Dollars and ‘sense’

0
101

It is with great interest that I have been following the recent developments
concerning the application for exclusive rights in the Papin Lake area; the area in question is actually 76 square kilometres in size. The outfitter claims he needs the area for his operation, but in reality he is already using it. With permits granted by the

It is with great interest that I have been following the recent developments
concerning the application for exclusive rights in the Papin Lake area; the area in question is actually 76 square kilometres in size. The outfitter claims he needs the area for his operation, but in reality he is already using it. With permits granted by the
government, two camps were built and clients have been using them for the past two years. There are no fewer than six
outfitters currently using the area.
The territory was granted to an American club well over 100 years ago and was used until 1977 when a newly elected Premier, Réne Lévesque, cancelled all
private leases and returned the land to the public. Some of the area was set up as ZECs and some was granted to outfitters with exclusive rights. In the 38 years since that development, the Papin Lake area has been used mostly by area sportsmen; a large amount of road repairs and stocking as well as the creation of a network of trails and tree stands has been completed, with no grants applied for or given.
For example, the Waltham Anglers have been stocking lakes for many years using 100% of the annual $10 membership fee; working on a yearly budget of only $8,000, all of the money goes to stocking, compared to the ZEC budget of over $150,000 with only $6,000 going towards stocking.
To now grant this area to one outfitter will not sit well with local sportsmen; they have invested considerable effort into
making it suitable for their fishing, hunting, and recreation. We call this ‘our back yard’ because it is accessible for day fishing or hunting from most of the Pontiac’s towns. Will the outfitter grant day trips for fishing or hunting or will he only cater to more lucrative clients who will stay two or more days? What will the costs be? Can
the Pontiac’s people afford it? Will the
outfitters already using the area have to move out?
I have used the area for many years and have found the lakes to be well maintained with plenty of fish due to the hard work and dedication of our area’s sportsmen. With the government cash-starved, the fate of this area will probably all boil down to
dollars and not a lot of ‘sense’. Perhaps the decision has already been made, with the MRC essentially powerless.

A long time area sportsman
Barry Belanger
Litchfield (Vinton)