Temagami Essay Research Paper TemagamiTable of ContentsIntroduction2The — страница 3

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and wind pounded on the unprotected earth. Under reasonable, small scale farming, such would be of little consequence, however when huge tracts of forest are removed at once, it becomes almost impossible to keep the farmland from turning to wasteland – one has only to look at ancient nations such as Mesopotamia, once a heavy agricultural area and now a vast desert, or the ever expanding Sahara desert to see the devestating effect of soil erosion. (CAN ENCYC) After a time, people began to understand this, at least in a crude sense. Forestry, it seemed, must be more than simply cutting down trees. The forests must also be managed to ensure more cutting in the future. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century, with the signing of the British North America Act in 1867,

that forestry was considered important under Canadian law. It was written into the act that “The Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the Province and of the Timber and Wood thereon” would be assigned to the jurisdiction of the individual provinces. (CAN ENCYC) Although this gave the forests some protection under the law in regards to supposed ’sustainability’, there remained – as there still remains to an extent to this day, a greed which, for the most part, overpowered any thoughts of conserving for the future. The Ontario Forestry Industry The year 1893 marked the beginning of a somewhat dubious ecological protection program in Ontario with the establishing of the Algonquin National Park as a “public park and forest reservation, fish and game

preserve, health resort and pleasure ground for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of the Province.” (GRAY 92) The purpose of the park was the logging of the tall pines, rather than for any conservationist motive. Scattered parks were established on a purely ad hoc basis throughout Ontario for almost eighty years, during which exploitative logging grew and forests were destroyed. Eventually, starting in the 1960s and spreading in the 70s, people began to notice the forests dissapearing, began to see parks as more than merely recreational; more and more concerns were being voiced regarding “uncontrolled development, uncoordinated land-use planning, and the corresponding loss of wilderness.” (GRAY 91) One of the outcomes of these protests was that the Ministry

of Natural Resources developed the Ontario Provincial Park Planning and Management Policies – titled “The Blue Book”. (GRAY) The blue book, which is still in use today, is perhaps the closest thing to forest protection in Ontario. It allowed a comprehensive park system to be created with six classes of park which could ensure some measure of protection to these areas. More parks were created but it was becoming apparant that these parks were doing little to stop the great change being forced on the landscape of Ontario. Writers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) state that “over the past 200 years Ontario’s natural landscape has been changed on a scale greater than any other since glaciation.” (GRAY 92) Most old growth (120+ yrs) pine forests have been cut and

replaced with alien monocultural trees – to make future harvesting easier; the land of the Teme-Augama would come under dispute due to fear of such. Part Two: Forest Conservation In Ontario Political Activity In 1990, the election of the provincial NDP under Bob Rae appeared to herrald a new beginning for forestry conservation. Rae had been arrested a year previous in the protest over the Temagami Red Squirrel Road extension – which will be discussed further in part two – and appeared to place the environment high on his agenda. Promises were made to protect five previously unrepresented natural regions by 1994, to be added to the thirty-two already protected out of sixty-five [see appendix, map 2]. (GRAY 95) However little ever came of the promises; by the end of 1993 only

one old growth area, inside Algonquin Park itself, was to be protected from logging and road building. Meanwhile, Howard Hampton, the new minister of natural resources, declared that forest harvest across the province was to be increased by up to 50 per cent as a result recommendations by a committee made up entirely of foresters, labour, and the government. (GRAY 94) Public interest groups were outraged; as a means of appeasing them, the government announced a “Keep it Wild” program. The program was said to be a means of protecting the old growth forests in a meaningful way but in the end it became more about public relations than anything. Bits and pieces of forest throughout the province were protected but the outcome was by absolutely no means sufficiant for