Let claims in Wolf Lake lapse, group asks – by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star – May 9, 2012)

 The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

An environmental group wants to know why the government is giving contradictory information about protecting the Wolf Lake Forest Reserve.

In a release issued last week by Viki Mather, a member of the Wolf Lake Coalition who lives in the area, she questions why mining claims where no exploration work has ever been done continue to be renewed. In order for a mining claim to be renewed, a certain amount of exploration work has to take place each year.

“(Natural Resources) Minister (Michael) Gravelle assured the public that … once the current claims lapsed, the area would become part of the Chiniguchi Waterway Park,” Mather wrote in the release.

The Chiniguchi Waterway Park is north of Lake Wahnapitae. Environmental groups have been maintaining pressure to protect the Wolf Lake area because it is home to the world’s largest remaining stand of old-growth red pine forest. In March, the province cancelled a plan to give 340 hectares of the area a general-use designation.

However, the coalition says the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, specifically Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, keep renewing mining claims, even when no exploratory work has taken place.

“I looked under the renewal of claims, and as far as I can tell, to renew a claim you have to do work and you have to file that work,” Mather said.

“The two claims that have been renewed since March 13 have not had any work done on them and they have not had any work filed. It baffles me why they’re (doing this). I’ve asked for clarification and have not received it.”

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