The Owain Lake Block is located about 10 km west of the southern end of Lake Temiskaming, approximately 45 km south-east of the town of Temagami. This 321-ha harvest area is part of a larger, mature forest containing stands of red, white and jack pine. The Owain Lake Block is being partially logged.
Significant portions of the Owain Lake Block were harvested before. It is likely that the area was harvested before the turn of the century. In addition, aerial photographs taken in 1946 show conclusively that approximately half of the block was harvested sometime between the late 1930s and the early 1940s.
The Comprehensive Planning Council (CPC), a citizens committee, considered Owain Lake when it reviewed sites to be protected as old growth. The government accepted the CPC's recommendations that the Owain Lake Block did not qualify as a representative old growth site that should be protected from harvest.
Following extensive public consultation, the CPC recommended a land-use strategy for Temagami that included recommendations on protecting old growth red and white pine areas. The government accepted the CPC's recommendations on protecting old growth.
In planning for harvesting in the Owain Lake Block, MNR has applied its Conservation Strategy For Old Growth Red And White Pine Forest Ecosystems. This means that many old trees in the Owain Lake Block will not be logged in 1996 and after any future shelterwood harvests; snags, dying and rotting trees will be left standing; and tree tops and limbs will be left on the forest floor. In addition, the plan leaves 93 ha in no-cut reserves where no logging will take place.
The plan permits partial logging in 228 ha of the block. Species to be harvested include jack pine, spruce, poplar and white birch, as well as red and white pine. The "shelterwood system" used in the Owain Lake Block is a widely recognized harvesting method that encourages natural regeneration by leaving healthy mature trees standing, as well as snags, tree tops and limbs on the forest floor.
Temagami Old Growth Red And White Pine
MNR has protected nearly 11,000 ha old growth red and white pine in the Temagami area. This includes all 12 old growth red and white pine sites that the CPC recommended for protection.
Old Growth in Ontario
Protected areas in Ontario where old growth red and white pine is the dominant species (40 per cent or more), cover 66,000 ha - 46,000 ha in provincial parks and conservation reserves, and 20,000 ha in no-cut reserves in forest management units. As the dominant species on any given stand, old red and white pine cover more than 124,000 ha in Ontario.
Forests containing a component of red and white pine cover almost 4 million ha in Ontario, in an area that covers much of Southern Ontario, north to Lake Temiskaming and west to an area just south of Wawa. The red and white pine range also covers an area around Thunder Bay, Dryden, Fort Frances and Kenora. Both species are common in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest region.