Natural Resources


Natural_Resources

The Lands and Resources Committee was struck to serve the people of Wikwemikong in addressing and rectifying issues of the natural resource sector, to the betterment and benefit of the environment and the people of Wikwemikong with strong consideration for the preservation of the unique cultures and traditions of Wikwemikong.

Forest Resources:

Wikwemikong has 32,566 hectares of productive forest land.  A 20 year forest management plan was implemented in 1989, as well as a 5 year operating plan starting April 1994 to establish a self-sustaining forest land base.  All band members are allowed to harvest wood, although a permit is required to cut wood for personal use or to sell to the marketing outlet.  Logging is a significant source of income for many of the Band members.  The permit indicates the proposed use of the wood, the amount of board feet to be removed and the area to be harvested.  However, the timber policy was not adhered to and the cedar resource is dwindling, although other wood fibre is available.  In the Point Grondine reserve area, there are approximately 11,770 hectares of productive forest.

Agriculture Resources:

There are 17,782 hectares of Opened Cleared Land, 66% of this is idle and is practically filled with woody cover, 34% of this land is used for farming purposes; 79% for pastures, 17% for rough/unimproved pastures and 4% for grain crops.  Presently, Wikwemikong has 18 cattle farms with herd sizes of five to thirty heads of cattle.

Shoreline:

Wikwemikong has 105 miles of shoreline and 20.5 miles of shoreline in Point Grondine.  Only a few areas of the shoreline have road access and much of the shoreline is undeveloped.  The only major shoreline development was the Wikwemikong Bay Marina, which opened on July 1, 1995.

Wildlife Resources:

Fish and wildlife are extremely important to the inhabitants of Wikwemikong, not only are they an integral part of the Native culture, many species provide food and are a source of income.

Oil & Gas Resources:

There is ample surficial evidence of oil showings on the reserve, in the form of outcropping oil shale and oil/gas seeps to indicate that this section of the Basin may also have a hydrocarbon-bearing potential.  It appears that oil/gas exploration on the reserve area is incomplete and additional modest and modern investigation should be continued.

Aggregates Resources:

In February 1980 a total package had been developed for tender purposes but no positive response was given, then in February 1991, Midas Minerals indicated that are willing to develop the dolomite quarry.  In 1994, Chief and Council requested that the W.D.C. investigate the possibility and to consider the project a top priority for economic development.  In 1998, the project was strongly opposed by a few Wikwemikong band members, and the project abruptly ended.

With regards to other aggregate resources further expansion of several sand and gravel pits is possible and further study will be needed to confirm the existence of economically extractable supplies of sand and gravel at these sites.