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Algoma Land Conservancy to Buy Stokely Lodge

Fri, Apr  27, 2007 - By Doug Pitt and Steve Holmes

Thanks to Linda Clemens for alerting me to this letter. - Mike Muha

Dear friends of the Algoma Highlands Conservancy:

Much has happened in the year that has past since our last formal newsletter. As you have no doubt heard, Stokely has been sold to Astina Establishment, a European-based company that owns 40,000 ac immediately north of Stokely. Astina has been managing this property for long-term, sustained forest values and has similar plans for Stokely. Through the fall and winter, we have worked closely with representatives of Astina in planning an outcome for Stokely that would result in conservation of the land and natural values of the property, consistent with our mission and mandate.

On the eve of the closing date for the sale, April 11, 2007, Steve Holmes, Karen Streich, and I met with representatives of Astina and their local forest manager, Mr. George Schmitz, to further formalize our plans for the property. In brief, discussions to date consist of the following:

Astina will manage the portion of the property north of the Tupper-Van Koughnet township line (approximately 5350 ac) using sustainable forest management practices. Astina is willing to:

  • provide the AHC with guaranteed access to the existing trail system;
  • allow the AHC to limit public access to the existing trail system;
  • work with the AHC to mitigate the impacts of forest management activities on our trail use; and
  • sell to the AHC the portion of the property south of the Tupper-Van Koughnet township line,including the Lodge and King Mountain area (2600 of the approximately 8000 ac).

Purchase of the southern portion of the property would consolidate our existing ownership at the Robertson Lake cliffs and we would continue to manage these properties as protection forest (harvesting only windfalls and imminent mortality for trail maintenance and Lodge fuel wood).

Unfortunately, we were not able to derive any tax benefits for Astina through this plan, so their firm price to us is $2 M CDN.

We have agreed to inform Astina of our intent to purchase the land and the Lodge by June 15, 2007. In order to commit to the option to purchase, it is essential that we get as many guaranteed donations as possible. With this letter, we hereby request your written pledge for donation by June 5, 2007. Based on these pledges, we will develop a business plan for the land and the lodge that we will outline for you prior to requesting your tax-deductible donation on August 31, 2007.

This is the first time that this beautiful property has been offered exclusively to us at a fixed price. Of course, Stokely means different things to each of us. For some it’s the expanse of trails through continuous forests; for others it’s the undeveloped lake shores; or pristine, fast-flowing brooks; or mountain views capes…regardless, there’s something that stirs deep feelings within us all. Now is the time to show your personal support and commitment to retain Stokely as the place we all cherish! Please be generous and please talk to your friends and spread the word.

We encourage you to email us with your pledge and provide us with your full contact information so that we can update our files (info@algomahighlandsconservancy.org). If you do not have access to email,please send the information to either our Canadian or American office address.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas, please feel free to contact Steve or myself. Thank you in advance for your continuing support. Together, we can make this happen!

 
Doug Pitt, President
home: 705-649-1281
work: 705-541-5610 info@algomahighlandsconservancy.org 
Steve Holmes, Vice-President
home: 705-949-9017
work: 705-541-5661 erin.steve@sympatico.ca

A form for making donations can be found here (PDF).

For more on the sale, see Stokely Creek Sold.