Today is March 28, 2015 and neither the plans nor text of the 2015-2016 AWS are available on either Ontario.ca/forestplans or on http://nipissingforest.com/fsc.html even though they were supposed to be available on March 15, 2015 according to your mailed AWS notice.
I really don't know what is proposed in that AWS but I do want to formally make a couple of points about the Nipissing Forest FMP 2004-2019 and this 2015 AWS which hasn't yet been accessable.
I do not wish to miss the opportunity to comment (which I expect is April 1, 2015) so I am sending this in the hope that I haven't missed any deadlines.!
- Remind you of the status of the Mattawa Temiscaminque Colonization road
- Once again try to get the status of primary road for the Crocan Lake Road (which to me, is ludicrous) changed to Coxeys Road so that a permanent bridge can be installed so that public access that we have had to the Ottawa River for 135 years and which has been illegally (in contravention of the The Road Access Act 1990) blocked by the removal of a bridge by the North Bay District Office of the Ministry of Natural Resources for the last five years will once again be restored for the benefit of the public users of this stretch of the Ottawa River.
- I believe that the Colonization Roads and other Cultural Heritage Values are being ingored particularly the Mattawa Temiscaminque Colonization Road (MTCR), which, in my opinion, is probably the oldest and most important passageway North of the Mattawa/Nipissing/French passageway. It is a part of Ottawa River Passageway (and probably the least recognized) but is a Bonkanah as taken from Nastawgan Explained By Craig Macdonald
"Bon-ka-nah or special winter trails over land were equally important. In winter, the chief obstacles to snowshoe travel were and still are open water and unsafe ice, found where moving water resists the formation of ice. Sometimes the Algonquin Indians simply extended the trail at the ends of portages in order to reach calmer water with sufficiently thick ice for safe travel. Rivers with strong current extending continuously over long distances posed a greater challenge, especially where there was no space for travel along the shorelines. In such cases they made longer bon-ka-nah."
At this point I only want to specify where it is located at this point because I went over it again this past summer and fall and am now convinced it has been ignored particularly in Poitras Township just south of Eldee!
In the Forest Management Guide for Cultural Heritage Values - Nastawagans and Colonization Roads get this mention
Back prior to the 2009-2019 FMP I took care to map these out, when asked to do, for the cultural heritage study. I never did see any of that work I did included in the FMP! This past summer and fall I decided to document this pathway as much as my age allows (I can't walk the distaces I used to) but I have done most of it. I now assume that I wasted my time.
Click for a PDF
Starting around 9,000 years ago a restriction of the Ottawa (9.6 kilometres dowstream from Mattawa) backed up the meltwaters of the glaciers leaving beach strand line deposits at about 250 metres of elevation (yellow areas as shown on the above map.) Being close to water (escape predators) and of excellent footing made it easy for the Caribou to follow these land forms on their semi annual migrations. Naturally people followed these animals too! Even after the meltwaters broke through the Hudson Bay ice around 7,200 years ago these trails were still followed because the water from the mouth of Montreal River down to below the Des Joachim rapids was extremely swift to the point that it never froze up so this trail was also used for winter travel After over 8,600 years of use it became very distinct and easy to follow.
Beginning in 1830s the extraction of square timber started upstream of Mattawa and naturally the lumbermen brought in draft animals and supplies on this ready made pathway and improving it just by the increase in traffic.
Beginning in 1885 the Oblate Order of Quebec started to colonize the fertile arable Eastern shores of Lake Temiskaming because there was no farm land left in the south of Quebec (the first born male inherited the farm so that migration of skilled and competent farmers left from there to go to the US. In an attempt to arrest and slow this outmigration somewhat, the Oblates cobbled a transportation system of sorts starting at Mattawa with a series of steamboats between each of the rapids ending with a final narrow gauge railway (2 cars) up to the foot of Lake Temiscaminque (now Temiscaming, QC) where they had larger steamships to finish the journey to the Head of the Lake over a 140 kilometres! It was surprising how many settlers or colons there were that accepted this hardship and winter isolation!
