scoutergriz (Login scoutergriz) ABR Advisory Committee 126.96.36.199
Re: LNT question
March 3 2012, 8:00 AM
After a couple of days thinking on this and doing some checking I don't know for sure how legal it would be, but in my opinion, it would depend on several factors; Is it a "maintained" route, is it in the park or on crown land. is it a heavily travelled route, is safety a factor, and would pruning destroy habitat?
If it's in the park, cutting live trees or shrubs without a permit to do so is illegal. your option would be to report it and seek permission to prune them back, or let the staff do it
It it's on crown land you would have to contact the MNR, as it may be a conservation reserve, deeded land, or ecologically sensitive area. Cutting may be considered "destroying habitat"
The other issue is public safety; would cutting them leave sharp stubs that may snare or impale another canoeist or the local wildlife, which could be a liability issue, not to mention a moral one.
So, in my opinion, No, it's probably illegal without doing the research and getting the proper permits.
Within the context of an official canoe route, my initial reaction is to think it's legal. Afterall, it's like cutting a downfall away from over a portage! However, there are real differences in the case of alder growth ...
1) It's alive.
2) Pointed stubs could be dangerous to people, canoes and wildlife.
3) Disgarded alder branches could clog-up downstream.
So, I'm thinking there's probably a definite 'policy' and 'protocol' as to how this should be done, which would probably mean 'by trained staff'.
Undoubtedly, there will be the odd situation where a combination of being well down an alder-enshrouded creek in fast 'one-way' current and then encountering an impenetrable 'blockage' of alder growth and unmoveable debri would provide no option but to deal with the alder. But that scenario is an extreme one of simply 'surviving'.
I definitely don't think any unauthorized individuals should try to clear an entire overgrown creek even if its on a official route. Rather photograph the impenetrable conditions and modify your trip accordingly. The odd time that might occur would be comparable to being windbound after crossing a portage. Extenuating circumstances are understandable .. safety comes first!
The original question has raised a few more for sure. I'll send an email off to park staff and try to get their official position.
Did they indicate the reasoning behind this? Creating new portages instead of just cutting back some alder growth doesnt sound like a good LNT practice to me? Now I understand that if we would really apply the LNT rules as described on the LNT web-site no maintenance of any kind would be allowed but we are talking about Algonquin Park with canoe routes and back pack trails for people to enjoy. Just curious about the reasoning.