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Manitoulin holdings to be development by forestry firm.

Manitoulin holdings to be developed by forestry firm

A forestry company is planning to develop, not cut, its land on Cockburn and Manitoulin Islands.

Quebec and Ontario Paper Co. of St. Catharines, Ont. is considering various options for its 30,352 hectares (approximately 75,000 acres) on the islands. The area covers both coastal and inland acreage.

Some of the development ides being looked at include cottage lost, hunting and fishing camps and trails for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

The company announced its intention to develop the properties last spring.

Jim Lawn, the company's vice-president in charge of finance, said there has been no action yet because the company is deliberately taking its time to ensure that there is no negative impact on the cultural or environmental nature of the area.

Since the paper company announced it would not cut timber on the properties, company officials have met with local politicians, residents and all other interested parties to determine a course of action.

During a meeting with local politicians and other community representatives in Gore Bay in October, Lawn told those gathered that the company was seeking a prtner to help it develop and initiate a plan to divest itself of its holdings on the islands.

Lawn explained that the main criteria for obtaining a partner and selling and land is a "sensitive concern for the islands cultural and environmental value."

Although the goal is to dispose of the property, Lawn told Northern Ontario Business that the company is seeking out a partner who will respect the criteria set forth by the company.

"The proposal is for low-density development of the lands. We are quietly reviewing possible partners," he said.

Lawn explained that the partner will not only share the risk of development but it must also lend substantial financial an managerial expertise to the venture.

At the Gore Bay meeting Lawn explained that the selected partner will have soud financial backing as well as a proven track record in dealing with environmentally sensitive developments.

To date no definite candidates have been identified.

"We're not pounding on any doors. We're going slowly," said Lawn from his St. Catharines office.

If a partner is not found, Lawn said the company is prepared to create its own land development team.

There had been some speculation that the company would sell all of its land in undeveloped parcels. However, Lawn reported that Quebec and Ontario Paper wants to maintain control over the development.

The land has been owned by the company for about 40 years, but it has not been harvested because of economic considerations.

The newsprint company last logged the area in the early 1960s. It ceased operations at that time because of cost and its increased use of recycled paper.

Although a small portion of the land is currently being leased to independent loggers, most has remained untouched since Quebec and Ontario Paper pulled out.

Lawn was reluctant to comment on the value of the properties, stating that "the numbers were meaningless at this time."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Forestry Report; Quebec and Ontario Paper Co.
Author:McDougall, Douglas
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:company profile
Date:Dec 1, 1990
Previous Article:Recession capitalized on by NorFab to negotiate an affordable expansion.
Next Article:Energy-saving process to be tested next year at Thunder Bay paper mill.

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