The Dryden District Conservation Club Inc. partnered with The Farabout Peninsula Coalition to design, build, and install an informational sign on the Farabout Peninsula. OFAH Zone A assisted with grant funding.
"The Farabout Peninsula is located in the center of the most used part of Eagle Lake in Northwest Ontario – it is an area of the lake with the highest concentration of residents, businesses and tourist lodges.
The Coalition advocates for Eagle Lake’s area tourism, sport and commercial fishing, and eco-tourism which engages and employs approximately 50 people.
A clear-cut harvest of trees on the small geographic area of Farabout Peninsula would detrimentally impact many livelihoods in the local tourist-based industry.
A clear-cut of trees on the peninsula would negatively impact fish, plants, birds and wildlife:
· Muskellunge spawning (for which Eagle Lake has an international sports fishing reputation),
· Endangered bird species in this locale (for example, it is the site of multiple Canada Warbler nests),
· Rare plants (for example, Lapland Buttercup, Prairie Onion and Hooker’s Orchid).
Road construction, that is required to access the peninsula, would destroy a 2,000 year old registered archaeological site of cultural and historical importance to Eagle Lake First Nation."
The Farabout Peninsula Coalition:
Eagle Lake First Nation, Permanent and seasonal residents of Eagle Lake, Tourist businesses (eight fishing lodges in the immediate vicinity of Farabout Peninsula), The Commercial Fishery, and Recreational Users of Eagle Lake.
On August 25, 2021 a number of local groups spearheaded by Eagle Lake Farabout Peninsula Coalition and the Dryden District Conservation Club Inc., celebrated the posting of a 5’ x 9’ two-sided historical and life sciences kiosk sign on the existing portage path joining Outlet Bay to Littleneck Bay on Eagle Lake. The sign summarizes thirteen years spent protecting Farabout Peninsula on Eagle Lake from potential clear-cuts previously planned for this landmass.
Sponsors and supporters of the sign project include Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Zone A, who provided a grant for this project, the Dryden District Conservation Club Inc., instrumental in erecting the sign, Kenora District Camp Owners Association, Ontario Nature, Hale’s Fishery, North Shore Lodge, Temple Bay Lodge, Eagle Lake First Nation and the Eagle Lake Farabout Peninsula Coalition, responsible for content and design of the sign. Media coverage was provided by Ontario Nature and the Globe and Mail.
The life sciences side of the sign illustrates some of the rare species of orchids found on the peninsula, a small sample of the 334 species of vascular plants found on this landmass. Naturalists have documented close to 100 breeding birds that call the Farabout home.
As a world-famous musky fishing destination, the sign pays tribute to Eagle Lake muskies, many of whom breed in weed beds around Farabout. Recent research now connects the reliance of fish on undisturbed and diverse forest areas in surrounding waterways to ensure the survival of the fish.
The historical side of the sign pays tribute to Eagle Lake First Nation (Migisi) and Indigenous people that travelled through this territory over hundreds of years. Artifacts recently found in protected and registered archaeological sites around the Farabout are identified on the sign and date back 2000 years.
Farabout Peninsula has long been considered an area of spiritual significance by Eagle Lake first Nation and their ancestors. Close to 40 people representing multiple stakeholders travelled by water to attend a ceremony at the sign site led by Chief Arnold Gardner and elders Leonard Skye and Robert Kelly accompanied by a band counsellor and community members. In an era of climate crisis chief Gardner and the Elders emphasized the critical nature of environmental protection. They stated the value of the Farabout as an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA). This stated value is historic and affords Farabout special status. It is estimated that there are only four IPCA’s across Ontario, thereby awarding Farabout another potential layer of protection.
“Farabout lies within the Dryden Forest where only 4% of the area is designated as protected land” stated co-chair of the coalition, Darlene Salter.
“We have received widespread support for this historic area and the ecological sign, especially in partnership with Migisi and the Dryden District Conservation Club Inc. Local conservation support adds to the provincial and international recognition the coalition and Farabout have received from Ontario Nature and the U.S. based National Resource Defence Council (NRDC). Change happens from the ground up. “With the range of backing we have experienced over the past decade I hope more local citizens and industry will get on board to help ensure long term protection of this area” stated coalition founder, Dale MacKenzie.