Ontario had the same problem but even more very arable farmland available on the Western shores of Lake Temiskaming and there already was a passageway up to Seven League Lake so they improved that road that to Colonization road status expending a considerable sum. Settlers heading for New Ontario came up this road (walking, stage coach, livery wagons, etc.) to board the last steamboat at the foot of Seven Leaque Lake which went up to the foot of the Long Sault, and the narrow gauge railway to the foot of Lake Temiscaming. The Oblates did not like this but they could not stop it because the steamboats and ships, and other improvements were funded by public money through the Federal Government! I think they had a tendency to make the Ontario people unwelcome and eventually in 1887-8 this Order added horse drawn tramways to take the cargo and luggage around the lower three portages. Luxurious in that the people only had to walk behind the tramways.
In 1890 the Ontario government improved that pathway to Colonization Road Status all the way up the foot of Lake Directly across from the dock for the lake steamships.
Click for PDF
Since then the bottom portion of this road became named Murphy Road and the rest renamed to Secondary Highway 533 right up until 1.64 kilometres north of the Crooked Lake parking area where this road still proceeded north goes north and never again crosses 533. In 1958-8 the current 533 was opened partly (past Timber Lake) on Consolidated Paper Corps lumber road "C" and onward to Highway 63 which had been opened in 1938 and covered the final 8 km. between 5 Mile Hill and the Temiskaming Dams at the head of the Long Sault.
The old Mattawan-Temiscamingue Colonization Road/lumber road/nastawagn continued on a notherly course 1.64 kilometres north of the Crooked Lake parking area while S.H. 533 veered west and these roads never met again as 533 joined with Hwy 63 a couple of kilometres south of the Little Jocko River Bridge.
Just past Eldee and in the middle of the locally known location as the Five Mile Hill Hwy 63 in 1937 was put right over this old colonization road right up to the dam. For a couple of kilometres up what is now known as Wyse Road, the colonization road continued to just opposite of the Temiskaming Boat Launch on the Quebec shore until the dams were constructed in 1916.
From there north the the Nastawagn Trails should be contacted!
The area between 2 and 3 should be protected as much as possible to preserve the look and feel of this old passageway in a better manner that Secondary Highway 533 has done.
I resigned my position as the Cultural Heritage representative on the LCC last summer because of being completely unable to establish any kind of dialogue with the District Office of OMNRF in that, I felt, that anything I said, did, sent was completely ignored and had been for the best part of 15 years. Because of that I felt I was at a disadvantage being an LCC member - well I am no longer that just a normal disgruntled citizen really tired of being ignored by the OMNR.
So I went over this old road by vehicle, walking, etc to make sure that I had the right roadbed all last summer and fall ensureing the above map is accurate. I spent 35 years with the MTO Northern Region Planning and Design section and can tell quickly the relative age of a road bed and to a large degree how and when it was created and upgraded. I am confident that I have the right road.
Provincial criteria for determining areas of archaeological potential
"Areas of archaeological potential are areas of a property that could contain archaeological resources. The ministry's criteria for determining areas of archaeological potential are:"
The presence of known archaeological sites within 250 metres of the property;
- The presence of a water source (primary, secondary, ancient) within 300 metres of the property;
- Elevated topography (e.g., knolls, drumlins, eskers, plateaux);
- Pockets of sandy soil in a clay or rocky area;
- Unusual land formations (e.g., mounds, caverns, waterfalls);
- Proximity to a resource-rich area (concentrations of animal, vegetable or mineral resources);
- Evidence of early Euro-Canadian (non-Aboriginal) settlement (e.g., monuments, cemeteries) on the property;
- Proximity to historic transportation routes (e.g., road, rail, portage);
- The property is protected under the Ontario Heritage Act;
- Local knowledge of archaeological sites on the property or of the property's heritage value.
If you or the MNR want to hire an archaeological firm to confirm or disprove my findings feel free. I will offer anything I have about this roadway to get to get registered with the Minstry of Tourism and Culture database because this roadway is deserving of recognition because it is not "just an old bush road" which what the North Bay District Ministry of Natural Resources have always stated.
After much research (because I thought that I was going into court to pay for this District Offices removal of our bridge) I can easily prove that:
there was an 1885 colonization road that went from Mattawa to Seven League Lake,
that government monies were spent on it
- and that between Crooked Lake and Seven League Lake there was a water crossing over a stream called Timber Creek.
