Current Watershed Conditions
Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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Public Information Session Summary - July 12, 2018

Summary of the Public Information Session on Hiawatha Highlands proposed Access Road.

Held on July 12, 2018 in the Russ Ramsay Room of the Civic Centre 5:00 – 8:00pm.
Representatives of The Forestland Group, owners of a large portion of Duncan and Jarvis Townships and the forest managers from Prentiss & Carlisle were present with staff from the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority. Maps displayed the access road and the existing and proposed trails for the Sault Trailblazers and the Voyageur Trails.

More than twenty-seven members of the public attended the session including members of the Sault Trailblazers, Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club, the Rod and Gun Club and the Kinsmen Club.

A presentation from Dave Fehringer from The Forestland Group outlined the necessity for road access to Duncan and Jarvis Townships and the reasoning behind the approach through the Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area.
  • The presentation by Dave Fehringer from The Forestland Group can be viewed below under Related Documents.
  • Maps prepared by Prentiss & Carlisle and displayed at the Public Information Session will be available shortly.
  • Please use the Stakeholder Feedback Form under Related Documents to provide your comments and/or questions by no later than July 27, 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Why is the access being given through the conservation area?

There is an existing road that was developed and formerly used for logging through the Hiawatha Highlands Conservation Area. The Forestland Group approached the SSMRCA Board of Directors in January 2016 to outline their proposal and the Board agreed to consider the access based on several conditions.

2) What were some of the conditions that were required?

For public safety and liability, the road had to become single use only. All permitted land users within the conservation area were to be accommodated and their activities taken off the roadway. This involved the re-routing of the Sault Trailblazers trails and the accommodation of the Voyageur Trail Association trails. The Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club was consulted and their trails are not affected by the roadway. These negotiations have been underway for over two years.

3) Why is the road through Garden River First Nation not being used instead?

The permission to use the road through Garden River First Nation was not granted.

4) What is being done to ensure that water quality in the watershed is being maintained?

The road will be upgraded by the Forestland Group to meet requirements for logging roads. This involves the replacement and upgrading of water crossings along the roadway. This will improve water quality moving downstream by reducing erosion potential and decreasing the amount of sediment that will move downstream. These water crossings and roadway upgrades will be completed to current provincial standards.

5) How much wood are they harvesting? How many trucks will be on the road? When will the logging trucks be travelling on the road?

The Forestland Group has an annual allowable harvest of 6,500 cords. This translates to an average of 3 logging trucks per day, five days a week
mainly during the winter season. There may be some summer work but their plan is mainly winter harvesting.

6) Is there going to be an affect on the existing road conditions on Connor Road?

The majority of the trucks will travel on Connor Road in the winter season and there will be less wear and tear than if they were using it exclusively in the summer season.