This is a POOKHs site ((Property Owners Of the Kawartha Highlands) now Kawartha Highlands Ratepayers’ Association (KHRASS))
It's purpose is to be an  information source for the property owners on Catchacoma Lake and the surrounding area with regard to the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site (KHSS).
It's mostly words, no pretty pictures here, neat but not gaudy.  (and old name is history)

last update 

P 59 Spring Summer 2015... MNR releases a powerpoint presentation naming Catchacoma as the parking lot.

There is an   index or listing of documents/ sub pages. )   that follows this introduction. It is listed by date added . Most recent is at the bottom.

Hello and Welcome to the Pookh's Site

Briefly, The Background
This website is operated by an informal  group of Property Owners Of the Kawartha Highlands for the purpose of sharing information concerning the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site (KHSS). The KHSS is a 35,000 hectare portion of the Kawartha Highlands that was identified as one of nine Signature Sites in the Province in Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy of July 1999. The Kawartha Highlands contains large tracts of Crown land that are relatively undeveloped, and uninhabited shield areas.  It also has corridors of very significant private property development around  thirteen out of the fifteen major lakes and connecting waterways in the area, which contribute very significantly to the local economy. Bottle Lake has only four private properties, and Sucker has none. Most private land around the lakes was sold by the Crown prior to 1958.  The  lots on Wolf  Lake were sold about 1966.

The ratio of private land to Crown land in the Highlands has been more or less frozen since 1959. The Minister of the Department of Lands and Forests at the time, J.W. Spooner, arrested the privatization of the area in January 1959 and set aside large tracts of land in Anstruther, Burleigh, Cavendish and Harvey Townships to be used, it was initially thought, for public camp grounds to be developed as warranted by demand.  However studies indicated that most of the area was unsuitable for campground development, mainly because of insufficient soil depths and poor drainage.  These areas set aside by Spooner have been referred to in the past as "Recreation Reserves".

The area that was determined in 1958 to be suitable for  "park" development consisted of 1,850 hectares around Bottle and Sucker Lakes in Cavendish and Anstruther Townships, and this area became known as the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (KHPP). One draft plan for the KHPP that was prepared about 1967 provided for over 750 sites in the KHPP area, as well as parking, docking and launch ramps on the Crown land at the east end of Beaver Lake.  According to consultant Jack van der Meer a road was started into the area between Bottle and Sucker Lakes in the Winter of 1968 using taxpayers’ funds from Winter Works funding.  This road was abandoned the following year when it was realized that the forecast demand for campsites was too high, and Winter Works taxpayers’ funds were diverted into the development of snowmobile trails. The road has since grown over to a considerable degree.  The KHPP was identified as a Park Reserve in 1979.

In 1983 the Bancroft and Minden District Land Use Guidelines were put into effect and they indicated (planned ?) that by the year 2000 a total of 214 car camping sites would be required within the KHPP, 189 in Cavendish Township and 25 in Anstruther Township. There were a total of 17 campsites in the KHPP at that time.

In 1989 the area known as the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (KHPP) was regulated.  At that time the MNR indicated that they would be involving the public, including local property owners, in the development of a management plan.  At that time there were still only 17 campsites identified within the KHPP.

Today, January 16th, 2003, there are still 17 campsites in the KHPP,  there is no proper road access or parking and no management plan has been presented to local property owners, nor is one available.  The KHPP is currently identified, and advertised by Parks Ontario, as a non-operating provincial park. The manner in which this park has been operated by the MNR, and the resulting abuse of the KHPP, primarily by overnight campers, has been one of the most serious specific issues raised concerning long term protection of the area.  These abuses are particularly obvious to nearby property owners who love the area dearly and have been performing tasks as volunteers, that might be considered to be MNR responsibilities, to maintain the area.

In the Kawartha Highlands outside of the KHPP reasonably sized areas around the corridors of significant cottage development, excluding Long and Loucks Lakes, have always been designated to be General Use Crown land.  These General Use areas permitted  property access rights. That is, property owners were allowed to develop roads, trails and utility corridors to enhance the enjoyment, safety and utility of their properties as permitted by the General Use Crown land designation.  About 90% of the private property owners have exercised these privileges by January 2003.  Most of the remaining 10% have planned to do so in the near future.

