This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.
Why consultation isn't required
The Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 does not require this notice to be placed on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
We are voluntarily posting this notice for information purposes to advise interested parties of the formal public consultation opportunities for this proposal in accordance with the requirements of the Forest Management Planning Manual.
To participate in that consultation process, the public is invited to submit comments to the contact person identified in this notice.
Our Ministry, along with Resolute FP Canada Inc., and the Black Spruce Forest Local Citizens Committee (LCC), invite you to review and comment on the proposed Long-Term Management Direction for the 2021-2031 Forest Management Plan (FMP) for the Black Spruce Forest.
The planning process
The plan takes approximately three years to complete. During this time, five formal opportunities for public consultation and First Nation and Métis community involvement and consultation are provided:
- Stage One – Invitation to Participate: October 17, 2018.
This Stage Two notice is:
- to invite you to review and comment on:
- the proposed long-term management direction for the forest
- the areas which could reasonably be harvested, and the preferred areas for harvest operations, during the 10-year period of the plan
- the analysis of alternative one kilometer wide corridors for each new primary road which is required for the next 20 years
- to request your contribution to background information to be used in planning
How to get involved
To facilitate your review, a summary of the proposed long-term management direction for the forest can be obtained on the Ontario government website Find A Forest Plan. A summary map(s) of the preferred and optional harvest areas for the 10-year period of the plan and alternative corridors for each new primary road which is required for the next 20 years will also be available.
In addition to the most current versions of the information and maps which were available at Stage One of public consultation, the following information and maps will be available:
- summary of public comments and submissions received to date and any responses to those comments and submissions
- a summary report of the results of the desired forest and benefits meeting
- environmental analysis, including use management strategies of the alternative corridors for each new primary road
- maps that portray past and approved areas of harvest operations for the current forest management plan and the previous 10 years
- criteria used for the identification of areas that could reasonably be harvested during the 10-year period of the plan
- the rationale for the preferred areas for harvest
- summary report of the activities of the local citizen’s committee to date
The above information is available at the Company and MNRF office identified below by appointment during normal office hours for a period of 30 days: January 10, 2020 - February 10, 2020.
Comments on the proposed long-term management direction for the Black Spruce Forest must be received by Bertha Strickland of the planning team at the MNRF Thunder Bay District Office at (807) 475-1147 by February 10, 2020.
Meetings with representatives of the planning team and the LCC can be requested at any time during the planning process. Reasonable opportunities to meet planning team members during non-business hours will be provided upon request. If you require more information or wish to discuss your interests and concerns with a planning team member, please contact one of the individuals listed below.
During the planning process there is an opportunity to make a written request to seek resolution of issues with the MNRF District Manager or the Regional Director using a process described in the 2017 Forest Management Planning Manual (Part A, Section 2.4.1).
About the forest
The Black Spruce Forest is located in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Northwest Region; predominantly within the ministry’s Thunder Bay District and partially within the Nipigon and Dryden Districts. For forest management purposes, the Ministry has issued a sustainable forest licence to Resolute FP Canada Incorporated. Under the licence, the corporation is responsible for, among other things, the preparation of a forest management plan in accordance with the provisions of the Forest Management Plan Manual.
The Black Spruce Forest lies north of the TransCanada Highway, and extends north to the southern boundary of the Lake Nipigon Forest. It borders on the northwest with the English River Forest, on the southwest with the Dog River-Matawin Forest, on the south with the Lakehead Forest, and on the east with Lake Nipigon and the Lake Nipigon Forest.
The Black Spruce Forest has a total area of 1,370,189 hectares, of which 1,026,492 hectares are classified as forested. In addition to the various provincial parks, provincial nature reserves and conservation reserves within and adjacent to the forest, there are a number of enhanced management areas. These enhanced management areas are provincially designated and are in place to provide enhanced protection for recreational, environmental and wildlife values while still allowing forest management activities.
The forest is composed of species that have evolved as a result of natural disturbances; however, landscape patterns have been influenced by a history of fire suppression and timber harvest. While the more northern portions of the forest are typical of forests in the Boreal Forest Region which have evolved following severe wildfires (large stands of trees which are similar in age), the conditions of many stands in the more southern portions of the forest have been altered through repeated partial harvest. Common tree species include black spruce, jack pine, balsam fir, trembling aspen and white birch.
In addition to fibre for commercial use, the forest supports wildlife and ecosystem functions such as carbon sinks and water conservation. There are many productive areas of the forest in terms of moose populations. In addition, woodland caribou are known to use the northern and northeastern portions of the forest including the shoreline of Lake Nipigon. Commercial and non-commercial recreation opportunities are also associated with the forest.
The First Nation community of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek is located within the forest, and the First Nation communities of Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation (Sand Point), Fort William First Nation, Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation, Red Rock Indian Band and Whitesand First Nation are located adjacent to the forest. The Black Spruce Forest is included in the area of traditional land use by the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Red Sky Métis Independent Nation communities. The City of Thunder Bay is located approximately 15 kilometres south of the forest, with the municipalities of Shuniah, Oliver-Paipoonge, Conmee, O’Connor, Gillies and Neebing surrounding the city. In addition, the municipalities of Nipigon, Red Rock and Dorion are located near the southern boundary of forest along the Highway 11/17 corridor. The forest is accessed by two secondary highways and a well-established network of forest access roads.
The majority of the wood harvested from the Black Spruce Forest is transported to the Resolute FP Canada Incorporated pulp and paper and sawmill complexes in Thunder Bay. Wood chips remaining from sawmill processing are transported to the pulp and paper mill complex in Thunder Bay.
Through logging, silviculture, and milling activities, the Black Spruce Forest provides employment directly and indirectly to numerous industrial suppliers and contractors, locally, regionally and provincially. In addition to fibre for commercial use, the Black Spruce Forest supports widespread commercial and recreational opportunities including trapping, angling, and hunting. It is accessed by provincial highways and forest access roads and is used extensively by the public.
There will be three more formal opportunities for you to be involved. These stages are listed and tentatively scheduled as follows:
Stage Three – Information Centre: Review of Proposed Operations - April 10, 2020
Stage Four – Information Centre: Review of Draft Forest Management Plan - September 14, 2020
Stage Five – Inspection of Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: Approved Forest Management Plan - February 19, 2021
The approval date of the FMP is scheduled tentatively for April 1, 2021.
If you would like to be added to a mailing list to be notified of public involvement opportunities, please contact Bertha Strickland at (807) 475-1147.
We are collecting your personal information and comments under the authority of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Any personal information you provide (address, name, telephone, etc.) will be protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act however, your comments will become part of the public consultation process and may be shared with the general public.Your personal information may be used by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to send you further information related to this forest management planning exercise. If you have questions about the use of your personal information, please contact Alyson Dupuis, MNRFDistrict Business Coordinator, at (807) 475-1512.
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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.
Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.
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