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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through November 2, 2009 * Reccommended projects < Previous Next >

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fireman
Member

Post Number: 24
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 2:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

So to those of you who have invested a lot of sweat equity in projects such as the Chiniguchi Maps.....is there some consensus as to what projects are pressing?
I would like to plan a trip which is more about making things a bit nicer or easier than just travel.
Is it something that has to be formally sanctioned by the parks folks, or is it safe to go ahead and clear out old portage trails and mark them properly??
I find the work you guys have done very inspirational and have seen enough of Temagami over the past 15 years that I do not feel any pressure to "bag new routes or lakes".
So what do you think?
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 484
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 2:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

A very good question... and, I suspect you will receive a myriad of answers...

Is it something that has to be formally sanctioned?

Ok... my answer is "Yes" or "No" and often "Both" and/or "Neither"...

Basically. my experience has been that each situation depends on its' own individual merits and/or variables... some of those variables are whether it is in a Park vs outside of a Park vs both inside/outside a Park... also, I suggest that "Track Record" is a factor... of the Individual or Organization that is proposing the work... also whether it is a Restoration or Maintenance... also, the credentials of the party(s)... also, the Intent of the Project... the impact on (a myriad of often opposing) Forest User/Interest Groups... etc, and etc, and etc...

Also depends a great deal on the individual and his own comfort zone... some like to be ultra cautious, and others are more comfortable making their own decisions regarding defining what is "brushing" vs what is "creating".

If you want the absolute... have everything officially sanctioned.

And, honestly, time changes everything... just as the Forest itself is a dynamic, so are the people using it... their standards, practices, and viewpoints. I know of one highly recognizeable personality in our own Interest Group who (in younger years) threatened legal action against the OMNR JR's for brushing a Nastawgan, and now (in advanced age) is somewhat handcuffed by his original stance. People evolve... but, so do the forces that cause the evolution.

Its a very hard question to answer 'absolutely'... and, because it is so difficult, please do not consider my thoughts here "as an absolute" either. Thanks

I'm curious to hear "other opinions" or thoughts.

Regards

Sundown

(Edit for spelling)

(Message edited by sundown on September 3, 2009)
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curly
Member

Post Number: 178
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 3:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Regular maintenance does not require permission from anyone, in a park or outside. Though I have heard parks people say that moving a small log off of a portage trail requires a permit. To that, I say "kiss off."

Some of us have a more liberal interpretation of what regular maintenance entails than the park people.

One hint, do not use chainsaws in the park. Outside the parks, have at her.

Or was your question more of a "where should I go"?
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kim
Member

Post Number: 244
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 3:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

fireman

http://www.friendsoftemagami.org/index.php/home
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 202
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 4:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Kim.

email@friendsoftemagami.org

There are some pressing issues where efforts can be focused.


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fireman
Member

Post Number: 25
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I gotta' say, you folks put a lot of thought into your responses. Nice change from other forums.
I was thinking along the lines of clearing old portage trails, improving campsites with the odd log bench and demarcating a tent site....nothing radical and more than likely, non-gasoline powered. My friends are so inclined, as well.
It is a discussion unto itself as to which authorities we defer to.
I live under the auspices of the Niagara Escarpment Committee, which has strange and mystifying powers...in some things. My inclination is to trust to my own instincts as to what is detrimental and what is not.
I have read journals of trekkers who bring their own faeces out with them, having dried it in the sun first...Well, that is not me.
Currently in Killarney, they request that you do not use fires for cooking and if using them for anything else, they impose rather severe restrictions. I'm not managing a park so I do not know what all the issues are, but I am not sure reliance on pretoleum based fuels is less harmful than burning deadfall. I think these issues can be over-thought.
But anyway....can I safely assume that re-marking portages where they are unmarked is a safe habit that does not require park permission?
Or moving sharp rocks out of the way at take-outs and put-ins.
More than that, I will defer to the proper authorities. Unless we find a nice site for a condo developement.
I'm working in downtown Toronto on a fire truck that is being dispatched every hour in response to human stupidity (most times) and I am beside myself with the need to get away from the swarming masses of people here and into the woods, so thanks for indulging these posts. Happy September to all.
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dergon_darkhelm
Member

Post Number: 20
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Just an FYI ...I know your intentions are definately good, but there is a subset of campers ( a subset to which I belong)that do not consider "improving" a camp site with a log bench as helping. Just a log...I s;pose that's no big deal. Fashioning a fireside chair? No thanks.

