Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 66

– - Heritage

Real Wilderness- What Is Remaining

Back Country Gem

Solitude – Remoteness

Florence in a Day

“The history of Florence Lake goes back thousands of years. Archaeological fieldwork began in 1973 on Lake Temagami when the Ministry of Natural Resources gave me access to a Beaver (same Beaver I flew in on) float aircraft for a day. I enjoyed six memorable hours flying across the district searching for ancient remains. Everywhere we landed, Sand Point on Lake Temagami, a long spit on Florence Lake, the remote shores of Makobe Lake, a clearing at Diamond Lake sparkling like its name, our first minutes on these beaches yield handfuls of flint flakes and broken shards of prehistoric pottery.”

Lifetime In Temagami

The Society of Camp Directors Writing Award was awarded to Brian Back for his book and see his website www.ottertooth.com . “Ottertooth grew out of the writing of ‘The Keewaydin Way’ in 1999. I had set up Otterrtooth to allow people to contribute and comment on material I was putting in the book, those early years of the web before social media. But they started sending me stuff on the whole area, stuff that wasn’t going into the book.

“There was no other website, so people gravitated to it. Temagami is the geographic center of my Earth,” said Brian. “I was a canoe guide there in the seventies and eighties, executive director and co-founder of Temagami Wilderness Society and founder of Earthroots. So Ottertooth was my natural extension of it to the digital world.”

Earthroots began as the Temagami Wilderness Society, established to protect the Temagami region from logging. Earthroots played a pivotal role in the Red Squirrel Road blockade in 1989, when environmental and First Nations activists, as well as the public, peacefully resisted the logging of Temagami’s old growth pine. The action prompted the Ontario government to take measures to protect the region. At that point, the blockade was the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience in Canada history (later to be surpassed in size by the protests in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia). More than 300 people were arrested for blockading the Red Squirrel logging road extension. Soon after the blockade, the Ontario government initiated the Temagami Land Use Plan.