Campsite and Visitor Survey - 2001

Lake Temagami and Vicinity

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VISITOR SURVEY

Recommendations - B

Backcountry etiquette standards would be upheld by:

     A can and bottle ban.  

     The  prohibition of chainsaws in or around campsites.

     The continued cooperation of resident youth camps to reduce litter should be encouraged and reinforced.

     Restricting  group sizes  to  a maximum of 8 individuals per site. (Large canoe groups exceeding this number should divide the group at the end of a day among neighboring campsites).

     Forbidding the use of open fires on island campsites. Open fires  deplete  limited fuel wood causing islands to become denuded. ( A secondary benefit is that island sites would become less used by campers who prefer open fires).

     Campsites where numerous campfires have been built should be installed with  fire-rings.  Etiquette standards should restrict camp fires to fire rings when they are available.

     Encouraging the use of a large tin can in which toilet paper can be burned after privy use.

Photo: Bathroom sink left at campsite on Cross Lake

Bathroom sink left at campsite on Cross Lake.

Photo: Ian Huggett

[*Note: Reinstating management responsibilities by the MNR while desirable remains unlikely following the withdrawal of the local Temagami MNR office in the mid-1990s . Until the jurisdiction to manage campsites  is   transferred ( ex. memorandum of understanding) to the Town of Temagami or the TLA , etiquette guidelines remain discretionary and  compliance monitoring remains educational in nature. However, once an agreement is reached  with the provincial authorities on the transfer of management responsibilities, etiquette standards would become mandatory. Often a phasing- in component is desirable to accustom visitors to changes already prevalent in outdoor recreational environments throughout the province].

Reducing Crowding on Popular Canoe Routes:

     The implementation of a mandatory backcountry camping fee collected at major access points should reduce the large numbers of  commercial  youth camps currently  entering Temagami from southern Ontario. The majority of these organizations including Scouts Canada, YMCA, and Youth at Risk organizations often choose Temagami as a tripping destination to avoid the entrance fees  collected at  operating provincial parks in Ontario. (Camping fees are now $8.00/night.  in Algonquin Park). 

     A permit system charging a nominal fee ( $3-5.00)  will allow a visitor's trip inventory to be recorded. Should it become apparent that certain routes are becoming saturated, an advisory can be posted outside the permit office identifying high use areas. This will allow incoming groups the option of avoiding these routes and selecting  an alternative itinerary. This method of reducing congestion has already proven extremely successful in other jurisdictions ( Studies in Outdoor Recreation, R.E. Manning  1986).

     Temagami youth camps, and outfitters would pay a set annual contribution ( ex. $200-600) towards managing the region's campsites. While the visitor survey reveals a willingness to implement a user pay system, implementing a quota system did not receive equal support. The informational strategy described above  is likely to make  imposed user limits unnecessary.

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