The great outdoors is the very reason that we live in Northwestern Ontario. It is our lifeblood.
Is it not frightening to think that the enriching experiences of its scenic wonders, its recreational opportunities, its spiritual uplifting, and its inherent host of other benefits would be lost if our right of access to the great outdoors is either curtailed or denied?
Such a tragic loss is totally unacceptable.
Sadly, however, it seems too few residents living in the Boreal West Region fully understand or realize the full extent of the existing restrictions on their treasured Crown land experiences. As well, the number of these restrictions is expanding.
Hunting, fishing, camping, four-wheeling, and snowmachining are among the major outdoor activities in the lives of many here in the north. When any one of these activities is personally threatened by restrictive access measures, sadly only a limited number of citizens have come forward to challenge them.
Many more residents of Northwestern Ontario must react and attempt to have their traditional access restored.
If the above experiences and other legal activities on Crown land are to continue, we must be proactive and vigilant. We need to mount a strong and documented challenge to overturn such measures.
Whether it is the government of the day, tourism, the Ministry of Natural Resources, forest industries or, for that matter, any group asking for unreasonable closures on the public’s Crown land, we must react and protect our right of access to these lands.
Get involved, for already many forces/restrictions have seriously curtailed resident access. Find out about how resource stewardship agreements, MTO access road removals, the fire simulation guidelines, Bill 101, new park initiatives, the caribou recovery project, signature sites, conservation areas, resource-based tourism, Department of Fisheries water crossing removals, and 21-day camping restrictions have or will be negatively impacting on you.
Phone the Ministry of Natural Resources today and find out about the 12 processes listed above. Get out to Forest Management Plans in your district and ask about road closures or restricted access areas.
If you’re unhappy about losing access, write to your local paper. Better yet, get a couple of your friends together and write a joint letter. Talk to the radio station about it. You Internet users, turn up the heat and put your concerns on the ’Net. Get busy, get active, or lose out.
We already have lost a considerable portion of our Crown land access and are in grave danger of losing more.
To those of you who have attempted to stop this loss of access, our deepest heart-felt thanks. To you others who have not yet got involved, do it today before it is too late. Please add your voice and support to this noble pursuit.
Do it or lose it. Get involved now!