Artists converge to help protect world's largest old-growth red pine forest
NORTH BAY - Eleven artists are gathering on the shores of Wolf Lake today to kick off the inaugural pARTners for Wolf Lake art camp. The camp, which lasts until Saturday, is a fundraiser for the Wolf Lake Coalition. Artwork created this week will be auctioned off later this year in support of the Coalition's campaign to see the world's largest old-growth red pine forest protected.
"I'm drawn to landscapes of environmental significance," explains Caryn Joy Colman, one of the participating artists. "The Wolf Lake area fits that bill." Colman, from Temagami, uses watercolour and topographic maps to capture outstanding natural landscapes.
In 1999, the Ontario government promised to protect the 300-year old Wolf Lake pines, located in the northeastern corner of the City of Greater Sudbury. The Wolf Lake Coalition calls on the Wynne government to honour the 14-year old promise to permanently protect Wolf Lake within the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park. The Coalition is made up of 30 local, provincial, and national organizations and businesses.
"As an painter, I've always been drawn to the beauty of places like Wolf Lake," said North Bay artist Liz Lott. "The fact that this incredible ecosystem is still threatened makes our work that much more important."
New research published in June in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, calls the Wolf Lake old-growth forest a, "scientifically irreplacable system." Red pine once covered much of northeastern North America, including what is now downtown Sudbury. Extensive logging and mining have eliminated these forests on all but 1.2% of their original extent, making them a critically endangered ecosystem. The Wolf Lake forest is more than triple the size of the next largest remnant. There are two mining leases and dozens of mining claims in the Wolf Lake forest.
"pARTners for Wolf Lake is an opportunity to bring the beauty of Wolf Lake to a wider audience in Northern Ontario and beyond," said Bob Olajos, spokesperson for the Wolf Lake Coalition. "I can`t wait to see the amazing work that these talented artists produce."