The Honourable Doug Ford – Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs of Ontario PLEASE HELP!

The Honourable Doug Ford

Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs of Ontario

Legislative Building

Queens Park

Toronto ON

M7A 1A1                                                                        October 8, 2018-10-05

 

 

Dear Premier,

 

I would like to address the issue of waste created by a resident of the Curve Lake  Reserve, namely Mr. James Whetung’s rice fields in Pidgeon Lake, as well as in several other Kawartha Lakes.   We have been living, not just cottaging, on the South East shore of Pigeon Lake since June of 1994.

 

The waste issue has been overlooked within the greater issues with Mr. Whetung revolving around the Williams treaty of 1923.  (I refer you to the attached letter by Mr Larry Wood to The Hon Justin Trudeau Prime Minister).

Since I was a kid growing up in Germany, I’ve always had empathy for the plight of the North American Indigenous People.  So I can state right here that I support him in his endeavour to pass on the tradition of harvesting the wild rice in their traditional way, to his people and others who are interested.

 

However, I take great issue with the manner in which he’s going about it.

 

Williams Treaty No. 20

 

He has voiced his intentions to seed most of the lakes within the boundaries of the Williams Treaty.

 

In 1994 there was no evidence of any rice any where near us.  We understand that in 2011 there were approx. 200 acres, today there are in excess of 1500 acres, and there seems to be no end in sight.   This begs the question: how much rice does he need to traditionally harvest it by canoe?  He has thrown tradition out the window.  He is harvesting using an airboat, typically used in the Florida everglades.  A most noisy piece of equipment.

 

At the end of harvest sason a lot of his dying crop disintegrates and washes up on our shores.   These mats of waste consist of strands of thick and very strong rice grass which has been uprooted by wave action as well as by adjasent boat trafic.   Most of these strands are 8ft. long, knitted and woven together into a mass thick enough to touch bottom, which is 3 to 4 ft. deep at our shore.  They can reach out to 50ft. from shore.

Once the heavy job of forking it out of the water is donewe have to get rid of it.  Fortunately we have a place on our property where we can dump it.  If we did not have this space we would have to truck it to the dump and pay for doing so.

I am 75 years old, my wife is 71.  I have Parkinson’s Disease. To get rid of this mess is a big job, as witnessed by the attached photos.  This is not a onetime thing, but rather has to be repeated several times throughout the season.

I remember one member of our Initiative telling me that once he confronted Mr. Whetung about the clean up, he was told that he should just hire some of

Mr. Whetung’s neighbours to do it!  In effect he is running a commercial enterprise, and as such, he should abide by some rules that I’m sure his mother must have taught him, namely one being: clean up after yourself!

The option of just leaving them in the water is not tenable.  It doesn’t take long for the whole thing to turn into stinking, rotting mess right into winter.  In the spring once the ice is gone, we find the lake bottom in front of us all covered in the remains of last years mess.

 

He is running a commercial business, Black Duck Wild Rice, and by all indications not very well.  He is a one man show, concentrating on playing in the mess he’s creating on the waters, making it very unpleasant for the rest of us.

Pat and I are not by a long shot the only ones affected by this man’s behaviour.

May I referr you to the “Save Pidgeon Lake” web site www.savepigeonlake.com

 

Mr. Larry Wood, Spokesperson for the “Save Pigeon lake Initiative” has been in touch with all levels of Government since 2011, without any success in gaining help regarding this problem.  When contacted, Hon. Maryam Monsef, our MP has shown little interest.  I’m afraid Mr. Whetung’s attitude does not bode well for the Reconcilliation Process underway in Canada at this very moment.

 

It is for this reason I am writing you now, to respectfully appeal to you to put some weight of your office onto this matter.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Richard Lange

Member – Save Pigeon Lake Initiative

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Mayoralty Candidates Position Regarding Farming Of Rice In The Kawartha Lakes

Dear Concerned Residents of Selwyn

 

As you are aware, an election is coming up. The person who gets elected as Mayor will have an opportunity to fight on our behalf in finding solutions to our continuing battle, re the issues pertaining to the farming of rice in the Kawartha Lakes.