These corridors of General Use Crown land, controlled under the Public Lands Act, also permitted the owners of private properties and visitors to the area to enjoy what are referred to as Free Use Policy Privileges, a fabulous advantage accruing to Ontario citizens that should not be compromised if at all avoidable.  They will have to be controlled to some degree on a "when and as required - site specific basis",  but they should not be compromised any more than is necessary to protect the environment and to preserve the area’s attributes for future generations of property owners and visitors to the area.  Property owners have generally been praised for their passionate stewardship of these General Use areas for the past fifty to sixty years.

The remaining areas of the KHSS, those not referred to above, are mainly located in Anstruther and Burleigh Townships.  These areas have been protected since 1983 by "restricted access" land use designations, which in some cases are also overlaid by "winter deer range" land use designations. These very protective designations have been put in place under the authority of the Public Lands Act.

The comments above very briefly summarize some of the key events affecting the KHSS and KHPP area prior to 1997 when the Lands for Life initiatives were launched by Premier Mike Harris and Minister of Natural Resources.
Useful maps of the area and other documents  are and will be available on this website.
Gary Faulkner,
Revised Jan. 16, 2003

The following is a direct quote of the NEWSLETTER 27th edition dated April 2002 put out by Gary and Marilyn Weitzel, Bowes and Cocks representatives and long time residents of Catchacoma Lake. Nothing I (Ed) have read says it any better or more economically nor does Bill 239 change this.


Ontario's Living Legacy continues to be shrouded in mystery and secrecy. The Stakeholder Committee has submitted their recommendations but no one knows what the final submission said or whether it has been accepted, rejected or amended by the Province.

The Township is trying very hard to communicate with the Ontario Government. Successful management of this park will take a team effort. Many people still believe this can be achieved. Meaningful dialogue must start soon.

Since the initial boundary parameters as shown on maps that we have viewed, the park has been increased in size to take in Coon Lake and Long Lake. Anstruther Lake is totally in the park.

There are many concerns regarding Ontario's Living Legacy Signature Site some of which present themselves as being somewhat complicated. From a real estate perspective we feel there are simple common sense solutions. Prior to the proposed signature site the properties in this area had certain privileges authorized by the Public Lands Act and specified in the Free Use Policy. Among the privileges awarded us was the freedom to access our properties over Crown Land. The access over Crown Lands for utilities such as phone and hydro were included. It makes sense to maintain these privileges. The land abutting private property must remain Crown Land. If you don't want hydro don't make use of the privilege. If you don't want a road don't have a road. It concerns Realtors when property owners are so willing to give up existing privileges and property rights. For appraisal purposes the highest and best use is equivalent to more dollar value. Services like roads and hydro means more dollars for the property owner at sale time. Insisting that your property maintains the existing privileges is very important and directly relates to the value of your property in the future.

Claw backs are happening everyday by the Government. Erosion of rights is not new for people of Ontario. We believe people should never be willing to give up their existing rights and freedoms without a fight. The next generation will probably never be able to get them back."

The issue. from 1998 till Dec. 12  2002 in detail is as below.  :
At about 2:00 pm Thursday, December 12th, 2002 the Hon. Jerry Ouellette tabled legislation in the House proposing that an undefined area of the Kawartha Highlands exterior to the existing Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park  (Bottle and Sucker lakes) be designated to be a Recreation Reserve, the Kawartha Highlands Recreation Reserve (KHRR) bill 239 . This suggests that the recommendations of the Local Stakeholders Committee (LSC) have been rejected. The buffer zones recommended by the LSC are off the table, the boundary is undefined and could go to your lot line, no matter where you are in the Kawartha Highlands area. Below pls. find  Bill 239 page and other related information. VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE INPUT PERIOD ENDS JANUARY 26TH, 2003.  THIS DOES NOT GIVE US MUCH TIME for input.