In addition to that circa 1948 the Fourneau - La Cave Water Power lease #25 was signed by the HEPC.
as mitigation for drowning the north end of that colonization road along with it's boat launch ramp, dock and parking facility
the HEPC had to construct a new boat launch ramp, dock and parking facility about 1.7 kilometres downstream. This is now known as Coxeys Landing.
and they had to construct a new road to that new public facility now locally known as Coxeys Road.
It is important to note that this occurred between 1948 and 1950 and Secondary Highway 533 did not exist between 1.64 kilometres north of Crooked Lake to Highway 63 until 1956!
All of the men, equipment and supplies came from Mattawa.
Following is a 1952 Consolidated Paper Corp's map that I found in the North Bay District Offices - "dead" storage.
Click for a PDF
Consolidated had built a log dump (directly into the river) at the confluence of Timber Creek and the Ottawa River with a turn around where the LUP is now. If you look at the map you will see that they had built a rather good lumber Road labelled "C" on the map from the Timber Creek Crossing all the way to Sparks Lake where they had a camp and in 1958 this road was taken over for the full length of Timber Lake by the DHO, the current primary Sparks Lake Road on the FMP is the northern portion of this line C",
in connecting Secondary Hwy 533 to Highway 63. Should you require it I have a copy of the Hwy 533 location map.
Under the Road Access Act 1990
the Mattawa - Temiscamingue Colonization Road is both an "Access Road" and was a ""public highway" and a common road" ("on which public money has been expended for its repair or maintenance"; which has never been closed under the conditions specified under this act.
Yet North Bay District Office of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resouces had blocked this road twice by pulling the bridges in 1999 and again 2009 completely disregarding this legislation.
I feel that this North Bay District Office of the Ministry of Natural Resources has been very unfair to me and other stakeholders with property on that stretch of the Ottawa and/or who wish to use it for recreational purposes but find this difficult to access because of the removal of those bridge over that water crossing. AS a matter of fact, in the entire length (130 km) of the Ottawa River that borders the North Bay District of the Ministry of Natural Resources there is not one public water access put in or maintained by this District or the province (There is one at the Temiskaming Dam on federal land and maintained by Temiscaming, Quebec that services the whole 50 kilometre stretch of the La Cave headpond -- and another owned and maintained by Mattawa which is the only access to the Holden headpond except within the boundaries of the Pembroke District are there at least 4. I would like to have the MNR explain this to me.
I don't know if the harassment of my and my fellow Ottawa River stakeholders this was "pay back" for my having to bring in my MPP simply to start some dialogue or what the cause of such bullying has been but it reached the point where I decided to quit the LCC because for some reason I don't feel right in attacking the North Bay District MNR while in it.
Now I am simply a regular very peeved Ontario Citizen and have every right to comment on the Nipissing Forests FMP's and AWS's or it's practices.
So as a starting step I am making this request because this 2015 AWS comment period is the first opportunity I have had!
So I have an issue of the Coxeys Road /Timber Creek water crossing bridge that the North Bay District Ministry of Natural Resouces illegally pulled out in 1999 without warning (paying no attention at all to the Road Access Act 1990.)
This was Despite anything and everything we told or wrote to North Bay District Office of the Ministry of Natural Resource that this road was an MTO "development" road and the road was reconstructed, built along with the public landing at the Ottawa River in mitigation for the flooding by the Otto Holden Generating head pond.
- Starting in 1885 this road and it's landing had been consistently used for public access to the Ottawa River. But the MNR consistently ignored what we said or did simply stating that this road and water crossing was nothing more than a bush road.
- starting with the bullying I received in getting a bridge permit (I had to call in my MPP Mike Harris, to start that dialog and make no doubt about it they made me pay for that!
- followed by the frustrated attempts at trying to hand off responsibility for the bridge (along with permission to rehabilitate the deck in 2009 to another property holder on the river that was completely and not very nicely thwarted by this office
- and then there was their final pulling of the bridge (once again ignoring the Road Access Act 1990)
- followed by attempts to get me to pay for that mess.
