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Where do we go from here?

While it may seem that “Time is our Enemy”, hopefully it will prove equally true that “Persistence Pays”. Now, more than ever, irreplaceable ecosystems such as Algonquin’s need advocates to protect them into the future. It seems inevitable that Ontario’s human population will continue to grow at a significant rate. This will place greater pressure on Algonquin Park managers to develop more facilities to handle increased Park usage. If this occurs, there is a real risk that Algonquin Park will move steadily further away from a sustainable “natural environment” ecosystem, causing irreversible changes to the resident flora and fauna. In some ways Algonquin Park has become an experiment, to determine whether or not humans can realistically co-exist with natural ecosystems in perpetuity.

Algonquin Park has a worldwide reputation as a place of peaceful solitude. Visitors come here to relax from the cares of everyday life and don’t want to be faced with a whole new set of issues. Members, partners and contributors to Algonquin Eco Watch however, realize that to protect something precious requires constant vigilance and acknowledgement of possible problems. We salute these people for their deeper understanding and hope that they may derive even greater pleasure from Algonquin, through acknowledgement of the problems and actively helping to resolve them. With the continued support of you and your friends, together we will work toward a naturally sustainable Algonquin Ecosystem.

Ongoing Challenges 

There is presently no legislation in Ontario allowing de-registration of mining claims based solely on environmental considerations. However, we will continue to strive to protect the headwaters of the Tim River from the proposed expansion of the Kearney Graphite Mine and the potential for deleterious substances degrading that river.

We remain optimistic that we will be able to further communications with the Canadian National Railway Company,. Algonquin Eco Watch continues to be concerned however, regarding the remaining infrastructure, such as deteriorating trestles, and culverts that will washout resulting in the destruction of beaver colonies, as occurred at Mink Lake in 2004. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) decided not to lay charges in that instance, since enforcement staff felt that repairs to the roadbed and adjacent lake bottom at that location by a CNR contractor negated the need to do so. Unfortunately, DFO cannot lay charges or force preventative action relating to the destruction of fish habitat until an infraction occurs. However, Algonquin Eco Watch will continue to monitor this situation and press CN to fulfill its ecological responsibilities.

 VALE INCO continues to show significant annual profits, while emitting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sulphur dioxide into Ontario skies. While emissions are being gradually reduced, who can say that plant and aquatic life in receiving areas such as the Algonquin Ecosystem will ever fully recover from the damage already inflicted? Algonquin Eco Watch will continue to monitor and advocate better and faster reduction of noxious wastes being emitted through VALE INCO’s “Super Stack”.