 

I asked each candidate what they would do if elected. Below are their responses. The quality of these candidates speak for itself,  as each one enthusiastically agreed to respond and in writing.

 

Our thanks for putting your names forward.

 

Sincerely

 

Larry Wood

 

 

 

 

Mayoralty Candidate Linda Marlene Eales

 

Dear Larry,

 

I sincerely apologize for my delay on my response. The reason for my response is that it is very important for me to review all background information I could obtain in order to most thoroughly and fairly respond to your request.

 

I have been in contact with Selwyn Township about this and support all of Selwyn Council’s Resolutions to work with our MP Monsef to continue to strongly urge the Federal Government through Parks Canada to Finalize a Wild Rice Management Plan, including:

 

Establish a method for harvesting the wild rice that considers the needs of adjacent waterfront property owners as the current mechanical method of using an air boat generates excessive noise that is disturbing to waterfront property owners and is affecting the enjoyment of their property.

Establish time limits on mechanical harvesting by limiting the hours per day for harvesting and establishing no harvesting on Sundays.

Additionally, in reviewing the response letter January 11th, 2018, from Jewel Cunningham, Director of Ontario Waterways Parks Canada: I will directly contact her in relation to her response, that “…further work on a wild rice management plan progresses…” and that  “Parks Canada will establish a forum in which cottagers and residents will be able to liaise and discuss concerns directly with the Trent Severn Waterway… Through education and collaboration, everyone’s interests can be heard and understood and possibly accommodated. On the specific concern raised related to the use of mechanical harvesting and the issuance of aquatic vegetation removal permits, Parks Canada and the Steering Committee will advance discussions pertaining to these topics. We appreciate your useful suggestions and will consider them at the table. ” [underlining is my addition]

 

I also think it may be wise for Selwyn Council to request a meeting with our Curve Lake Nation Chief and Council to discuss the wild rice on behalf of both of our community members, as we are all affected by this use of the shared lakes and shared land. At my requests for information, I have not received any confirmation that this has happened yet.

 

I have read about, and listened to your story of your family history on Pigeon Lake and understand that this is very upsetting for you and your family. I have received a number of other requests for my position on the wild rice seeding and harvesting on Pigeon Lake and will respond to those emails now. As you and yours well know, this is a challenging issue as it involves our Federal Government and our Williams Treaty First Nations, and there is a long history that is being considered at the Federal level prior to decisions being made now.

 

Please let me know when and where the candidates responses will be posted on your website so that I can direct other inquiries to your site. This may also help to garner more support for you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Linda Marlene Eales

 

 

Mayoralty Candidate Ron Black

 

 

Good morning Larry, as per our conversation, I am providing you with my comments regarding the seeding of wild rice on Pigeon Lake.  This seeding practice started almost ten years ago and it appears that our Federal government, their local representatives and the Trent Severn Waterway have done little to support the Selwyn residents who have been negatively impacted.  As the Trent Severn Waterway is a Federal jurisdiction, it is their responsibility to mitigate this issue to ensure fair and equal treatment of all residents.

Selwyn Township has a long history of cooperation and partnerships with its neighbouring townships and Curve Lake First Nations Council.  Our partnership with Curve Lake includes bi-annual Tri-council meetings with Trent Lakes Township, economic development and tourism initiatives, public transportation planning, provision of fire services to the reserve etc…  Selwyn Township values our relationships with our neighbours and wants to enhance future partnerships that will directly benefit residents in all of our communities.  Successful partnerships depend on all parties actively working together to find solutions to local issues that impact residents.