It has taken some time to define the issue and distill it down to the essentials. Most of what is here  immediately below does not change as a result of Bill 239 so has been retained. If you the reader are not interested then skip directly to the Bill 239 position below.

pre Dec. 12  2002

For those of us in the northern half of the eastern sector of Catchacoma lake the issue is personal as we will have the park on our back door unless we can prevail upon the minister (MNR) to provide a buffer zone between our properties and the park. All other cottagers on the lake could be divided into two groups. Those who will have little impact other than seeing an increased lake usage. And those who may be impacted by close association with the park access point/s. All cottagers will face additional costs for infra structure support in the future as the park pays no taxes.

Crown land vs. parkland:
In simple terms there will be a change is the designation of the property at our back door. It will be publicly advertised as a park.
General use crown land (this is what we have presently) is controlled under section 28 of the public lands Act and section 3.4.4a of the free use policy.  In other words you and I are part owners of the property behind us, and as such have say in what happens upon it, and to some extent may make use of it.
Parkland is much more akin to private property - which we do not own. It is under the care and control of the park wardens and they are answerable to Cabinet. We have no say.
If you are in dispute with somebody as to their use/ actions behind your property and it is on crown land you are equals. If that property is designated park you are not equals.

In promoting the Park the MNR and LSC officials spoke at length about "protection". To many that means different things i.e. no roads, no more cottages, preservation of the wilderness and the status quo.. All of these arguments hinge on a park management and management plan with the same vision of those cottagers who wish the "status quo".

Our position is that there is no money for management now, there is and will not be a viable management function within at least the next 15 years other than perhaps caretaker issues. We think MNR, the LSC, and those cottagers, who believed otherwise, are living in a dream world.
There is ample evidence that our view is accurate. See letter on existing park, management, level of control, roads anywhere.
There is no evidence that the opposing view is anything other than wishful thinking.

Given the disaster that is occurring on Bottle Lake  and Sucker L we think the best course of action is to keep that park as far away from us as we possibly can.

The status quo is what we all want and have a right to expect within reason. A buffer does it better.

Information used to define the Issues.

p3)   The overall site of the Park MNR officials challenged this map as inaccurate. We believe it to be more accurate than the one which they presented. Their map shows large areas of Crown land on Beaver Lake that do not exist. They have been asked to correct their maps, many times, but appear to be unable to do so . They have not presented details of any errors they claimed we show, and they commented on our map incorrectly. It should be noted that prior to any bill being passed (Park or Recreational Reserve) MNR officials were posting "Park" signs (fall 2002 at Bottle dam) in areas that are and continue to be Crown land. They have no idea of the area or the boundaries, and as such are ,at best, foolish.

The lake chain    This  map is a PDF file that  illustrates the Catchacoma,  Mississauga , Gold, and Bottle /Sucker areas. It is the map used in the letter of submission to minister MNR by Gary Faulkner detailing the request s for exclusions by various groups in the area.

The "Buffer Zone"  This is a PDF file that illustrates the area we are requesting be a buffer zone of crown land around Catchacoma lake and NOT be incorporated into the park.  It has been called in other letters  "Area X" and is the area in yellow. The map shows the lot and concession numbers in question.

p5   Mailing Map   This is the map mailed out by the The CCAssociation and was delivered BY MNR  It defines what we believe the Association Executive call the "north east quadrant.  The written comments on  it are ours. This map also is 40 years out of date.

p7) Land Tenure NE  side of  Catchacoma Park the vote count. This map details that the bulk of the property ownership in the NE quadrant of the lake who abut the park and are opposed to this "no buffer" position. Many of our group have property in this area. The CCA  has undertaken to amend our property rights, and we object. The map displays those in favor of a buffer zone and is followed by a chart updated as of Nov. 2002 with the positions of those affected property owners.

p6)  CWS trail  This map provides a close detail of the Spaffords Bay area NE corner Catchacoma Together with the map above this details the last of the non road access properties on Catchacoma Lake.

p2)  Land Tenure map  south of Bottle creek on Catchacoma Lake.
This map provides a close detail  of the south end area of interest

P9) Photos of the Bottle lake roads    These photos show details of the destruction that is taking place within the existing park. MNR stewardship if you will.

