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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2019, 10:19 am 
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Location: Timmins
The 4M Circle Route is a provincially significant MNRF 'Class A' canoe route located near Gogama, Ontario. Kevin Callan wrote about the route in his guide to Ontario's Lost Canoe Routes. See Map: https://www.twinj.com/4-mcirclemap.htm

There are a number of resources-based impacts that have recently impacted the canoe route - most appear to stem from the Côté Gold Project, which will develop a mine adjacent to Three Ducks Lake. However, a more pressing issue, that has the potential to endanger would-be trippers, is an aggregate pit located in the middle of the 700 m portage south into Dividing Lake from Mesomikenda (Portage 11 on the Twin-J map).

Sometime during 2016, an aggregate pit had been permitted across the original portage trail and its buffer (from harvesting activities), in addition to encompassing surrounding land. The current trail takes users to and through an active pit. See the photos and discussion in this thread: https://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=107&t=46927&p=426009#p426009


There has been a recent push to resolve the current conflicting activities. As part of the issues resolution process, we're actively seeking documented evidence of use, pre and post pit development, be it trip reports, photos, videos or gpx files. Feel free to reach out in this post, a PM, or email me at brad @ explorethebackcountry.com (without the spaces). I have already assembled all existing myccr trip reports and have two trips reports from 1988 and 1993 Nastawgan.

Any tid-bit helps, even a "I paddled this 20 years ago, had a great time", etc...
Thanks in advance!

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Last edited by Stajanleafs on November 22nd, 2019, 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2019, 1:01 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Was the portage and the route in general already entered into MNR's system? If so, there should be enforcement issues brought into play.


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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2019, 2:59 pm 
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RHaslam wrote:
Was the portage and the route in general already entered into MNR's system? If so, there should be enforcement issues brought into play.



Yes. It was. I can't comment at this point in time as to the specifics, but the permit was approved with the portage location known and the associated maps back this up. It's not a compliance/trespass issue but rather, a permitting/approvals problem. The approved pit location covers the portage and lands ~800m (eyeballing) adjacent each side, some of which have already undergone aggregate removal activity.

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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2019, 4:01 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
If it is Crown Land and it falls within an FMP, and if the info was already recorded in the NRVIS system, then it should be a compliance issue. If the info was not in NRVIS, good luck, and if it falls under mining activity....under the mining act, they basically can do whatever they want. One last thing, if it is private land, then there is no recourse other than appealing to the better nature of the owner.

Up here, there is very little compliance on Crown Land, as the forest companies are responsible for setting the buffers and enforcing compliance, much like leaving fox in charge of the hen house.


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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2019, 5:05 pm 
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It's aggregate, so it's MNRF responsibility per the Aggregate Resources Act. I'm not sure what the site plan dictates beyond that the trail is indicated on the plan maps, ergo, compliance measures could be enforced if there was a contravention or something that permitted the contravention of the site plan and any associated terms and conditions. It's crown land, in NIRVIS and a recreational value with appropriate buffers applied within the the Spanish FMP. My understanding is that is was an internal Ministry oversight in the approvals/permitting process, though this may be incorrect and I will tread lightly here without making pointed assumptions. I believe the company is pushing to excavate in the portage corridor. I'm unaware what the site plan states with regards to the trail, though based on conversations with the aggregate specialist, there is a level of concern with regards to the current trail and user safety.

The ROW for the portage hasn't been touched per say, but there is evidence of past trespass by harvesters. The current portage trail deviates 20-30m East from the route of the historic portage trail as the right-of-way corridor (ROW) was subject to heavy blowdown. The best case options are:

1. Reroute completely; or,
2. Realign on original ROW and ensure site plan for pit preserves ROW (this would be awkward, but it would work).

It's not my portfolio, but I was roped in as I raised concern about it last year. I have had discussions with the current Aggregate Specialist who requested documented use.

I will round up some maps to better illustrate the issue at hand.

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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2019, 7:03 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Good luck, it can be a very frustrating process, and often the port will be destroyed before any concessions are won. Just for your info, standard prescription up here for ports between bodies of water is 50 meters on both sides. I'm lobbying for a 100, but will probably not get it. If the chance to re-route exists so that canoeists don't have to see the incursions.....that's often the best answer. We are in the process of doing that next summer in an area where a port has been cut and re-routed three times in the last 50 years. I hope you are successful.


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PostPosted: May 23rd, 2020, 9:44 pm 
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Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
Wow! and I had just settled on doing the route this summer end of Aug. Any updates?
Interesting :roll: https://www.gogama.ca/canoe.html

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