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Scotch Bonnet Island and Mohawk Island National Wildlife Areas Management Plan

6 Authorizations and prohibitions

To protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats, human activities are minimized and controlled in National Wildlife Area (NWA)s through the implementation of the Canada Wildlife Act and Wildlife Area Regulations. These regulations set out activities that are prohibited (subsection 3(1)) in the wildlife area and provide mechanisms for the Minister of the Environment to authorize certain activities to take place in NWAs that are otherwise considered prohibited. The regulations also provide the authority for the Minister to prohibit entry into NWAs.

All activities in an NWA are prohibited unless a notice has been posted or published authorizing the activity to take place. Activities within an NWA are authorized where notices or signs have been posted at the entrance to or along the boundaries of the NWA, or when notices have been published in local newspapers. However, in addition to notices, certain activities may be authorized by obtaining a permit from the Minister of the Environment.

6.1 Prohibition of entry

Under the Wildlife Area Regulations, the Minister may post notices at the entrance of any wildlife area, or on the boundary of any part thereof, prohibiting entry to any wildlife area or part thereof. These notices can be posted when the Minister is of the opinion that entry is a public health and safety concern and when entry may disturb wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Public entry to Scotch Bonnet Island NWA is prohibited except by Canada Wildlife Act permit. The notices of prohibited entry are posted on NWA signs on the north and east sides of the island, at public boat launches, and in various public information and outreach materials. Entry to the stone lighthouse ruins is prohibited at all times.

Public access and activities at Mohawk Island NWA are restricted by the Wildlife Area Regulations. Entry to Mohawk Island NWA is not permitted from April 1 to August 31, except by a permit issued by the Canadian Wildlife Service under the Canada Wildlife Act. Signs are posted on the island . On Mohawk Island NWA, overnight camping, open fires, hunting and use of vehicles are prohibited at all times. Entry to the stone lighthouse structures is prohibited at all times.

6.2 Authorized activities

Scotch Bonnet Island NWA

Public access to Scotch Bonnet Island NWA is prohibited year round, except by Canada Wildlife Act permit for research, survey and monitoring purposes. Boats are prohibited from landing on Scotch Bonnet Island at all times.

The only authorized activities open to the public include:

  • recreational boating in the nearshore area, and
  • wildlife viewing from offshore.

Mohawk Island NWA

Public access to Mohawk Island NWA is permitted from September 1 through March 31, for day use only, from sunrise to sunset. Signs are posted on the island clearly indicating the permitted dates of access. Authorized low-impact recreational uses at the island include

  • wildlife viewing;
  • picnicking;
  • recreational fishing from shore (no lead sinkers and spears);
  • swimming; and
  • boat landing (motorized and non-motorized boats).

However, use of the island by large numbers of birds, and the presence of bird feces, reduces the attractiveness of Mohawk Island NWA for many recreational uses. Visitors should be aware that they use the area and surrounding waters at their own risk.

Hunting is not permitted on or from Mohawk Island NWA/

If regular site visits to Mohawk Island NWA demonstrate that negative impacts are occurring as a result of public access, mitigation procedures oriented toward compliance and prevention will be promoted; if serious problems arise, further restrictive measures may be employed.

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented in this document and the notice, the notice prevails, as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

6.3 Authorizations

Permits and notices authorizing an activity may be issued only if the Minister is of the opinion that the activity is scientific research relating to wildlife or habitat conservation, or the activity benefits wildlife and their habitats or will contribute to wildlife conservation, or the activity is not inconsistent with the purpose for which the NWA was established and is consistent with the most recent management plan.

The Minister may also add terms and conditions to permits in order to minimize the impact of an activity on wildlife and wildlife habitat.

All requests for permits or authorizations must be made in writing to the following address:

Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service
Ontario Region
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington ON L7R 4A6
Tel.: 905-336-4464
Fax: 905-336-4587
Email: wildlife.ontario@ec.gc.ca

For further information, please consult the Policy when Considering Permitting or Authorizing Prohibited Activities in Protected Areas Designated under the Canada Wildlife Act and Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (December 2011) (Environment Canada, 2011). This Environment and Climate Change Canada policy document is available on the Protected Areas website.

6.4 Exceptions

The following activities will be exempt from the requirements for permitting and authorizations:

  • Activities related to public safety, health or national security, that are authorized by or under another Act of Parliament or activities under the Health of Animals Act and Plant Protection Act that are intended to protect the health of animals and plants
  • Activities related to routine maintenance of NWAs, implementation of management plans and enforcement activities conducted by an officer or employee of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Exceptions to the prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, activities outlined in Table 4.

Table 4: Exceptions to prohibited activities
Exception to prohibited activityScotch Bonnet Island NWAMohawk Island NWA
Public access to NWA between September 1 and March 31 (outside of breeding season), from sunrise to sunset, for limited recreational use-Yes
Research, survey and monitoring of wildlife or habitat--
Access to the stone lighthouse by Parks Canada Agency--
Monitoring, operation and maintenance of navigation aids by Fisheries and Oceans Canada--

These activities are administered through posted notices, permits and formal collaborative arrangements. Visits to Scotch Bonnet Island NWA are coordinated through Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service (Ontario Region) to avoid accidental interference of projects, duplication of effort or excessive disturbance to colonial and migratory birds.

All requests to the Canadian Wildlife Service for Canada Wildlife Act permits must be made in writing at least seven weeks prior to the commencement of proposed activities. Canada Wildlife Act permit requests will be denied if, in the opinion of the management authority, the proposed activity is not in the best interest of the protected area. Refer to Appendix 4 for conditions of research requests at National Wildlife Areas.

6.5 Other federal and provincial authorizations

Depending on the type of activity, other federal or provincial permits may be required to undertake an activity in Scotch Bonnet Island NWA or Mohawk Island NWA.

Note: Provincial and federal permits and “seasons” apply for hunting and fishing adjacent to the NWAs.

Contact the federal or provincial permitting office for more information.

Federal:
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service
Ontario Region
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington ON L7R 4A6
Tel.: 905-336-4464
Fax: 905-336-4587
Email: wildlife.ontario@ec.gc.ca
Provincial:
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
300 Water Street,
Peterborough ON K9J 8M5
Tel.: 1-800-667-1940

General prohibitions applicable to all NWAs apply to both Scotch Bonnet Island NWA and Mohawk Island NWA, unless notices to the contrary have appeared in local newspapers or have been posted at the site, or by authorized permit. Prohibitions can be found in the Canada Wildlife Act and Wildlife Area Regulations.

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented in this document and the notice, the notice prevails, as it is the legal instrument prohibiting entry.

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