I personally tend to favor the dissembling of camp furniture. ;)

Marking trailheads? Please do!

and thanks for your efforts :-) ..hope I don't come off to crotchity



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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 682
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Curly wrote: " One hint, do not use chainsaws in the park."
If you encounter a massive blowdown on a portage in a Park... What are you going to do.....turn around and go back the way you came or cut through it and re-open the portage?
This problem doesn't arise too often in Temagami , but in some parts of the Province it happens frequently and turning around and going back is not always an option.
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 485
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I use a chainsaw inside/outside Parks... John Salo didnt authorise (as I didnt ask) but he was aware I was using one...

Not sure if I worded that properly... what i mean to imply is it was a non-issue... and, has never been an issue in my experience.

Sundown
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hillbilly
Member

Post Number: 429
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The MNR will not say use a chainsaw and if asked will say do not. If they say you can then they put themselves liable if you hurt yourself.

Bill
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 486
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I Tend To Forget to Ask Any Question I Don't Like the Potential Answer Too... Provided That I Am Confident of Being Forgiven for Having Forgotten to Ask???

(Like Curly, I Suspect... We Must Be the Same Age, Or Sumpthin...)



Sundown

PS OMNR also aware I carry a chainsaw
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kim
Member

Post Number: 245
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 6:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

fireman

Come on up?
http://www.friendsoftemagami.org/index.php/in-the- news/general-news/13-in-the-news/53-changing-seaso ns
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 683
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 7:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Dergon wrote: "Marking trailheads? Please do!"
It gets to be a problem when some of us mark a difficult to see portage entrance only to have someone else come along who thinks that nothing should be marked and that if you can't find the portage you shouldn't be canoeing in Temagami.I suspect these same people are the ones responsible for removing the portage and campsite signs that Ontario Parks keep having to replace.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 26
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 8:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Kim, that is the day we are in Chinguchi but thanks for the invite. I've met Alex a couple of times and seen the gathering from a distance. One of our party was one of the guys arrested at Red Squirrel Road way back when.
I plan to get more involved. My hope is to get the outdoor education program I am involved with up to Temagami and I think rather than a straightforward trip, a work/journey would be more appropriate to the spirit of the program.
We already do trailwork on the Bruce Trail in the Beaver Valley Area with the students, so it is already part of the culture.
Sounds like everyone is around the same page on the issue above, which is re-assuring.
Have any of you met Craig MacDonald from the MNR?
He makes traditional trapper tents and such but he worked on the map of Temagami with the original First Nations' place names and winter routes. I imagine you have seen the map I am talking about....I am surprised he is not part of FoT. Fascinating guy. As are you all.
Anyway, nothing is more enjoyable than something resembling a bench or a chair after a long day.
Agree to disagree on that one.
Someone made a stone couch on a campsite on the southern part of Lady Evelyn Lake, a few klicks up from the pullover to Diamond. It was a work of art and almost comfortable.
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sundown
Member

Post Number: 487
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 9:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Craig has IMO given his Life's Love/Passion to the Nastawgan... no one can take that away from him...

Fireman... I myself am ex-OMNR... a Northern Region Exec at 25, responsible for my domain over 1/4 or so of Ontario's Land Surface. I Loved It... woke, ate (sometimes), lived, breathed, and choked smoke OMNR and L+F, like some others here... Sid Bredin for example, who held (and excelled at what I consider the most deadly non-combat job a Canadian could hold).

Craig is OMNR... or, perhaps now (?) was OMNR... and, I know he had to 'split-himself-in-two' to both follow his Passion, and concurrently 'toe-their-line'... I KNOW how stressful that can be.

