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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through May 22, 2014 * Sturgeon crossing at Josephine creek < Previous Next >

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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 67
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 9:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Attempted a rumoured back route to Yorston Lake. The roads are there but would require a few days to clear to get the truck through. Here is what the Sturgeon River crossing looks like at Josephine creek.
http://youtu.be/t5FRqHLoSGU
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 27
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 8:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Nice !!
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curly
Member

Post Number: 446
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 8:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Josephine Creek is inside the Sturgeon River Provincial Park and crossing there in this manner is unauthorized. The idiots who are doing this are giving canoeists a bad name with their irresponsible and illegal behaviour. They certainly don't represent the majority. I hope that the owner of this youtube channel, Pierre Therrien, does not own a black GMC pickup truck. If he does, he's fortunate that his license plate is blurry in the video, because I suspect the folks at Ontario Parks will be very interested in this video, and others like it posted on his channel.
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canoehead
Member

Post Number: 29
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 10:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Oh !! Can you drive to that point though and canoe across !
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 307
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, September 2, 2013 - 1:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

many of the people now using, and as in the video abusing, the backcountry (or what could be called that 20+ years ago), JUST DON'T GET IT.
proliferating road accesses are a big part of the problem, as they are giving people casual access to areas they would (frankly) never go to if they had to canoe and portage a week or more to get there.
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 69
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Monday, September 2, 2013 - 5:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Sorry guys, what are the rules here? Where can I find the rules about backcountry driving?
PT
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 308
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Monday, September 2, 2013 - 8:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i'm pretty sure that if the river is a park you're not allowed to drive a truck in the river.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 309
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 12:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

and i'd like to add another obvious fact- "backcountry driving" is a contradiction in terms, since the second you can drive to a place it clearly isn't backcountry any more.
this is assuming the word has some meaning and has not yet been devalued to a meaningless slogan...
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1585
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 8:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Sumptuous water downstream: greasy start on the tongue with some exhaust undertone and a Rust Check finish.
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 70
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 9:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There have been plenty of posts in this forum about people crossing the Sturgeon River to get up to Hamlow lake. I have taken a week to get to that point only to have a truck cross in front of me. I made that clear in these forums when it happened. No one spoke up about that!
It's clear that the loggers are crossing at that point daily...in the river!
ATV's are using the Josephine creek crossing. I have seen it all.
When in Rome......
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curly
Member

Post Number: 447
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 1:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Crown land use policies in Ontario are outlined in the Crown Land Use Atlas. Use the map browser or search for Sturgeon River Provincial Park.

http://www.crownlanduseatlast.mnr.gov.on.ca

There are two approved access points in the SRPP. I've copied the relevant section of the Temagami Area Parks Plan at the bottom. You can read that on the CLUPA as well. You mention crossing the Sturgeon to get to Hamlow Lake. This is an approved access zone. Motorized vehicles are allowed to cross there. That is why no one spoke up about it.

Just because someone else is doing something illegal and getting away with it is no reason to do it yourself. Anyone encountering natural resource violations like this should report it to the MNR at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

From the Park Plan:

A7 Upper Sturgeon River Access Zone (Map 3, Map 4) 25 hectares

Zone Description: this area includes a small portion of the Portelance Road, a forest access
road which crosses the river by a moderately shallow ford over boulders. This zone provides
access to the Sturgeon River as well as Crown land to the north and east of the park. It also
provides indirect access to the Scarecrow Lake area in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial
Park as well as Solace Provincial Park. In winter, a snowmobile trail (part of the trail through LESPP)
crosses the river approximately 500 metres downstream of the ford in an area of fast ice.

Management Intent: to serve as a staging area for park visitors travelling downstream on the
Sturgeon River. Also, to provide access to the upper section of Sturgeon River Provincial Park
as well as adjacent Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, North Yorston Conservation
Reserve and other Crown lands north and east of the river.

Zone-Specific Management Direction:
&#1048696; a small staging area/parking lot may be developed on the west bank of the river
&#1048696; no maintenance of the existing Portelance Road on either side of the river will be carried
out by Ontario Parks
&#1048696; motor vehicles, snowmobiles and ATVs are permitted to use the existing water crossing
and roadway
&#1048696; hunting is prohibited

A8 Lower Goose Falls Access Zone (Map 4) 12 hectares

Zone Description: the zone includes the current site of the forest access bridge crossing the
Sturgeon River 2.5 kilometers below the confluence of the Obabika and Sturgeon rivers. Lower
Goose Falls are located immediately downstream of the bridge. Informal parking areas currently
exist on both sides of the river. Walk-in access to water’s edge is situated at the southwest
portion of the zone, immediately below the falls.
An active logging road with varying degrees of use crosses the river at this site. There are
safety considerations with a steep hill and sharp bend in the road to the west of the river inside
the park boundary.

Management Intent: to provide a safe and environmentally sound access site to the lower
Sturgeon River. To enable the continued use of this crossing by forestry operations as required.

