Ministry clearcutting along Babinski Road annoys MV Council

At its Council in Committee meeting on June 4 Council discussed correspondence forwarded by John Yakabuski Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. Yakabuski had sent Mayor Kim Love a letter from Steve Clark Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing citing a Municipal Act 2001 requirement that all municipalities adopt a policy by March 1 2019 on how they will “protect and enhance the tree canopy and natural vegetation in the municipality.” The letter went on to say MMAH will leave it to municipalities “to determine how to implement these requirements locally.” It offered information and contacts to “further explore inter-ministry linkages and how the municipal policy supports the Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan.”

Mayor Love and several members of Council took this opportunity to express their shock and dismay at the recent MNRF-approved clearcut on Crown land along Babinski Road leading to the Little Bark Bay development. Pictured above is a section of Babinski Road between Siberia Road and Little Bark Bay Drive.

Council directed staff to write to Yakabuski inviting him to a site visit. After discussion, CAO Sue Klatt summarized the direction to send a letter that will state:

  • the Township has not yet adopted a policy to protect and enhance the tree canopy and natural vegetation in the municipality
  • included are photos showing what MNRF has cut without notification to the municipality or seeking verification of the process
  • while the Ministry’s letter suggests that MV adopt best practices from other municipalities, MV now seeks MNRF’s clarification on what it deems to be best practice as it pertains to leaving any buffer zones or demonstrating forest management
  • the attached photos demonstrate neither forest management, notification to the municipal body nor respect for the road allowance, or support of municipal goals for economic development.
  • this road leads to a new development in our community and that the actions of MNRF may have a strong impact on sales in that development
  • MV seeks clarification as to how a municipal by-law could have prevented this from happening given that MNRF jurisdiction (provincial) would have overruled a by-law.

Council directed staff to send a copy of the letter to the Little Bark Bay developers for their information.

view-from-babinski-road

Looking southwest from Babinski Road

One Comment

  1. Frank Mallany

    I understand why the developers of Little Bark Bay are upset by this managed cut. I too was shocked by the sight enough to call the MNRF to ask why the area was clearcut. Turns out the best option for renewal of that parcel of crown land was to clearcut. The Bancroft Minden Forestry Company, who manages the harvest on crown land in our area, provides a wealth of information on their website for anyone interested. As for the concerns from Council regarding prior notification here is a quote from BMFC’s website.
    “It’s not unusual for our operations to be adjacent to private land. We want to ensure that this boundary is respected. We (or a contractor acting for us) will send a package of information to the adjacent landowner describing what our plans are, well in advance of any harvesting activity.”
    I’m sure Council is well aware how crown land within the municipality is managed.

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