Originally Published in the July 1991 issue of The Outfitter Magazine.

In May 1988 the provincial government announced its new parks policy. The policy includes increased protection for wilderness and nature reserve parks and adds new parks to the provincial system.

The parks system increased by 53 new parks in May 1989 to a total of 270 provincial parks. Within the system there are six classes of parks: wilderness, nature reserve, historical, natural environment, waterway and recreation.

In all classes of parks in the provincial system, the parks policy itself prohibits mining activity, commercial hydroelectric development and logging (except in Algonquin and Lake Superior parks where logging is permitted to continue). In addition, the policy eliminates, through a transition period, commercial trapping, commercial wild rice harvesting and most commercial fishing.

Under the new policy there are some changes for parks users. In the interest of fairness, an implementation schedule has been developed which includes a transition period for changes.

The implementation schedule emphasizes the importance of park management planning as the key mechanism for encouraging broad public consultation in developing the pattern of uses, facilities and services for parks.

The principles for management planning safeguard the integrity of a system that protects natural and cultural heritage features and ensures that a variety of outdoor experiences are available to the public.

Management planning involves the public by providing opportunities to review and comment on information developed at several stages in the process. The public reviews background information prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) on a park. Then MNR provides issues and policy options on protection, development and use of resources in parks for public commitment.

If outfitters have any concerns with the regulations and/or permitted uses in any specific park, they should be brought up with the relevant MNR District office. Make sure that you are also involved in the park management planning process for the specific park to ensure that your concerns are addressed.

At the end of this public consultation process the ministry prepared and approved plan for a park. This management plan is reviewed periodically or after 10 years, affording another opportunity for public involvement.

The ministry uses a variety of techniques including public meetings, open houses, drop-in information centres, tabloid publications, and other means for seeking public input into management plans.

The following sections outline the transition period for changes and the role of park management planning in the process.

ANGLING

HUNTING

HUNT CAMPS

COMMERCIAL FISHING AND BAIT FISHING

COMMERCIAL TRAPPING

TOURISM AND FLY-IN OPERATORS

MECHANIZED TRAVEL

COTTAGES

COMMERCIAL WILD RICE HARVESTING

MINING

LOGGING

HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT

STATUS INDIANS

PARKS SYSTEM

Editor’s note: The above information was reprinted from an MNR Fact Sheet (January 1990). Minor modifications/additions have been made to the text. Reprinted with kind permission of the MNR.

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