Dear Fellow Cottagers,
On Friday evening August 30, 2019 myself and two members of our executive group attended an open house and presentation put on by the Forest Land Group, the current owners of the 65,000 acres that was previously owned by J.M. Longyear Company.
While the invitations were sent to all municipalities there was no representation from any of the municipalities including elected persons or municipal staff. There was a rep from Quinte Conservation but not Crowe Valley Conservation Authority, which oversees our watershed. Also in attendance were a few “adjacent owners” and a rep from the Limerick Hunt Club.
The presentation was conducted by Matt Sampson, the Region Manger for the Forestland Group. His area covers from West Virginia to Northern Ontario.
The 65,000 acre Bancroft area parcel is owned by Garden River Forest Lands (the Canadian Entity that holds formal title), Heartwood Advisory Vlll (the US-based (Timber Investment Management Organization (TIMO) which is a public investment vehicle) and Forestland Group as managing partner with local site management under Forestlands direction is JM Longyear Can ULC which is a new group.
A TIMO is a special Income Tax Advantaged investment fund that exists under US law. There are strict limits on what a TIMO can and cannot do. In this case the only active management allowed is for timber production.
The day-to-day site issues will be managed out of the Bancroft office across from Tim Hortons on 62 north. I believe and is staffed by Jeff Holt, Scott Brown with Melissa Holt in administration. These are all JM Longyear employees.
Forestland’s HQ is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and of the staff of approximately 30, 60% are forestry specific professionals with Natural Resources degrees. They currently manage approximately 2.7 million acres.
The Northeast region has 345,000 acres with four consulting shops and has approximately 50-60 timber sales per year totaling approximately 140,000 cords/year.
What they do is actively manage the resource. Their premise is that properly managed forests build value.
Natural re-generation is important and if site conditions suggest to plant then they do. They will also diversify species of trees planted if it makes sense for the area.
Any spraying (BT) will be buffered and they will not use products that could harm waters/fish or animals. They use leaf-based materials and not ground-based. BT is a natural occurring chemical. This would be used for things like tent caterpillars but as mentioned a moist spring blossoms fungus sufficiently to kill off tent caterpillars.
Harvesting is heavily audited. Bridges and culverts (infrastructure) will be brought up to standard. Forestlands want to be “Good Neighbors”. They say they will co-operate fully with public interests. They anticipate no major agreement changes this year
Some responses to questions from the floor:
There was mention of standards certificates and both SFI and FSC were mentioned. They have both but prefer to apply SFI as it is a set of standards that clarifies to the general public and certifies that they are managing responsibly and sustainably. The property will be audited every other year and stake holders (i.e. LWRA) will be part of the audit team. SFI has proven to be more efficient, consistent and effective than FSC.
Forest carbon project offsets is part of their consideration. They have yet to fully inventory the properties but its in process
Their local office in Bancroft can be reached at 613-332-2363 and is open Mon-Friday, 9-5.
Part of their group managing forests is Ecosystem Services. They are not a mining company and have no interest in mining and should they be approached on the subject it would be weighed carefully. They are not a real estate company.
Part of their profit goes towards managing forest re-generation.
They clearly indicated that they want to add value to the land and when they are completed, usually a 10 year window, it will be sold. The bulk of their investment funding comes from pension investments and other like investments.
They certainly appeared to be forthright and open about their intentions. We have certainly opened lines of communication with them.
There will be a map in pdf coming that will detail their holdings. Interestingly it doesn’t have property on Mephisto lake as the crown land timbering is still with JM Longyear corporation.
I have invited the Regional Manager of the Forestland Group to speak at our next Annual General Meeting, tentatively being held on June 27th, 2020.
LWRA Community:We have unfortunate news to share on the status of the McBride mining project (bounded roughly in the area between Hwy 62, Hwy 620, Old Hastings Road and North Steenburg Lake Road), but nonetheless important to keep our community aware (and involved).
It appears the proponent of this project, Derek McBride, has applied for and been granted a new Exploration Plan. His former filed Plan had expired May 7, 2019. Notice of approval of the new plan was shared with a cottager on another lake in the area, who has remained in contact with the office of the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and ministry staff in Sudbury (see below, names redacted…).