If elected Mayor of Selwyn Township, I will request an urgent meeting with Curve Lake Council to work on a compromise solution that is agreeable to both communities.   Partnerships are dependent on both parties having empathy and understanding of the needs of everyone involved.  Future partnerships with the Township of Selwyn may be negatively impacted based on support for these basic principles of negotiation and cooperation. I am prepared to urgently and actively work towards a solution for the residents of Selwyn Township.

 

Regards

Ron

 

 

Mayoralty Candidate Andy Mitchell

Larry

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

 

As always I appreciated hearing your perspective and I understand the frustration you are experiencing.

 

I believe one of the fundamental responsibilities of the Township is to take measures that work to facilitate residents having the opportunity to enjoy their property. As Mayor I would work hard to ensure this takes place.

 

As you point out in your letter indigenous harvesting rights is not the issue. You and your neighbours recognize this activity is consistent with the Williams Treaty.

 

What you are seeking are answers to a number of questions about the exercise of this right and the need to receive answers in a timely and clear manner.

 

More specifically you have asked:

 

  1. Is it legal to seed rice on Federal waterways
  2. Is it legal to harvest rice for commercial purposes
  3. Is it legal to harvest rice using mechanical devices

 

As Mayor of Selwyn I will champion your efforts to be provided answers. As you know I have extensive experience dealing with senior levels of government in general and indigenous issues more specifically. I have a long track record of getting things done.

 

In moving forward I would propose the following:

 

  1. Engage the Federal and Provincial government at both a political and bureaucratic level. As Municipal representatives our perspective needs to be heard and considered. I am prepared to go to Ottawa and Toronto to make our case
  2. As a Township we should engage FCM, AMO and ROMA to garner municipal allies in approaching the Federal and Provincial governments to outline approaches to assist municipalities in accommodating the exercise of Treaty rights
  3. Reach out to other municipalities to identify best practices in addressing similar situations
  4. Engage with the First Nations covered by the Williams Treaty to identify concerns and to develop an appropriate and respectful dialogue
  5. In the context of the Williams Treaty and subsequent affirmations, use the joint council meetings with Curve Lake to discuss perspectives and seek common understandings
  6. Advocate that the Township have a meaningful role on any working group developed to address the issue of wild rice
  7. In order to ensure property owners are kept up to date and have a venue to express their concerns, as Mayor I would strike a working group of property owners and the ward councillor to keep residents informed on progress and to receive input. This process could begin with a town hall meeting to allow a fulsome exchange of perspectives

 

In closing I believe that the resolution of the situation requires the respectful engagement of all parties. As challenging as the past relationship has been, the path forward requires the Township to make an aggressive effort to find common ground and to continue to engage all parties.

 

I would be pleased to discuss this further with you and your neighbours.

 

Andy

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To Jewel Cunningham-Director of Ontario Waterways -Parks Canada

Dear Jewel

Please advise when you will be able to update us. Yesterday, Monday September 17, we went  through another day of upset caused by Whetung, not only harvesting by mechanical means but also  seeding the lake approximately 50 to 75 feet off the shoreline in pristine water with no rice. To aggravate the situation even more he made a rude gesture at us. We then taped a video which clearly shows the seeding taking place which is attached.

Surely this action is not acceptable! All we read about is the need for reconciliation between the First Nations and the rest of Canada. How can there be reconciliation when one individual from the Curve lake reserve takes it upon himself to destroy the southern part of Pigeon Lake. Our  position is – enough is enough. If we have to take things into our own hands and create media attention to the fact that our Government’s are not prepared to take a position on this matter we are prepared to do so. There is nothing in the treaty settlement that addresses the issues below.