I'm of the opinion (my own) that Craig MacDonald HAD to be as Courageous as Sid Bredin day-to-day.

Sid (or I) could crash any day... could kiss our Lady goodbye in the morning, and not ever know if we'd ever get a chance to do it again. We chose (smartly, I attest) our odds. Craig, though, did what he did. IMO, with a far higher potential of Crash-and-Burn.

I salute him

Sundown
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 27
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 10:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well, I am not quite sure what it is that Craig did, or did not get to do. I met him recently through winter camping in Algonquin as he supplies our group with gear and is our advisor for all things wintry.
Ironically, it was Craig who reccommended to the teachers of our group NOT to canoe Temagami in late September/early October, giving cold weather as his rational.
He is a fascinating guy to talk to. He is simply who he is. It is a bit intimidating to talk to the guy given his experience.
The strangest part of meeting him was that his daughter was/is doing post-doctoral work in Jerusalem and I was over there and took her and her husband hiking to a monastery in the desert...never having met her and having met Craig only twice, briefly.
As to his conflict of passion and profession, I am ignorant although I can imagine. I work for a large corporation as a civil servant and it cannot be much different.
He is retired from the MNR but maintains the trails in Algonquin for dogsledding, working alongside OutwardBound.
His workshop is a magical place to visit. Nothing is ever discussed less than completely.
He does not suffer fools gladly so I learned to keep my questions few and well thougth out.
I take it you guys were forest firefighters. A lot of our firefighters here worked with the MNR as firefighters but could never get hired permanently. Different type of work altogether. I take my hat off to all of you.
Most of our work downtown is EMS. We have fires, but there all nicely contained in concrete ovens called apartments. At least where I work at Yonge and College.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 58
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, September 4, 2009 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

From my personal experience in Temagami, Algonquin and other parks, anything you can do to keep a portage trail clean is helping out other campers after you. A couple of years back a group I was with (6 of us) were doing a long portage that had at least 20-30 big blowdowns across it. At one point, instead of having to stop and get help to move canoes/bags/etc across them, or hack our way through the brush around them, we broke out our trusty saw and cut the logs that we could. There were some that we had to leave as they were "danger" trees under great stress, and it could have been harmful to us to try and move them. In this case there was no turning back and no other options for our route. It had to be done.

The next day we saw a group of rangers going in to remedy the portage, so we informed them of what we had done. Their only response was a "thank you".

When it comes to the restoration of Nastagwan routes, I am all for it. With respect to the development of new portages to otherwise secluded lakes, I am more torn on the subject, but right now I'm leaning towards "live and let live".

My two cents.
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doc
Member

Post Number: 21
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, September 4, 2009 - 11:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Fireman:

I have never met Craig Macdonald in person, but would like to. His work has been an inspiration for FoT. His map is also available on Ottertooth if you havenít found it already: http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/nastawgan/ nastaw-index.htm

I am nowhere near the expert compared to some folks around here, but it seems to me you could find a satisfying project that dovetails with FoTís own ongoing map project. Check it out: http://www.friendsoftemagami.org/index.php/back

Paul
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barbara
Member

Post Number: 45
Registered: 06-2004


Posted on Friday, September 4, 2009 - 6:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Another link. (Scroll down to see the link to the Legion mag story about Mr MacDonald.)

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/nastawgan/ intro-nastaw.htm


Barbara
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 28
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Friday, September 4, 2009 - 7:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Barbara, I read the article. Quite something, thanks for the link. It's interesting that I bumped into this guy and then into this forum. All centred around a love of Temagami. That is why I am so passionate about getting the students up there.
Thanks to all for sharing. Craig is quite the human being and it is an honour to sit in his kitchen and eat a bowl of soup and listen to a few stories.
His daughter is a lot like her Dad. Smart as a whip and curious to boot.
We hiked down an ancient river bed, led by a local Bedouin descended from nomads who inhabited that area for thousands of years. Nice resonance. The thousand year-old monastery (St. George's) seemed modern in comparison to the terrain. Not much opportunity to paddle, though....Until the next big flood in that area comes along.
Shabbat Shalom to all.

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