Willisville Mountain vs Vale Update with Globe and Mail · Jun 8, 05:28 PM

Jon Butler of the La CLoche Mountain Preservation Society See website for details has been on the phone and interviewed by CTV, CBC, Sudbury Star, Sault Star, Northern Life, and the Globe and Mail, all published articles today June 8, 2010.

Both Jon and myself were interviewed by Ann Hui of the Globe and Mail regarding our positions as artists and local residents about the potential mining of Willisville mountain by Vale.

Unfortuneately the native concerns to the land, spoken by Christi Belcourt, was edited out along with my hopes that someone can purchase the land to permanently protect the mountain, perhaps through a Land Trust, much like our local Georgian Bay Land Trust protects Islands between Midland and Parry Sound.

It is my hopes that the land is protected from any mining for future generations so that we can preserve a historical, and cultural icon.

See Globe and Mail Article

— Carol Currie


Willisville Mountain, West Entrance to Killarney Provincial Park, is at RISK · May 25, 08:29 AM

Pictures speak louder than words! The first two photos of this blog show a BEFORE and AFTER shot of a new area VALE Inco is expanding into. These are new operations outside of the present Lawson Quarry site. The photos were taken on Sunday, May 16 and Monday, May 17 from the lookout on the Willisville Road. I welcome everyone to comment on this issue as this is so near and dear to my heart. This is a sensitive historical area. It is a legacy area where Group of Seven Artists came to paint and sketch. For more details of this, follow this link to Friends of Killarney Provincial Park where many of the paintings and sketches are borrowed from the McMichael Gallery.

Click thumbnail to enlarge each image

  • View from Willisville Mountain BEFORE new Quarry, Photo taken by Jon Butler, May 16, 2010
  • View from Willisville Mountain of new Quarry Construction by Vale INCO, photo taken by Jon Butler May 17, 2010
  • Franklin Carmichael Painting at Grace Lake circa 1935, photo by Joachin Gauthier
  • Franklin Carmichael
    Grace Lake

On Friday, May 14, and only by sheer luck, Jon Butler, local resident and member of the La Cloche Mountain Preservation Society was informed by a VALE Inco employee that they would be opening a new aggregate quarry and crusher at the west end of Frood Lake. This is the forested area between the Willisville Road and Lawson Quarry where a pickerel pond is located. The pickerel pond operates between May and July each year and it is run by local volunteers. Jon is a volunteer to start the water pumps each day and this is how he came in contact with the VALE Inco employee.

This new aggregate site is approximately 550 yards from the Village of Willisville, which is also the WEST Entrance to Killarney Provincial Park and Grace Lake.

There was no communication whatsoever between VALE Inco and the Willisville residents, lodge owners or land owners who will be directly impacted by this expansion.

There was no environmental study or public forum before this expansion.

On Monday, May 17 Jon visited the MNR office in Espanola to view the aggregate licence #20568 that covers this new operation. The licence was grandfathered in in 1998 and a site plan was registered in 2001. There were no environmental studies or public forums required and none were held. There are no time lines required on the site plan or licence.

Licence #20568 also includes Willisville Mountain.

The La Cloche Mountains Preservation Society will be dedicated to save Willisville Mountain. Further information and regular updates may be obtained by contacting Jon Butler at willisvillemountain@gmail.com , on Facebook, at The Willisville Mountain page and at www.lacloche.ca.

I encourage everyone to get their local radio stations to play selections from the Willisville Mountain CD by Ian Tamblyn CD. The song ‘Take the Mountain Down’ is very appropriate. Copies are available through www.lacloche.ca

The Sudbury Star contacted Jon in this regard and the Story became front page headlines written by reporter Harold Carmichael, Saturday May 22, 2010 News Edition Article

Here is some excerpt’s from this article.

Willisville Mountain at risk
Posted By HAROLD CARMICHAEL THE SUDBURY The Village of Willisville, which has a population of about 55, is located on Highway 6 between Espanola and Little Current. Willisville Mountain is situated in the heart of the La Cloche Mountains — an almost two billion-year-old mountain range.
Forty-five artists came together in 2009 to create the Willisville Mountain Project, an art project dealing with the four seasons. An exhibit opened in Willisville in July 2009 and will travel until August 2010.
Butler said Willisville Mountain, which was once home to a fire tower and was the scene of filming with the television seriesAdventures in Rainbow Country,is the highest point in the area and draws lots of hikers annually who come for the spectacular view. Willisville Mountain is also associated with many Group of Seven painters, such as A.J. Casson, A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael, he said.
“We are not against development,” said Butler. “There has to be mining in Northern Ontario, but there must be somewhere else available, an alternative to this … We consider it of historical significance, just by the art history alone. And it’s right beside Highway 6.”
One of the Group of Seven paintings in the permanent collection at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg, noted Butler, is A.J. Casson’sFrom Willisville Mountain.The painting will be featured as part of the In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven exhibition, which opens today at the gallery.

Click thumbnail to enlarge each image

  • View from Willisville Hill to Whitefish Falls, the North Channel and Manitoulin Island
  • Remenants of The Fire Tower looking out at Lawson's Quarry and to the North Channel beyond
  • View to the East of Willisville Mountain, La Cloche Mountain Range and Entrace to Killarney Provincial Park
  • Centre of photo is Lawson's Quarry owned by Vale INCO
  • Willisville Climb
  • Carol Currie Age 8 Willisville Mountain La Cloche Mountains

— Carol Currie