BACKGROUND:  

          Land claim

 Skyline Reserve park

Lake Temagami park steps closer to reality

 

   FEBRUARY 6, 2003

Lake Temagami park reduced in size for mining

The proposed park for the mainland of Lake Temagami has been reduced in size for mining interests, according to a new map released.

Ontario had said the park would be the current Skyline Reserve and would exclude high-potential mining lands. A map published last winter showed only four small mining areas. A new map released late last month has removed significantly more: most of the Northeast Arm, 26 kilometres of western shoreline, Ferguson Mountain, several blocks in the Southwest Arm, two blocks on the North Arm, and a block on McLean Peninsula.

"It was a compromise to mining interests for Indian lands lost to mining," Ontario's chief negotiator Doug Carr said.

Map: Lake Temagami proposed park

Most of the land removed from the park proposal is considered high-potential mining lands. These lands contain two geologic formations known as the Wanapitei Anomaly (formerly Temagami Anomaly) and the Temagami Greenstone. They have been prospected and explored for a hundred years, though most of the land that was deleted from the proposal is not staked. 

The high-potential lands were identified by an experimental system created by Ontario's Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM), called the Mineral Resource Assessment (MRA), used to estimate the mineral value of land. It combines geoscience, mining history, market conditions and economics to rank land. 

The assessment was created to keep lands out of parks and protected areas where mining is prohibited. The MRA has only been applied in Temagami and it targeted the proposed park lands. Anything with a "high rank," according to Gord Yule, regional land-use geologist for MNDM, was removed from the proposal. "We'll lose it if we don't score high," Yule said. 

The assessment for Temagami has not been made public.

Other areas removed from the park proposal are recorded 

mining lands, where actual exploration is underway, and the two proposed aboriginal communities. One site will be selected by a vote of the members of the Temagami First Nation (TFN) and the Teme-Augama Anishnabai, according to Mike Molyneaux, negotiator for the TFN, possibly this spring.

Last February a 12-kilometre stretch of the Northeast Arm skyline near the South Tetapaga River was withdrawn from mining as potential park land. At the time it was considered an alternative to Finlayson Park, which had been considered as a potential Indian community. The new map indicates this stretch will now be removed from the park and returned to mining land because it scored high on the MRA.

The park proposal was given birth in the land-claim negotiations and was intended to protect the Skyline Reserve. The park will come out of proposed Indian reserve lands and Crown land. The Skyline Reserve, created in 1935, has never been logged and contains significant areas of old-growth red and white pine and aboriginal heritage sites. 

A park could be a boon for the local tourism-recreation economy in Temagami village. For the first time, a band of green would stretch from the community to the Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater park cluster, making the village the obvious park centre. 

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NEWS INDEX

2013:

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2012:

 Dec  Nov  Oct  Sept  Aug  July  June  May  Apr   Mar  Feb  Jan 

2011:

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2010:

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2009:

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2005:

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2004:

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2003:

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2002:

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