A spokesperson for Ontario Parks says the development of a management plan for Wabikimi Wilderness Park is in its early days and the Ministry of Natural Resources wants input from anyone interested in wilderness and protected areas.

Last week, a group called the Peaceful Parks Coalition said the MNR is under pressure to allow more hunting and fishing camps in the park. 

wabikimi provincial park, ON

But Tim Sullivan, Northwest Zone manager for Ontario Parks, said the 700,000 hectares added to the original park in 1997 already contained a number of land use permit holders.  

"Inside the addition, there are an awful lot of existing main-base outpost camps," he said.

"I think, right now, there are about 44 [permit holders] and seven main-base lodges. There is some private property inside the park as well."

The MNR has spent a lot of time in recent years consulting with First Nations about the park, Sullivan said, noting the finished Wabikimi management plan will determine what the policies in the park will be. 

The original Wabikimi park was created in 1983 and was 155,000 hectares in size. Between 1992 and 1995, the Wabikimi Park boundary committee looked at making the park bigger. In 1997, after a full public process, they recommended adding 737,000 hectares to the park. The whole park is 892,000 hectares in size. 

"The original core park created in 1983 was a wilderness class park," Sullivan said.

"For the addition, the boundary commitee put on conditions that the park would be regulated as park, but wouldn't be classified. And through the park planning process we [will] look at determining what the classification would be."