Barbara,After portaging almost 5km in one day to get from Kiosk to Three Mile Lake we were surprised and disappointed to see what was apparently a motorboat with three people fishing the following morning. It definitely wasn't the local rangers who we had met the previous day on Manitou in a different boat. While I have no idea who the people in the boat were, the MNR person I talked to after the trip agreed that they were most likely aboriginals who are pretty much free to do whatever they want in the park.
It isn't the first time I have seen motorboats in interior lakes. About 20 years I did a spring trip through White Partridge Lake and we encountered three or four motorboats out on the lake. There was a sizeable community of tents, truck campers and camper trailers on the east shore of the lake. Later that year when we were talking to the MNR employee responsible for interior maintainance his comment was "Oh, we didn't think they could still get in there as the road was washed out".
As a teenager, we once drove into the Basin Lake area from Round Lake and at that time an MNR employee was stationed at the park boundary. Nowadays, access roads into the Algonquin interior are neither gated nor manned. It is a system that guarantees abuse. As my story about our White Partridge trip illustrates, the park authorities are largely clueless about who is accessing the backcountry via the extensive network of logging roads.
At a minimum, MNR should close roads that go directly to an interior lake shore.
Not worth getting worked up over these things. It's been like this for a long, long time, and no amount of yammering is going to change anything.
Hm, well, the yammering that's been going on elsewhere since the early seventies resulted in change... protected park area where logging was banned by park policy (the formal protection by zoning actually being written into APP park plans) - increased from zero (pre-1974 before there was a plan) to 7%, to 22% and now 35%.
The APP park plan currently defining how the park needs to be managed was written in 1998... it does not include the direction given by the newer 2007 Parks and Conservation Reserves Act which states that "maintenance of ecological integrity shall be the first priority" in parks management and "opportunities for public consultation will be provided" as planning moves forward.
A new park plan may be needed in the next several years, since the plan needs to be made current with the requirements of the new Parks Act... so I expect much more yammering here and elsewhere on what needs to be done for the well-being of the park, especially on road access since it's one of the more serious problems.