Park would be good for Lake Winnipeg


Regarding Peter Schroedter’s article on the issues surrounding the proposal to protect Little Limestone Lake in a national park (Innovative solution needed for unique lake, Sept.16).

First of all, park or no park, the mining development he alludes to is unlikely ever to take place. There are no mines currently proposed for the area. Only exploratory drilling is taking place.

Explorations of this kind only rarely come up with commercially exploitable finds. Around Little Limestone Lake, there is the further problem that any ore deposits would be hundreds of metres below an overlay of porous limestone, necessitating enormous expenditures to keep water out.

How could such an operation compete with the abundance of easily accessible surface nickel deposits in Siberia, Indonesia and Canada (Voisy’s Bay)?

At best, a hypothetical mine would be decades into the future and it is unfair to local communities to imply that wealth is just around the corner from such a development.

Even if we assume the economics would eventually make sense, the environmental obstacles might still prevent a mine from being established.

A huge mining operation in the permeable limestone in the immediate vicinity of Lake Winnipeg would pose a permanent threat to the water quality of the already beleaguered lake and to the commercial fishery.

Little Limestone Lake and the surrounding area all drain into Limestone Bay at the north end of Lake Winnipeg.

That bay is the spawning area for Lake Winnipeg pickerel. The proposed national park would contribute greatly to the health of Lake Winnipeg and help preserve jobs in the fishery.

ROGER TURENNE

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society