While at this time, we have no specific knowledge of any work underway at the site, nor of funding sources to advance such work, McBride’s last public comments indicated that he would continue to look for and secure funding to advance this project.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the Plan approval by the Ontario Government (Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines), is that despite well known community opposition to mining activity in this area, no notice was given to any of the potentially impacted parties who have previously commented (including Township of Limerick) to input on the Plan prior to its approval.
Ed Offshack, LWRA Director
Subject: RE: McBride Project Limerick Township
Hastings Highlands Resources Limited former exploration plan, PL-17-10717 expired on May 6, 2019. Exploration plans are not renewed. Hastings Highlands Resources Limited did submit a new exploration plan (PL-19-00091) which became effective on July 27, 2019, and is valid for two years. The authorized activities are very early level exploration activities on existing mining claims held by Hastings Highlands Resources Limited. The limited activities could consist of:
ENDM does not have any information on the status of this early exploration project.
The 2019 Limerick Sailboat Race was another test of “light wind” sailing skills as Mother Nature was not huffing and puffing on Sunday, August 4 at 2 pm. With only a very light breeze from the north, even deciding which way to go around the islands split the competition with half taking the traditional clockwise route while the rest of the pack sailed off to the east for a try at running down the narrow channel between the islands and the mainland.
At that point in the first lap there was still hope the wind might build up and allow the traditional two lap race. That was not to be. Valiant attempts to throw out spinnakers to catch the occasional puffs were in vain. One lap was going to decide the winner in 2019.
Turning the mid-lake marker the first four vessels, two manned by the Hannah crews from Maintenance Point (Apple Turnover and Blue Bird), the beautiful wooden Albacore with the Kalisz Brothers demonstrating how much about sailing one can learn on Youtube in a few short months, and a mysterious newcomer from Fraser’s Beach in a long-retired Laser with its sail reinforced with duct tape, headed out wide to try to gain a good angle for the final run across the finish line. Turning the marker the Hannah’s third boat, Mellow Yellow, was chasing the Hunter 18 sailed by the 2017 race winning crew from the Coxwell cottage, and with a slight shift in what little wind there was they both decided that tacking straight for the finish line marker was their only hope.
Meanwhile the other four boats were all stalled near shore about 50 yards from the finish line marker. Sailors do a lot of praying and the Hunter and Mellow Yellow were both likely imagining that miracle gust which would slip them in front of the four stalled boats. Apparently they were praying to the wrong gods and slowly but surely the stalled boats began to creep along the shoreline. At one point the Kalisz Brothers looked like they were going to win this race but word has it some critical piece of rigging decided it was a good time to depart their craft and they were soon headed backwards. These intrepid sailors managed to repair the rigging but by this time the Laser had slowly, silently slipped across the finish line and Apple Turnover nudged in to nose the Kalisz Brothers into third place.
It was an interesting race tactically with several new competitors in 2019. Bob Bennett was back after several years absence following his old Laser getting demasted in the very, very high-wind race in the mid-2000s. His birthday surprise from his wife Sue was a very fast looking sailboat called an Aero if memory serves. Since he never got close enough to the pack I cannot verify the type. However, next year Sue must give him a new watch because Bob’s new boat was not nearly fast enough to catch the others since he was still in the wind shadow of the north shore as the starting horn blasted at 2 pm sharp. Also missing from the lineup this year was Mel Hamilton-Porter who would certainly have been in the running under these conditions. As it was the old Laser, sailed by Adam Aippersbach of Fraser Beach, took the trophy over to the north shore this year. Adam is from Vancouver and along with members of the Fraser Clan he had flown in just the day before and put the old Laser back in the water just in time for the race.
Each year the trophy resides in the winner’s cottage and their name gets engraved on a brass plaque for the historical record. Adam teaches kids to sail out on the salty water of the west coast so his win proves this race can be won in any kind of sailing vessel with the right tactics and technique … especially if you are at the start line when the horn goes off.
Below: Greg Hannah presents Adam Aippersbach from Fraser’s Beach with the 2019 Sailboat Race trophy. The fireplace ledge at Hannah’s will seem empty this year.
– policing of seasonal properties in the off season
– how to report issues of break & enter after the fact, without using 911
– do you have concerns for water safety
– emergency transportation and medical aid