O.F.A.H. protests access restrictions to public land near Sudbury
Tax dollars pay for forest access roads not available for public use
It appears that the Ministry of Natural Resources has ignored concerns expressed by local taxpayers over access restrictions on roughly 730,000 acres of Crown land in the Sudbury area, says the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the province’s largest nonprofit, nongovernment fishing, hunting and conservation organization.
“Despite the fact that the M.N.R. openly acknowledges that a significant majority did not support its recent notice of amendment to the Crown Land Use policy in the Venetian Lake/Ministic Lake area, the Ministry has proceeded to restrict public access to this public land anyway,” said Robert Pineo, O.F.A.H. Forestry and Wildlife Specialist.
“To make matters worse, the forest access road in question will utilize funds from the new $75 million forest access road fund announced last year by the McGuinty government. In essence, these public funds will be paying for a forest access road on Crown land that is not accessible to the general public,” added Pineo.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters works vigilantly, representing 80,000 members that believe in fair public access to fishing and hunting destinations on Crown land. A recent M.N.R. “open house” in Sudbury was attended by about 150 stakeholders, including the O.F.A.H., and the majority protested the access restriction in the Venetian Lake/Ministic Lake area.
The O.F.A.H. has posted instructions on how the public can write in opposition to this access restriction, as well as using public money for forest access roads that are not open to the general public. Letters should be sent before March 29, 2007.
O.F.A.H. Forestry and Wildlife Specialist