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OFAH Responds to Wawa CLUAH Project


7:30 am
May 20, 2010


Sault Ste Marie

posts 62


Subject: Crown Land Use Area Harmonization Project (Wawa District)

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) is Ontario's largest, nonprofit conservation-based organization, representing 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters and 660 member clubs province wide.

We have participated on the Crown Land Use Area Harmonization (C.L.D.A.H.) Project for several years now. Recently we were invited by the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) (Wawa District) tp participate in an O.F.A.H. focus group session and were given a presentation on the C.L.U.A.H. management direction. The presentation focused on land use prescriptions within; General Use Area(s), Recreational Enhanced Management Area(s) and Wildland Area(s). As a result of this session we have some recommendations regarding land use and access within the proposed areas.

General Use Area(s)

1. No new commercial Land Use Permits (LUP's) to be issued in these areas.

2. Any commercial/tourist LUP's that are no longer actively being used will be returned to the crown.

3. Due to the excessively large size of the "Wildland Areas" within the district, we recommend there will be further public access to additional lakes within the General Use Areas.

4. Any tourism lakes with a commercial LUP located within the General Use Area(s) need to have the buffer removed, because this decreases the land available for general public use within these areas. '

Recreational Enhanced Management Area(s)

1. All available commercill LUP's (except for road-based tourism) will be returned to the crown and lakes will be opened for public access.

2. We recommend timber harvesters provide additional road access to lakes valued by the public. I

3. Motorized access will be provided to the 41 recently reclassified "opportunity lakes" that are found in the recreation and other area(s).

4. No access restrictions will be put in place on operational roads upon completion of timber harvesting.

Wildland Area(s)

1. We recommend that any newly constructed primary roads within these areas be open to the general public.

2. There was a verbal agreement in place whereby there would be "no net loss" of road access, therefore, it is iml?erative that the current road system for these areas be documented and made available to the public. This information would need to be included in the new CLUAH plan. Furthermore, the practice of constructing a "new" road on top of an existing one should not be used to restrict access.

3. Winter access within these areas should be open to the public (e.g. snowmobiling, icefishing), on lakes where the commercial LUP' are not "ased durin this time of the year.

4. In the event that all of the commercial/tourist LUP's on a lake within these areas are no longer being used, the lake and connecting access roads will revert back to a General Use Area.

 5. We recommend that "Proposal C" be followed as it removes the two-week hunting road closure and represents the most equitable and balanced of the options presented.

 6. The buffer zone around designated tourism lakes will be set at 1 kilometre, as per the December 2009 CLUAH Management Direction.

7. All road signage needs to be updated with consistent, easy to understand, wording.

8. It was noted that tourism lakes within the Kabinakagami Wildland Area would prohibit access; this should be changed back to allow access via fly-in or walking in.

Canoe Routes

1. We recommend that any newly constructed road crossings across the Category A or B canoe routes include access or the public.

Moose Management Area(s)

General Comments

The general consensus and main concern upon leaving the focus group was that the largest and most productive lakes in the district fall within the designated Wildland Area(s). These areas exceed 588, 000 hectares, which represents greater than 20% of the land base within the distric r Ninety of the 138 major lakes are contained within the Wildland Area(s) and a num~er of others are designated remote also.

During the MNR presentation we noted a diagram that displayed the current land use designation, which showed 185% of the land as being accessible by the public. It appeared to us that this diagram included the waters of Lake Superior, and if so, would ask for another diagram that excludes these waters.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments on the plan. If you have any questions regarding this revie please feel free to contact me at (705) 748-6324.

Yours in Conservation,

Derrick Luetchford

Fish & Wildlife Land Use Specialist


Proposal C (accepted by OFAH)

Two-Week Hunting Road Closure

.Replace with – Create a 2 km buffer around designated LUP that restricts roads within buffer for two weeks of moose hunt.

• Pros

-assigns restrictions around a determined value (Improved economic inequity)

- Increase hunt opportunities for customers

- Increase feelings of solitude during hunt for customers

• Cons

- C osts for enforcement (signage, staff resources etc)

- Social inequity (Improved)

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