P10) Photos of the Sucker Lake Road These photos show similar details. The reader should note that these "trails" are tracks worn through the bush by those squatters passing through. They are not sanctioned, controlled or in any way cared for. A gate will have no more stopping power than a mud hole.

P11)  Proxies     Some comments and  what I believe is called a Memorandum of Law on the subject. The association refused to accept any proxies at the annual general meeting. A number of the property owners in this NE quadrant were unable to attend the meeting as they were out of country. They did have proxies at the meeting.

The meeting hand out "Provincial Park or No Provincial Park" This is a PDF file and you need Adobe Acrobat Reader on you computer for it to appear. This program is freely available on the web in many places and from web site.
This document  provides a number of letters that will give the history and includes the 'Cain" letter.
We recommend you particularly read the letter from T. Flynn,   Reeve of CGH twp. The reader should then read the  W S Lyttle letter that follows paying careful attention to the dates of the letters and the future tense used in the first para on page 11 by Ms. Lyttle.
Mr. Flynn was present at the Annual general meeting but was not allowed to speak.

P 13) MNR Policy clarification; This  Sept. 26, 2000 policy letter (also PDF File) is titled Clarification of Management Policies for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves in the Ontario Living Legacy Planning Area". We received this from MNR's Bob Moss in Adair Ireland-Smith's office  Oct. on Oct. 21.  - ph no 705 755 1773 after requests to MNR Bancroft, and Kingston, and the Ministers office were refused. Readers should pay particular attention to the table at the back of the document re MNR's position on the acquiring of cottage lots within the park. We include a note from Mr. Moss that advises that this policy letter is current and thus  Ms. Nancy Wilson (of MNR) was incorrect (at the AGM) when she suggested that it was not. The concern here is that by not allowing properties to access hydro ,and roads they isolate them from future development and force the owners to sell at low dollar to MNR as per the policy. The old John Wayne movie "cut off your water" trick.;-)..

P12) Correspondence
A) Original 1958 privileges to construct access roads to private properties from MNR
1) This Feb. 14 1989 letter from MNR details the promise of a " management plan" for the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.  Have Called Nancy Wilson Oct. 18 2002  PH # 613 332 3949 ext. 255 to request disposition of that management  plan.
2) Mar 2001 G&M article by Lazslo Buhasz re park crowding and $102M for park development.
3) Jan 2001 G &M article by Richard Mackie re same $102M.
4) April 2001 comment by Prof. Paul Eagles re meaning of management. :Wherein he says
"Of the new parks and conservation reserves being created now after Lands for Life  none have staff or facilities and none are planned. Ontario is going to create hundreds of new parks without any new staff or recreation facilities. This will take Ontario to one of the lowest park to staff ratios in the world, under .5 staff per park."
5) Letter from Lydia  Dobbin to Nancy Wilson and Ernie Eves. Lydia is one of about sixty-five property owners that has been reduced to the  status of a "transient visitor" to Anstruther Lake because one of the two  marinas on the lake has been converted to a condominium. If no buffer  zones are created to permit the construction of roads around Anstruther Lake,  there are very serious questions regarding permanent access to many properties  on Anstruther Lake.  In  total there are about 124 water-access properties on Anstruther Lake and both of  the marinas were at capacity before one of them, effectively, shut  down.
6) Don Cassidy email To: Jerry Ouellette     and      (NORKLA) (2002)  Response to the OLL LSC Final Recommendation. Don Cassidy is a cottager on Big Cedar Lake and was the first person to discover, by accident, that the LSC recommended to extend the KHSS boundary south to the north shore of Big Cedar Lake.  This discovery was made when he discovered a copy of the Draft Recommendations at a local general store. (NORKLA)  are requesting more time and a review of the LSC's recommendations before the Minister makes a decision.
7) McDowall  & Lewis letter, property owners on Big Cedar Lake since the 1920's.
8) Warren Terpstra & Joan Wilson letter  - Catchacoma Lake  cottage owners in the NE quadrant  The reader will begin note the number of issues raised with the government's method of conducting it's "public input" .
9) 3 letters from Gary Faulkner to Minister (P44). These letters requests a buffer zone and the reasons why plus details the events as they have occurred. It explains the areas shown on the "lake chain" map listed above. The later letters deal with the failings of the LSC in the conduct of it's mandate.
10) letter from the Turner family - no buffer zone

This is a four part document outlining this groups position and who they are. We understand W S Lyttle was an attendee at their meetings. This group is not the Ontario Living Legacy Local Stakeholder Comittee (OLL LSC) that Ms Tanner chaired.
This document  is is a direct copy of a word document. the 4 parts are: The contact for that organization is Rick Meridew Co-Chair, SGKH<>.