I have a theory that had I voluntarily paid for it they would then have me clean it up or, do it, and then charge for having it cleaned it up, i.e. I was being set up once again!
- After many emails back and forth I finally told them to take legal action to get me to pay simply because I did not trust them and I told them why.
- I futher suggest that I would have pay if the courts had ordered me too but I would have had a chance to demonstrate that this was and is a highway, access road and common road and even the almighty MNR had to abide by the law.
- They took that away from me and I have been ignored and seething ever since leaving a really bad taste in my mouth towards the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that has continued to build.
Once again I am going to challenge that! because last Oct 23, 2014 I drove to Coxeys Road because I had been told there was heavy equipment on that road. There wasn't but on the next road a kilometre east of there a refurbishment of a lumber road (put in by the Lands and Forests circa 1885) was re-opened under the 2014 AWS!
Click for PDF
We went another .5 km east of that reopened road to a stretch of old bypassed 533 road marked on the above map as;
is an old section of S.H. 533 (bypassed circa 1985.) Lately it is used to gain access to the Twin Ponds, which I have visited many times, but this time we drove to the end of the pavement and then wandered about 20 metres to the right (east) and there was the old overgrown mtcr(Mattawa Temiscamingue Colonization Road) which on looking further back did merge with this old stretch of 533!
is overgrown but very easy to follow this road determined that there were no branches off of it. This was was a stretch of the Mattawa-Temiscaminque Colonization Road.
we next drove to the 2014 rejuvenated lumber road turning onto the first road going to the north a continuation of mtcr02 This had been kept open by ATV traffic and we were able to drive my Tracker SUV all the way to the junction with Coxeys Road that was less than 50 metres from the bridge site of Coxeys Road/Timber Creek. There were no discernible junctions on this stretch of road and so no doubt that it was a stretch of the Mattawa-Temiscaminque Colonization Road.
Coxeys Road/Timber Creek water crossing site is actually on the old Mattawa Temiscaminque Colonization Road.
Quite simply the assertion that the North Bay District Office of the Ministry took that this was simply a "bush road" is wrong! So blocking this road in 1999 and again in 2009 was in violation of the Road Access Act!
After they threatened me with court action regarding payment of the removal of the second bridge in November 2009 I did a lot of research and came up with descriptions and expenditures of this colonization road under the Commissioner of Crown Lands section of the Ontario Sessional Papers 1863 to 1910. On top of that I have gathered over a dozen plans mostly Ontario and Federal government that proves the location and the status of this road. I can provide all of that on request.
There is more because under the Forneau - Lavase Water Power Lease No. 25 of 1948 the HEPC had to mitigate the drowning of a public landing at the foot of Seven Leaque Lake and reconstruct a new public landing about 1.7 kilometres downstream from that area.
It started with a (new when my Dad first bought the property in the mid 1960s) very sturdy bridge of 16"x16" Fir Timbers over Timber Creek (probably because they needed to bring in heavy equipment to do this and clear the trees from the headpond.
For a little stretch they improved the side hill roadway of the old roadway considerably. (This was also fresh back in the mid 1960s)
HEPC Rd 1950
And constructed over new alignment a new road that went right down to the Ottawa River where they constructed a boat launch ramp, dock and parking lot now known as Coxeys Landing. (all of this was fresh back in the mid 1960's according to pictures that we have taken.)
Coxeys Road and Landing was meant to mitigate the drowning of the old public landing.
In the preparation of the 2009 to 2019 FMP I queried assigning the status of primary road to the Crocan Lake Road suggesting that in my professional opinion Coxeys Road made a whole lot more sense.
I did the same at the 2014 phase 2 public presentations but I did not put this in writing.
That was stupid on my part but I felt that because I was an LCC member at that time and my submission in writing didn't seem right to me at the time.
I am no longer an LCC member just a citizen and
I am formally challenging the status of primary road on Crocan Lake Road now in this AWS 2015 review!
