|OFAH FILE: 842/349C |
January 31, 2006
|For Immediate Release|
M.N.R. evicts traditional land users
It appears that, in direct contravention of the Public Lands Act and the Ministry of Natural Resources’ own Conservation Reserve Policies, A.T.V. use is to be terminated in over 90 percent of the 4,000 hectare La Cloche Ridge Conservation Reserve located near Manitoulin Island. La Cloche is also very close to Killarney Provincial Park, 48,000 hectares of Crown land that already prohibits motorized access, hence the frustration over more “extremely excessive land use restrictions” in that region.
O.Reg 805/94 under Section 4 of the Public Lands Act states that the purpose of conservation reserves includes: preserving traditional public land uses including wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing, walking, snow shoeing, crosscountry skiing, and boating.
“How are anglers and hunters to fish or hunt (traditional land uses) when they are prohibited from getting to their favorite fishing spot or hunting site? How are they to retrieve their valued big game if they happen to be fortunate enough to harvest an animal?” said Dr. Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services.
The M.N.R. is proposing to convert the La Cloche Ridge Conservation Reserve into a provincial park with its associated prohibitive zones such as wilderness. This is in direct contravention of the purpose of conservation reserves currently in regulation, and contrary to Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay’s promise that conservation reserves would not become provincial parks.
“The O.F.A.H. will do everything it can to reverse these decisions. We are immediately seeking amendments, and we are going directly the Minister because he promised this wouldn’t happen,” said Dr. Quinney.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the province’s largest hunting, fishing and conservation organization that proudly represents over 80,000 members and 630 member clubs.
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