1) Executive Overview,
2) Vision Statement:
3) Management Plan
Additionally we have attached a more recent Dec 12 2002 document related to Bill 239 of which Rick Meridew Co-Chair, SGKH says. "While the Act is a high level document and our reading of it was brief it appears to include virtually all of the key elements of our latest submissions." Attached also is the Jan 24 mailing
Their web site can be found at   see also Page 26 below

Post Dec. 12 2002
(P 15) Bill 239 An act to establish a recreational reserve This page contains the link to bill 239, the notice for the act, and the press release, along with our first comments and the comments of the LSC. It also details web sites with further information and the means to provide your views to the ministry. a listing of those submissions is linked below (P 22)
Bill 239 progress information can be tracked on  this Ont. govt. web site

(P16) Solution  A proposal on how this area should be handled. The  proposals on this page have been delivered to the government and will, if followed, provide a solution to many of the existing problems at a  minimum cost to the taxpayer. Ed Note: If the reader should think that the idea Recreation Reserve has come out of the blue then I suggest they go directly to the last line of the second document. This is a good vision.  If we can hold the government and MNR to it we will have done well. It would appear that they may have accepted it. A map is included.

(P 17) The WSL page. Wendy Sue Lyttle is/(was as of 2003) the president of the Catchacoma Lake Cottagers Assoc. She is a friend of Ms Tanner, and a supporter of the LSC. We do not agree with her position or her conduct of her duties, but will post anything she mails out, verbatim. In addition this page contains an email  from Rick Aube(president Beaver-Cavendish-Bottle-McGinniss) to WSL re Association Clarification. This clearly states the Beaver lake position.    Feb. 14 2003. WSL unprecedented attack on Anstruther Lake association president. readers may also be interested in P 25

(P 20) The Janice Griffith page  This is a series of comments initiated Jan 7th by  Janice Griffith's "Eight point attack on Minister Jerry Ouellette and other persons who have done their homework." Ms Griffiths was/is a member of the LCS and is on North Kawartha council. Her position rebutted. It will be interestng to see if she can clarify her position in view of Pages 16 and 19 herein. Some people will find these comments direct and hard but Ms. Griffith is a public figure who is an outspoken supporter of the LSC and, as such, can and must be called to account for her actions. This JG viewpoint has been recommended by CAA and is another illustration  of their misinformation.

(P 21) Other commentaries against the KHRR and bill 239.     Readers should note this page has links to the "canned letters" being put out by the environmental sites and some persons have shipped numerous replies.

(P18) reference page  includes the following:

(P19) provides a table of the clauses of Bill 239 and comments to date to provide "food for thought".  A format is provided to add your comments. We would  appreciate receiving your comments, questions and / or other information so it can be  assembled into a submission  to  Minister Ouellette and other parties.

(P22) supportive submissions to date re bill 239 some of the letters being sent.

P23 Mike Colle Assumptions.   As some of you may know the local pro-park group, Supporters of the Kawartha Highlands Park, has been trying to motivate some Liberals to assist them to: i) oppose Bill 239,  ii) to promote the LSC's recommendations, and iii) to promote the LSC. They have had some success and Mike Colle, LIB,  MPP - Eglinton/Lawrence has decided to support them. For this purpose he has created a page called  'Fighting For A Kawartha Highlands Park' on his web site. This site is similar  to P21 above in that it delivers a "canned response" 1 click petition capability. Of interest is the page is delivered by an American company. Mike can't do it himself.
This page copies his position and his web site and rebuts his erroneous  assumptions. He is challenged to reply, (he declined.) It also tracks a series of e-mails to Murray Campbell G & M writer who sourced this erroneous information. This "Colle" site has been recommended by CAA and is another illustration  of their misinformation. As of Mar 12 approx this petiton was removed from the Colle web site and Mike did not attend the public meeting of Mar 12 opposed to Bill 239.