After working for the MTO's Planning and Design for 35 years and having been certified by the OAECTT I can call on my road engineering skills for the following reasons for objecting to this:
from just south of Crocan Lake the old Mattawa Temiskaming Colonization Road drops over 100 metres in less that 2 kilometres (an extremely steep gradient for any vehicle particularly for a tractor trailer loaded with logs!)
there are a number major rock humps and creek areas that will have to dealt with or blown out to use tractor trailers on that stretch. This will destroy the the look and feel of the nastawagan/bonkonah/colonization road.
the crossing at Timber Creek doesn't allow much room for a "run-a-way" truck and the options are terrible.
the lower section of this road was put in but aborted in an attempt to run 533 to the north of Timber lake back in 1952 (I have DHO location plan 533LocPlan-F03719.tif that shows various trial lines if required.)
This resulted in the junction of this current road and 533 at an angle of less than 20 degrees which I doubt would be accepted by the MTO (this was contested by the MTO when the mining contractor opened that road and it's bridge up.) This makes it completely impossible for a driver with a load going south to look north west up the road and see approaching vehicles and the inability to turn a tractor trailer in that direction from either lane is also close to impossible unless a major amount of remediation work would be required (read very expensive.)
- That junction is extremely dangerous!
Over the last twenty years particularly in phase 1 of the current FMP all of the extracted material was taken out via the Sparks Lake road simply because the Crocan Lake road is so snotty.
- >The last block of operation was within 0.4 kilometres of the end of Crocan Lake Road.
- From my reading of the fmp manuals I understand that road loops particularly from Hwy to Hwy are frowned on in SFL documentation.
Designation of Coxeys Road as a primary road makes a lot more sense because it covers a much greater area for operations and tending than the Crocan Lake Road corridor. Having 2 major water crossing structures within 2 kilometres of the same water course doesn't make much sense.
Click for a PDF
Besides that the area to be accessed between the river has been on the operation plan plan of the FMP for over twenty years which is an extremely long time for a White Pine Shelterwood to remain untended. It is my conclusion that the Tembec is only interested in taking free maple pulpwood which they haul tree length and then extract the lumber portion from them behind the Tembec Mill site - the rest they chip for pultp but it seems like one of their primary commericial products is ethanol and they get more sugars from that wood than any other. A trip last summer showed a real shortage of maple in that area -- I can't believe that this company has any interest in anything else but maple because they simply don't have any milling capability anywhere near or on the Nipissing Forests. When I went to buy stringers for the bridge we built in 2000 there were lots of them but I could not get permission to ship round wood from Quebec to Ontario - I still get peeved about that every time I follow a logging truck up to Temiskaming on my way to the cottage which is now over 25 kilometres by water forced on me by the illegal actions of the North Bay District Office of the Ministry of Natural Resources -- this wasn't possible until 1999 when the Temiskwa Waterway was put removing the booms, other debris and building the launching ramps on Federal Land. To me, when Tembec closed down the Mattawa nukk they gave up much of their rights to wood (particularly free pulp wood) from the Nipissing Forest. When I first signed on the LCC as an alternate to Ted Price the He and PW shelterwood was on the operation plans. Why is that? The fact that they control so much wood is detrimental to Ontario citizens, their economy and their future!
Much more country side and forests can be accessed by making Coxeys Road (instead of Crocan Lake Road) a primary road.
Along with that a permanent bridge to Coxeys landing will be very welcome to a great many Ontario Citizens.
I have been setting up to charge the OMNRF with transgression of the Road Access Act by blocking access (pulling the Coxeys Road Bridge in 2009 and again in 2019) with total disregard to the Road Access Act.
Personally I would rather not do that but if this doesn't work I will keep trying! If I can't then I expect that the other stakeholders will!
So I REALLY DON'T what is actually contained in the 2015 AWS AND THAT IS NOT MY FAULT.
I am going to make the following additional comments:
- If there is a call of a permanent bridge on the Crocan Lake Road as there once was then I am completely against that for the reasons expressed above.
- It there is a temporary bridge slated to be installed on Coxeys Road then I am against that because that will destroy the fording capability of Timber Creek and if you finally try to take that temporary bridge out I or one or more of the other stakeholders will see that you are charged under the Road Access Act 1990!
Thanking you, in advance, for your kind attention, I am
121 Timmins Street
North Bay, Ontario