Ring of Fire continues to burn

We told you about the Ring of Fire in Ontario’s Far North in the Spring issue of ON Nature (“Ring of Fire heats up,” page 9) and in e-mails. And you told us just what you thought of the escalation in mining activity in the heart of the James Bay Lowlands, where Cliffs Natural Resources is planning to develop the world’s largest chromite mine.

Here are some highlights of the responses you sent us concerning the threats to a globally significant landscape.

I live in northwestern Ontario. As a naturalist, I watch with dismay when our forests are being “managed” at a time when there are so few jobs despite the fibre being extracted. The latest Forest Management Plan in our area means forests are cut adjacent to people’s homes because forestry companies have run out of wood in more distant locations. Many people are finally beginning to notice.

I take part in citizen science bird surveys for the Canadian Wildlife Service and Bird Studies Canada several times throughout the year. I have read the articles in “Bird Watch” and the Ontario Field Ornithologists publications concerning the surveys done in the James Bay Lowlands. This seems to be such a unique, preservation-worthy area that I feel Ontario Nature and all of your fellow environmental groups should advocate as one to save this area. Ontarians need to know what is at stake. Data collected from the surveys and studies done by reputable groups must be used to elevate the lowlands to a special status.

Carolle

I read your e-mail with great concern. I think it is deplorable, but more importantly, very sad that we treat the wonderful Canadian wilderness with such disrespect. It never ceases to amaze me and leaves me almost speechless. I find it very unfortunate that the Ontario government seems to be “coming to” a little late when damage has already been done. It does make me wonder how many more mines we really need and isn’t there something else we can do to increase productivity and give the population a livelihood, without polluting and ruining our lovely heritage.

Rosemary

It is outrageous that there is so little oversight [of mining in the James Bay Lowlands]. We need to hold their feet to the (ring of) fire. Keep up the good work.

David

I support you in stopping or limiting this abuse of Canada’s pristine north. Education in schools at all levels, as well as of the general public, is of greatest importance.

Sandra

We must be assured that any and all exploration and mining activity, mainly for chromite, be rigorously controlled to prevent any damage to the surrounding environment. If that is not possible, any and all mining projects in the region must be prohibited.

Joan

Let us know how we can help encourage the Ontario government to take a more responsible role in facilitating environmentally conscious efforts in the Ring of Fire!

Beth Anne

I wholeheartedly support your work and am appalled to learn of these developments.

John

Please continue this important work. How could companies in the year 2010 use our waterways as dumping grounds for contaminants? Incredible!

Lilianne

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