We have been in contact with our Governments since 2011 and the answer has always been…WE ARE WORKING ON A SOLUTION THAT WILL TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FIRST NATION AND SHORELINE STAKEHOLDERS NEEDS…WERE WORKING ON A WILD RICE MANAGEMENT PLAN. These responses appear to be meaningless as we are now in a worse position than when we first started to voice our concerns. SEVEN years of communication and we still do not know ;

A. If it is legal to seed the Kawartha Lakes with wild rice?
B. If it is legal to harvest rice for commercial profit ?
C. If it is legal to harvest by mechanical means (air boat)

We are Canadians and need the protection of our rights;  our homes are loosing value, the use of the waterways are being lessened, plus the annual cycle of the growth of rice is causing more sedimentation that will eventually turn the southern part of Pigeon Lake into a swamp.
This is supported by the fact that the amount of rice has increased from an estimated growth of  200 acres to 1500 acres in the past seven years caused mainly by the admitted seeding of Mr. Whetung.

IT IS TIME FOR OUR GOVERNMENT TO REMEMBER, WE TOO DESERVE THEIR HELP IN ENSURING WE ARE TREATED FAIRLY!  WE ARE CANADIANS WHO NEED YOUR HELP IN STOPPING THE SEEDING AND MECHANICAL HARVESTING OF RICE FOR PROFIT. WE SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE THE HARVESTING OF WILD RICE IN THE TRADITIONAL METHOD FOR PERSONAL AND CEREMONIAL USE.

FARMING (SEEDING AND HARVESTING BY MECHANICAL MEANS FOR PROFIT) OF RICE IN THE KAWARTHA LAKES SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED!

Looking forward to meeting with you.

Sincerely
Larry Wood
Spokesperson for the Save Pigeon Lake Initiative

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PLEASE PAY ATTENTION….NO MATTER WHAT LAKE YOU ARE ON….THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!

Dear Residents surrounding the Kawartha Lakes:

 

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION….NO MATTER WHAT LAKE YOU ARE ON….THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!

 

On Monday, September 17th our rice problem reached a new level! Two individuals in an airboat were seen and videoed SEEDING the Eastern Shore of Pigeon Lake just feet off of our docks! This went on for about 4 hours and they continued to SEED all of the open water areas. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH….This is horrifying and totally unacceptable!

 

As you are aware, we have been trying to find a solution to the rice growth in the Kawartha Lakes. We have been in contact over the last 7 years with our Governments in the hope they would do something about the seeding and commercial harvesting. To date no solution has been found.

 

I have sent the attached letter to the Director of Ontario Waterways, Parks Canada with cc.’s To The Prime Minster of Canada, The Ministry of the Environment, The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, The Federal MPP of Peterborough County, The Ontario MP Of Peterborough and Selwyn Council.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO END THIS ATROCITY!

  1. The only way we can make a difference is if we all SPEAK UP! You can help by writing your thoughts to all of the above or anyone else that will listen. Have your kids, grandkids and friends write a letter too.

 

  1.  We need to reach out and find some professionals or volunteers who can help us with this mess. Surely someone in this great country of ours would step up to help stop this injustice.

 

  1.  Please forward this email to others you know who are enjoying the pristine Kawartha Lakes. Seeding has taken place in all three tri-lakes plus Stoney Lake. Your lake could be next!

 

  1.  Do you know anyone who would have an interest in reviewing this Issue and advising us how to approach our Government for assistance?

 

  1.  You can also help by asking your friends to send a note to savepigeonlake@gmail.comrequesting to be put on our mailing list.

For those of you who have not been affected by this….Try to imagine how it would feel after working long and hard to acquire your lakefront dream home and having someone just feet off the end of your dock dropping seed into the water.  How would you feel?  PLEASE HELP!

Larry Wood

Spokesperson – Save Pigeon Lake Initiative

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Reconciliation with Williams Treaty First Nations – Is it Possible?

Dear Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister

We have read with interest the reconciliation process and the settlement between the Governments of Ontario and of Canada. Of particular interest to us, shoreline stakeholders residing on the shores of Pigeon, Buckhorn and Chemong lakes in the Kawartha’s, is that the harvesting rights of the First Nations remained.

