Please sign this petition to help the Friends of Temagami stop construction of the Turner Road into the Solace Wildlands, Temagami’s last remaining tract of roadless, virgin forest!
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has given Vermilion Forest Management (VFM) license to build a 25 kilometre-long, kilometre-wide primary logging road straight through the heart of the Solace Wildlands.
The Turner Road will destroy a wild, undisturbed forest, erasing campsites and portages in use for thousands of years.
Please help us hold VFM and the MNRF to account and help protect the last intact wilderness in Temagami. Let’s tell VFM and the MNRF that the value of an intact forest is worth far more than its timber.
– The Solace Wildlands contains the last roadless forest tract in all of Temagami and the headwaters for the lakes within Solace Provincial Park and the Sturgeon River Provincial Park
– The Wildlands have never been logged, and likely contain rare old-growth forest
– The Turner Road would destroy intact forest, erase campsites and portages, and eliminate well-used link routes between provincial parks in Temagami
– The road would cross several portages and campsites and include a bridge right above Talking Falls, a remote, well-established campsite that canoeists spend days travelling to reach
– VFM has not included these campsites and portages as Areas of Concern (AOC) on their maps. There has been no ground-truthing of the proposed route and no environmental impact study
– VFM chose the Turner Road route after their application to build a bridge over Sturgeon River Provincial Park to access the Wildlands was denied three times
– VFM currently has no allocated cut blocks in the region and are building the Turner Road ahead of the 2020-2030 Forest Management Plan
– Forestry access roads already exist south of the Wildlands yet VFM wishes to clear-cut undisturbed forest right next to existing protected areas
– The MNRF’s Land Use Policy for this Enhanced Management Area emphasizes “park-based values with emphasis on ecological integrity” over resource extraction, yet the Turner Road has been approved and is already under construction
– The Ontario government and the MNRF continue to ignore calls for greater protection in the Temagami area, despite a federal commitment to protect 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters by 2020
– Our roadless, intact forests need protection. The Solace Wildlands connects three provincial parks and a conservation reserve and provides undisturbed habitat for wildlife
– Solace Wildlands-area lakes are designated natural trout lakes. Only 1% of Ontario’s freshwater lakes contain lake trout, which represents 25% of all trout lakes worldwide
– Protecting the Solace Wildlands would connect and unify existing provincial parks, creating larger wildlife and recreational corridors and preserving intact canoe routes that have been in use for thousands of years by the Teme-Augama Anishnaabe
The environmental damage caused by building a road through the Solace Wildlands will be irreversible. Of the 16,000 square kilometre Temagami area, only 15% is currently protected by provincial parks and conservation reserves. Every year, logging and development creeps closer and closer to protected areas. Every year, portages, campsites, old-growth forests and cultural history are lost to logging.
VFM has plenty of options for resource extraction without cutting through the Solace Wildlands. These options would not impact wilderness and recreational values. VFM maintains that their license to manage this forest means building a road straight through it and cutting it all down. Friends of Temagami disagrees.
The Friends of Temagami encourage and support greater protection for the Solace Wildlands as part of a larger strategy to create a more unified network of existing conservation reserves and provincial parks within the Temagami area.