The intent to decommission the Turtle Portage Marine Railway System in 2019 has been announced by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF). This is of particular interest (but not limited to) LOWDPOA members and other seasonal/year round residents in the Morson area.
MNRF is inviting public comment on the decommissioning and we encourage you to do both, individually and/or collectively - and to do so within the mandated timeframe identified in the notice (by October 15, 2018).
Here's the results of a short Q&A session we had with the ministry on behalf of our members:
Q: What exactly does decommissioning mean? Is the ministry planning on preventing use of the existing equipment or removing the entire structure?
A: The Ministry intends to permanently remove the rails, trolley, and wooden structures. (The concrete will remain.) The site will remain accessible for traditional, hand-carried boat portaging.
Q: Will the ministry entertain proposals for private individuals or groups to take over the maintenance, operation and all aspects of operating the portage?
A: No. It is the Ministry’s intention at this time to remove the existing infrastructure.
Q: Why will the ministry not consider letting someone else operate the existing system?
A: The Turtle Portage Marine Railway system is nearing the end of its expected lifespan. Costs associated with maintaining a safe operation are no longer feasible..
Q: Will the ministry entertain other proposals to install, operate, maintain, etc. some sort of other system in that location?
A: Possibly. The Kenora MNRF will accept and review any applications for use of Crown land within the District. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There is no guarantee of approval or authorization.
Please see attached document for the Public Notice issued by the MNRF.