As proud Canadians we respect the need for Reconciliation and hopefully it will move forward in an honourable way, respecting  each other, resulting in a stronger Canada.

Unfortunately, we are concerned that respecting each other and reconciliation may not be possible in the present environment.

We reside near The Curve Lake First Nations Reserve and are quite familiar with the Williams treaties harvesting guide which states; ” First Nations have traditionally harvested for medicine, food, social and ceremonial purposes, including but not limited to harvesting of manomin-wild rice, wiigwaas-birch bark, miinaan-berries, medicinal plants and maple syrup.  The harvesters of the Williams Treaty First Nations recognize the importance of conservation and protection and will only harvest for personal and community use.”

We do not have any issue with the above; however, not all First Nations people who gather wild Rice, honour the Williams Treaty Harvesting guide which brings us to the reason we are requesting your assistance.

Mr. James Whetung of the First Nations Curve Lake Reserve, well known for his quest to fill the lakes with wild Rice, has admittedly seeded the lakes with thousand of lbs of rice expanding the rice fields on Pigeon Lake from approximately 200 acres in 2011 to in excess of 1500 acres today. He harvests the rice to sell commercially on line through Black Duck Wild Rice, as well as to people in markets and to wineries. His method of harvesting (farming) is by an airboat with  a sound decimal exceeding 100.

We have been in contact with all levels of Government since 2011, no action, just promises that their working on solutions. Seven years later still no answers from our Government. The following questions have gone unanswered.

  1. Is it legal to seed Federal Waterways?
  2. Is it legal to harvest rice for commercial purposes?
  3. Is it legal to harvest by mechanical means?

    Please take the time to review our website www.savepigeonlake.com and  the letters below. They will provide you with further insight  as to why we are requesting your assistance.

    We have met with Hon. Maryam Monsef who has shown little interest in our plight and therefore are requesting a meeting with you to explain more clearly our concerns.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Yours truly
    Larry Wood
    Spokesperson- Save Pigeon Lake Initiative

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Peterborough Examiner Response

Dear Save Pigeon Lake Supporters

Below you will find a link to the Peterborough Examiner re an article titled Prayers, song for wild rice pulled from the lake. This article is filled with inaccuracies, and a response is in order to clarify statements made. In order to view please click on link below, read and then return to original email and click response.

The consultations between Parks Canada and the First Nations are ongoing but unfortunately, no solutions have been brought forward to date. It is our hope that compromise can be found and solutions agreed to, that will satisfy all Canadians that have a vested interest in the Trent Severn Waterways. Please continue to talk to your neighbors and friends to support the Goals of the Save Pigeon Lake Initiative:-

  1. Seeding (Planting of rice) Not be permitted. 
  2. Harvesting by mechanical means Not be permitted.
  3. To harvest for commercial purposes Not be permitted. 

Harvesting by traditional methods for personal consumption and community purposes as set out in the William’s Treaty Harvesting Guidelines is encouraged.

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2016/07/25/prayers-song-for-wild-rice-pulled-from-lake

 

Response to the article titled: Prayers, song for wild rice pulled from Lake, written by Jessica Nyznik, The Peterborough Examiner – July 25th, 2016

I read this article with interest as I am a resident of Pigeon Lake and well aware of the issues regarding wild rice in the Trent Severn Waterways and especially Pigeon Lake.

I think it is commendable that a group of people feel strongly about their heritage and culture to put on a demonstration and let their presence be known. However, it is also important when doing so that they ensure they are presenting facts. The following are our concerns regarding the statements in the article and our response to them.

CONCERN: The article states that large quantities of wild rice were ripped from the water by homeowners and Mr. Musgrave said he discovered an area of wild rice was missing equaling the size of three Olympic swimming pools. He then goes on to say he witnessed people tugging out more.

