For the first time in fifty years, Ontario is reviewing its Protected Space Legislation (Ontario, 2004). While the province is proposing to eliminate all industrial activities from provincial parks, it is including an exception for Algonquin Park, due to the economic importance of the logging operations, and the perceived effectiveness of sustainable forestry practices with regards to meeting both timber and non-timber (recreation and tourism) uses. The effectiveness of such a multiple-use approach is very controversial, and has resulted in much debate between wilderness preservationists, forestry supporters and recreational users.
This research sought to address the following question: Are forestry operations affecting visitor satisfaction within Algonquin Provincial Park? In 2004 a survey of park visitors was performed to gain knowledge on what they sought to experience while visiting Algonquin Park, and to determine what, if any, the effects of logging had upon those experiences.
The research has found that in general, visitor satisfaction is not impacted by the current forestry operations. The management practices conducted in Algonquin Park at present appear to be able to sustain a tourism/recreation industry. The forestry practices do not however appear to maintain the present make-up of the existing forest ecosystem (a mixed forest), which raises concems with respect to issues of preservation, and the long term success of sustainable forestry.