Zone-Specific Management Direction:
&#1048696; motor vehicle travel through the park is permitted on the existing road to enable
crossing the park or to access the Sturgeon River
&#1048696; ATV and snowmobile travel is permitted on the existing roadway; off-road travel by
snowmobiles and ATVs is prohibited
&#1048696; a small parking and staging area may be developed
&#1048696; no maintenance of the existing forest access road will be carried out by Ontario Parks
&#1048696; hunting is prohibited
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 310
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 11:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

hey curly, thanks for the info. i was wondering though, the park plan description of A7 (portelance rd across the sturgeon) speaks of a "moderately shallow ford over boulders". i thought i heard somewhere on the forum that the bridge had been rebuilt?
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 42
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 6:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

A bridge is there, it is also gated and the gate locked (was a month ago). Since it is an allowed crossing point, the gate doesn't make much sense to me unless the bridge is unsafe.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 311
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Friday, September 6, 2013 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

it really is bizarre, actually, if that is the case. i guess the lumber company, with the permission of the mnr obviously, doesn't want the riffraff using their bridge! even though it's on public (park) land, at a place where the parks administration has allowed a public crossing point; so the public can try to drive through the river on a wing and a prayer...
sounds like parks needs to talk to mnr...
how long before someone miscalculates when the ford is less "moderately shallow" and we get trucks spending days or weeks in the sturgeon and salvageable only by helicopter after the driver walks all the way back to capreol? or how about you make it across west-east and then it rains 3" overnight..? nice place to get stuck, even if you have a sattelite phone i don't think the CAA will do the gervais road!
course if it was up to me i'd shut down all those roads both for forestry and the public, i'm not sure which is worse in the long run.
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 71
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 9:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I don't think anyone need worry about people getting stuck in the Sturgeon. Would not need a helicopter. Just winch them out. Winching would be fun and would attract all kinds of assistance, probably start a small party. I have seen a truck cross there with the river at 5m (measured at Upper Goose) with no problem. I have talked to locals with LUP's back in there and they have gotten stuck before in the river in a 2 wheel drive passenger car! Other times the passenger car just goes through. Gotta have a winch around though.

PT
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 72
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 10:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I too was of the opinion that the Sturgeon river is a wilderness but after seeing what goes on there over the past few years, my opinion has changed. I travelled by bicycle from Lower Goose through the Chiniguchi area on logging roads and all the way up to the top of the Sturgeon. I met a lot of people back there and talked with them about how the backcountry is used. A popular activity is to drive scratched up monster trucks around back there with an ATV in the back towing a fishing boat and motor. It's kind of funny people putting posts on here wondering how to start camping in the Chiniguchi when you can drive right into the heartland and just pick a lake and call it yours. Alot of the bush roads go right up to lakes on crown land. You could do some homework before you go but between google earth and a crown land map you can give yourself a number of choices.

I have read the signs leading into these areas and at a certain point, some of them say that you are now travelling at your own risk (bring a winch is how I read that) but there is nothing to tell you that you are crossing a provincial park boundary back there. You might just be lost and trying to find your way home and cross the Sturgeon. There are approximately 4 places where logging trucks used to cross the Sturgeon. Seeing an active logging site is a real treat. I agree that what should really be done is that this particular backcountry be closed to everything, logging, ATV's, trucks, and hunting. Let the wildlife return. It would appear that ship has sailed.

Of course, a status North American Native from say, Sarnia can drive his new black GMC where ever he so pleases, can he not?

PT
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curly
Member

Post Number: 449
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Sunday, September 8, 2013 - 7:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well Pierre, I've run out of arguments. As someone who supports First Nation rights, I will support your right to drive across the Sturgeon River at Josephine Creek. If it went to the Supreme Court though, I'd give it a 50/50 chance of coming out in your favour. Not sure what the park rangers or COs would have to say to any non-status people who might be in your group.

I'm glad we've established that (for us non-status folks) driving across the Sturgeon River anywhere but at the approved access points is not allowed.
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 73
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 - 11:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

While it seems fundamentally wrong to cross the Sturgeon River in any vehicle, how could anyone know that it is allowed at the Gervais Road and nowhere else? I don't keep a copy of the provincial park regulations in my pocket.
After viewing this, which has been around for years,

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCqxzPZMnqs

and just seems like a good time, some people might want to give it a try. Maybe it would be a good idea to post the rules for crossing the Sturgeon but....it's probably clear enough by now.
Of course Black Beauty (a black GMC) is a little nervous about venturing into the area now.
Anyway, I will simply abide the rules and you will not catch me driving in the river. At least, outside of the Gervais road.

PT

(Message edited by pierre19 on September 9, 2013)

(Message edited by pierre19 on September 9, 2013)
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curly
Member

Post Number: 450
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 2:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Pierre, I was just speaking with the MNR's Sudbury Area forester and mentioned that there may have been forestry contractors fording the Sturgeon at the Portelance bridge. He confirmed that there have been silvicultural and treeplanting contractors in that area this year and that they are required to use the bridge. He says that they all have keys to the lock on the bridge. Above you state:

"It's clear that the loggers are crossing at that point daily...in the river!"

If you have any specifics, he'd be interested in hearing about it so that he can address it with the SFL holders. I don't think that you'd need photographic evidence or license plate numbers, but if you personally saw it happen, that would be useful.
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 74
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well my evidence is entirely circumstantial. Truck goes through and then you hear a chainsaw from north of the River. No tracks over the bridge but plenty going across and through the river...lock doesnt look used....trailer parked by the river where the truck comes from...hard to even caution someone with something like that.
A better idea would be to put up a webcam like this one
http://www.locogringo.com/Upload/akumal-beach-cam. html?CFID=30113647&CFTOKEN=916eada6ee1742f2-0DBC2E 30-D9D5-7C40-8AC75F5701F8BB56
where we can all watch what is going on at the Sturgeon River on the Gervais road. I am pretty sure we could put one up without delay.
I would like to be involved with putting something like that up. We just need some funding. It would be very nice to watch what is going on there. People could pose for the camera like they do in Akumal.

PT
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curly
Member

Post Number: 451
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 2:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Response from MNR:

"It does not sound like a forestry worker. There is a timing restriction in SMA 49 so the industry can not do any harvesting between June 15 until the end of the labour day weekend."

MNR and OPP are getting into using a variety of surveillance means in the bush. OPP are using it to catch grow ops, but MNR uses it for access violations, poaching, etc. That includes cameras, thermal imaging, as well as some kind of metal detector which measures the amount of metal passing by (e.g gun vs. truck).

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