RESPONSE: The people he says he witnessed were pulling rice from around their dock. The amount of rice pulled was minor. It is a fact, a lot of wild rice has been ripped from the bottom of the lake floor, but the cause was the high winds and rough water we have experienced in the past week, not human hands. Wild rice is currently in the floating stage of its life cycle, which is when it is most vulnerable to damage.

CONCERN: Mr. Musgrave stated that the permits issued last year to some shoreline owners were revoked and that the permits were not intended for wild rice, but for seaweed-type plants.

RESPONSE: There was one permit that was issued specifically for the removal of wild rice for multiple properties, which the shoreline property owners honoured. The permit was not revoked as the shoreline owners voluntarily suspended cutting, as a sign of good faith in the future consultation between Parks Canada and the First Nations.

CONCERN: Mr. Musgrave’s statement that the agreement with Parks Canada and TSW to clear certain areas was made in good faith to build peaceful relationships.

RESPONSE: It is true that Parks Canada and the First Nations are in consultation and it is encouraging, according to Parks Canada. They advised, in an update of the talks, that progress is being made in finding solutions that will satisfy the needs of all users of the lake.

However, there has been no release of information, to date, that an agreement has been reached to clear certain areas.

COMMENT: There have always been small rice fields in Pigeon Lake, which were not a navigation concern, until Mr. Whetung of Curve Lake admittedly took the liberty of seeding the lake, causing a proliferation of wild rice. He also harvests these newly “planted” fields via a noisy airboat. His commercial operation is in violation of the Williams Treaty Harvesting Guide, which clearly states that the wild rice harvest is to be used for personal and community use.

It is important to note: The original rice beds on Pigeon Lake for more that 70 years were less than 200 acres. Now, because of the thousands of pounds of seed that Mr. Whetung admitted he has planted, the rice on the lake now totals between 1200 and 1500 acres. This new measurement has been documented in a recent study.

The proliferation of rice over the past years has encumbered navigation, lowered property values, restricted recreational activities including swimming, fishing and tourism. The proliferation has also caused and increase in the amount of rice floating into shore which property owners need to remove – and to top it off, a fee is now being charged to take it to the dump.

We have always taken the position of respecting and honouring First Nations rights. We believe in a conciliatory approach, taking the needs of First Nations, shoreline property owners and all Canadians into consideration. Working together, solutions can be found to meet the needs of all users of this once pristine waterway.

I am sure that the demonstration on Sunday, July 24th, 2016 was intended to show loyalty and commitment to their beliefs, which they achieved. However, it is also important to ensure all facts are presented fairly and to understand that we also have a culture, which should be respected as well.

Please visit our website www.savepigeonlake.com for details and a better understanding of the issues.

Sincerely,

Larry Wood,
Spokesperson, Save Pigeon Lake Initiative
August 2, 2016

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Update: Wild Rice Consultations – April 27, 2016

Update: Wild Rice Consultations – April 27, 2016

Parks Canada began official consultation with the Williams Treaties First
Nations regarding wild rice harvesting in the fall of 2015. To date, we
have developed a draft Terms of Reference to govern the consultations.
Discussions with the First Nations have been very productive.

Parks Canada is aware that wild rice is present in different areas of the
Trent-Severn Waterway, and therefore the scope of these on-going
discussions could expand to include other parts of the waterway as
necessary. At this time, the lakes being considered include Pigeon Lake,
Rice Lake, Chemong Lake, and Buckhorn Lake.

Through consultation with the First Nations, and open dialogue with
shoreline property owners and communities, Parks Canada hopes to build a
better understanding of the environmental, recreational, and economic
impacts of wild rice and its harvest, including the culturally significant
and spiritual importance to First Nations. Parks Canada appreciates the
on-going support of the Williams Treaties First Nations, the
municipalities, federal and provincial partners, the conservation
authorities and the shoreline property owners, all of whom are working with
us to find a balanced approach to the management of wild rice on the
Trent-Severn Waterway.

