Leech Lake, Muskoka

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Proposed Change - Muskoka Tree Cutting By-Law

Dear Friend:

The District Municipality of Muskoka is proposing to update its Tree Cutting by-law because the legislation under which the existing by-law was passed has changed and because the existing by-law only applies to operations on parcels of 50 acres or more. There has been serious damage done on smaller parcels of land.

We have many good loggers and foresters in Muskoka that support this revised by-law because it establishes reasonable minimum standards for cutting and ensures a sustainable forestry industry for many years. This is their livelihood and they want to maintain it. Unfortunately there are a few vocal individuals that do not agree. Poor logging practices are not sustainable and threaten the long-term viability of the logging industry in Muskoka and the health of Muskoka's forests.

Muskoka also has many absentee property owners, many with little or no technical understanding of good forest management practices. Many acres of pristine Muskoka forest have been decimated by loggers, some from outside Muskoka, wanting to make easy money. Unsuspecting property owners have returned the following spring and been heartbroken at the destruction of their property. Minimum standards and a regulatory by-law would prevent much of this from occurring and provide legal options for land owners seeking remediation or restitution.

Visit the District Municipality of Muskoka website for detailed information on the proposed Tree Cutting by-law (http://www.muskoka.on.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?PageID=212).

We believe that the recent opposition to the Tree Cutting By-law comes from a small minority of loggers in Muskoka. There is concern that Muskoka Council may believe that the general public opinion is against this type of regulation and not pass a new by-law. This would leave our forest vulnerable to unscrupulous loggers.

Thank you for helping to create a sustainable Muskoka.

Rebecca Willison
Muskoka Watershed Council
9 Taylor Road, Box 482
Bracebridge, ON
P1L 1X3
Ph: (705) 645-7393 Fx: (705) 645-7888> Email: watershed@muskokaheritage.org mailto:watershed@muskokaheritage.org Website: www.muskokaheritage.org/watershed http://www.muskokaheritage.org/watershed