(P25) A series of documents that can explain the Anstruther/Beaver road issue, the relevance of Bob Walsh's  information (and who he is), and some of the other concerns re roads in parks. It also concerns WSL misinformation.

P26 SGKH petition ed note we hope all will sign on to this pro bill 239 petition  This page has Rick Meridew's introductory  Email and then a rational statement for those who wish a summary of issues. We have corrected the small link error in the rational statement.We have added a copy of bill 239.

P (24)Ernie Eves Ontario Government prorogued the Legislature on Wed. March 12th, 2003. and explanation of what that means to Bill 239 , - a Jeff Gray - Eric Mackie article and a Louise Elliott article. and 6 days later Ernie Eves, Ontario's Premier, , announced today that Chris Hodgson will consult with the local community and various stakeholders interested in the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site in an attempt to reach a consensus  the full press release. Sure makes Julia Bryan Memo to Bob Walsh  noted on page 18 a little more interesting

(P27)   Kawartha Highlands Ratepayers’ Association (KHRASS) is Organizing  -send money ;-) There is a need for a new "grassroots organization" that will provide property owners throughout the entire KHSS, as well as interested and affected persons outside of the KHSS area, with accurate unbiased information that individuals, as well as associations, etc. can act on.  The Introduction, Association, newsletter and application forms. It is intended to seek alliances  with such organizations asOPERA (Ontario Property and Environmental Rights Alliance) An Ontario-wide network of member organizations mandated to:PROTECT, AND ENTRENCH IN LAW, THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PRIVATE LANDOWNERS AGAINST ARBITRARY RESTRICTIONS AND DECISIONS OF GOVERNMENT.

P28 late breaking News latest this covers the period of 2003

P29 Submission to Chris Hodgson this details the background and position to Mr. Hodgson prior to his meeting wth the SGKH. For those interested it does not explain why Mr. Hodgson said that Mr. Falkner and the Beaver Lake association had separated themselves from the SGKH.  We continue to wonder about those remarks.

P 30 The FOCA position On this page please find  FOCA submission to MNR re BILL 239  by Gerry Hunnius, an info string questioning the FOCA position and reply a by Lance Sherk,  Who is Lance Sherk and their employer,     and who is Gerry Hunnius. This begins to smell.

P 31Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Charter.  This Charter documents the main elements of the agreement reached in the focussed discussions related to the establishment, and long-term sustainable management and use of the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park as established by Bill 100

P 32  Kawartha Highlands Ratepayers’ Association Newsletter Index This page has  furthur links and connections to the individual newsletters.

P 50 Memorial to Gary

 P51  2004News  all the latest in this year  in order of receipt.

P52 The park delivers the Preliminary Management plan  -  Sept  2007  -our response and those of many others

P53 the Meteek report we finally get a copy  and have a chance to compare it to the KHSS Management Plan Background information. It is interesting to note what was deleted from this original report and what management board has tried to cover over.

P 54 The fall out from the PPMP disaster

P 55 fall 2008 The (AMP) Approved management plan is produced along with the Access Road study

P 56 Spring 2009  we submit a part II bump up request (request for reconsideration) of the Access road study - - we have corespondence with the minister - the road study is bogus and he admits it!!!

Page 57  Summer 2009   dave needs help     photos of campsite in Bottle june 25

P58    Summer  2012     the first bridge parking lot issues

P 58A Some photos of the bottle lake parking  from 2009   and include photos of "Bridge 1" parking in 2013. a discussion of two possible parking sites 2013

P 59 Spring Summer 2015 MNR releases a powerpoint presentation naming Catchacoma as the parking lot

Page count  set Jan 2 2003 - - #
for comment or additions contact editor at;
I Battye
100 Muir Cres.
Whitby Ont. Can.
ph 905 665 1534
fax 905 665 1536
email <>