A series of regular meetings is scheduled with the Williams Treaties First
Nations (Wild Rice) Working Group throughout the spring. Current focus is
on the environmental aspects of wild rice, and determining if scientific
research is required to support the on-going discussions.

Jewel Cunningham
Director, Ontario Waterways Unit | Directrice de l’Unité des voies
navigables de l’Ontario

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Parks Canada Cancelling Permit

Dear Save Pigeon Lake supporters

As you are aware, Parks Canada and First Nations met on Friday August 28th to discuss the First Nation’s objection that Parks Canada issued a permit without consideration of the First Nation’s rights to be consulted prior to issuing of a permit to cut wild rice. This is a legal obligation and Parks Canada acknowledged they (First Nations) should have been consulted before issuing the permit.

Parks Canada has cancelled the permit. Although you, like myself are disappointed with this result I believe it would be in our best interest to respect the cancellation and cease to do any further cutting this year.

Last week’s meeting resulted in a positive step towards finding solutions to the rice proliferation in the Trent Severn Waterways. I am encouraged that Parks Canada and the First Nations have agreed to further talks. Hopefully, these talks which are to commence as soon as possible will take into consideration the needs of the First Nations and all of the people who have enjoyed the Trent Severn waterways for over a century. Solutions can be found if we all work together.

Thank you for your support and your respectful consideration in honouring the cancellation of the rice cutting permit. You may be assured we will continue to express your concerns to all levels of Government impressing on them their responsibility to find a solution to the deliberate seeding and commercial harvesting in Federal Waterways which is causing irreparable harm to us all. If you have any questions please contact me at savepigeonlake@gmail.com

Sincerely
Larry Wood

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Kawartha Conservation – Lake Management Planning and the Wild Rice

From: “Brett Tregunno”
Date: January 12, 2015 at 12:12:15 PM EST
To: “‘Save Pigeon Lake'”
Subject: RE: Brief summary
Reply-To:
Hi Larry,

Here is a brief summary of our current actions in relation to Lake Management Planning and the Wild Rice issue on southern Pigeon Lake.

We are aware of your community’s concern regarding the proliferation of aquatic plants, particularly wild rice in southern Pigeon Lake, and are currently attempting to find management solutions that address these concerns. After consulting with many agencies, stakeholder organizations, academics, First Nations representatives, and shoreline association representatives, we are more aware than ever that there are no simple solutions.

Kawartha Conservation is partnering with City of Kawartha Lakes to develop a Pigeon Lake Management Plan. A significant component of this plan will detail science-based actions to address specific issues relevant to local shoreline communities. Providing responsible aquatic plant control options in southern Pigeon Lake, reducing blue-green algae blooms in northern Pigeon Lake, and maintaining important natural habitats within the lake basin have all been identified as top priority issues. The actions developed through this plan will not be legally binding, but will recommend a common approach to maintaining healthy lake conditions for shoreline communities and the natural environment. We expect to complete this Plan in early 2016 and are already undertaking certain early implementation actions.

To specifically address the issue of wild rice proliferation and potential management options, we will be forming a Wild Rice Working Group within the next month. It is our intention that this group will be represented by all key stakeholders that are related to the wild rice issue, including but not limited to: Park Canada, First Nations, Shoreline Communities, and scientists with background in aquatic vegetation. This group will be formed on a short-term basis, with a sole purpose to develop wild rice management recommendations that will inform the Pigeon Lake Management Plan and existing aquatic plant control policies. We will be extending an invitation to your community for a representative to participate on this Working Group.

At this time, we feel that the Wild Rice Working Group and the Pigeon Lake Management Plan is our best approach towards finding common understanding, agreement on and any possible solutions to the wild rice issue on southern Pigeon Lake.

Brett Tregunno
Aquatic Biologist
KAWARTHA CONSERVATION
277 Kenrei Road
Lindsay, ON K9V 4R1

Tel: 705.328.2271 ext. 222
Fax: 705.328.2286

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