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Events and Issues facing Star Lake

Issues | Events

Some important issues - Summer 2023 (Hey, who ordered all the bugs!)

June 1, 2023, Update:

I recently emailed our Park Specialist, Joanne Podolchuk, regarding a number of issues and received a prompt reply. My questions and her replies (in red) are paraphrased below:

"Hi, Joanne. Sorry to be a pest, but I would like to provide Star Lake folks with an update on a few things.

1) Is there any word on the timing of the capping of the dangerous open mine shaft south of Star?

This work is currently slated for this August, cottagers will be advised once exact dates are known.

2) Has there been any further requests for mineral exploration or mine development from McFarlane Lake Mining?

No requests have been submitted at this point.

(FYI, I follow their news feed and they seem to be excited about the results of their High Lake explorations, and not mentioning anything about the Star site. Their stock price has been rising significantly since the High Lake results have come out. Their stock price was in free fall after the announcements posted earlier regarding the Star Lake site. My hope is that they may forgo the hassles of trying to develop a not-very-promising site in a provincial park in Manitoba where they know they would face fierce local opposition. But stranger things have happened and I won't be happy until my government has legislated an end to mineral exploration and mine development in our provincial parks. Doug C.)

3) Several of my neighbours have raised concerns about private cottages being bought up solely for the purpose of running a rental business. I don't have all the background on this issue, but I am asking if this would constitute running a business in the park and what sorts, if any, regulations or controls may be in effect? So, can you buy up 4 cottages in a development and rent them out as a business?

Parks is aware of the issue of private cottages being used as short-term rentals such as AirBnB's and VRBO's, but Parks does not currently regulate these. However, the matter is being reviewed. Questions or concerns should be sent to Parks at this email address: Manitoba Parks at

(I don't think renting out your own cottage to help pay your cottage lease fees or just letting friends or relatives use your place when you're not there is a problem. But what about buying cottages as an investment and renting them out as a business? To me that violates the spirit of cottaging in the Whiteshell. And how do neighbours deal with properties that end up rented to rowdies and being abused. Does this lead to an erosion of our community, our right to peace and quiet? I hope Parks gets around to setting some guidelines on this issue. Send your thoughts and comments to Parks at the link above. Doug C.)

4) Is there any word on when the main beach docks are to be replaced?

The docks are to be replaced, but no timeline is set. Contact the local District Office at 204-349-2201 for further more information.

5) I know that this is a dicey issue, but will Parks be actively involved regarding the proposed twinning of Hwy 1? (Parks certainly wasn't mentioned in any of the related media announcements.)

Short answer: yes, along with all other stakeholders, once public engagement begins.

We all need to stay abreast of this issue, though it will undoubtedly be a while before things are formally proposed. As Whiteshell Park cottagers we have a right have our say, and we should all be ready to support our fellow cottagers as needed. (I'm sure folks at Barren Lake are rather concerned right now.)

(Personally I hope that all means of making the short stretch of Hwy 1 through our park safer are considered, not just spending a billion dollars to twin the section so traffic can whiz along at 110 Km/hr. Doug C.)

6) And lastly, are there any proposed developments or issues that we don't already know about in the works for the Star Lake area? (I know that's not really a fair question, but still, I gotta ask!)

Nothing to report at this time.

Thanks, bye for now.

Doug Collicutt"

March 2023, Update:

Dangerous Mine Shaft Capping: Finally, a number of years after a partially open mine shaft was reported to the government, the shaft is set to be properly capped. The site has been a significant safety concern for too long. (The open shaft and shoddy fencing around it has been a temptation for "adventurous" young folks!) The WCA has posted the notice sent to them, and to me directly, about this operation. Thanks Joanne Podolchuk, our Whiteshell Park Specialist, for keeping us in the loop. If you haven't already seen the notices here they are:

Letter to Cottage Owners | Sunbeam Proposed Remediation

For more info on the this program:

Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Program

A little background to this issue: In 2006 I escorted a government mines inspector to another open mine shaft south of the one in question above. Here's an image of the site in 2006. This open shaft was capped a year or two later, here's a picture of it now. I suppose our current open shaft will look like that when work is completed.

In 2014 there was an extensive remediation undertaken of old mine sites along the trail that leads from south of Star Lake to Falcon Lake, again for safety concerns a number of old mine shafts were filled and capped. We were not informed of this activity at the time, though it was obvious something was up from the equipment and supplies stored at the old sand pit.

By the way, though I can't find the exact references or emails, it was at least 3 or 4 years ago that I and others reported the current open shaft to Parks. Though there will be some environmental disruption resulting from this mine remediation it is necessary for the safety of local cottagers.

(A personal note: I'd like to think that with our government being so concerned about safety they would consider carefully what they might allow near our cottages with respect to any future mineral explorations or commercial mining operations!)

January 2023, I was sent some cool drone images of Star Lake taken over the holidays: Have a look!

Previous Issues - some of which are still worth keeping an eye on.

I have requested an update from Parks on several issues including mining activity, main beach dock replacement, hunting rules and maps, ATV signage, and boating activity. I will post the responses I receive shortly, I hope. Here is what I requested: Email Request to Parks.

I have also updated my essay on hunting safety: Hunting Safety.

A couple of other issues have been raised by folks, most notably lake level and culvert maintenance on the outflow of Star Lake to West Hawk Lake. Folks on the north side of the lake have been encouraging Parks and Highways to be more vigilant.

Another issue facing the south Whiteshell is the potential twinning of Hwy #1 for the 15 km from Falcon Lake to the Ontario border. It will likely be several years before we see any action on this, but I hope our government will keep us informed and consult those most affected by this issue.

Personally, I think we could all save a ton of money and save lives by simply reducing the speed limit on this section. Speed limits are regularly reduced during road construction and are only a minor inconvenience. Why not propose this as a means to deal with this situation? Consider this, at 100 km/hr the time to cover 15 km is about 9 minutes; at 80 km/hr it's just over 11 minutes. Is 2 minutes out of your life worth it to save some lives?

Star Very SmallA Real Important Event! - Star Lake Family Fun Day returned for 2022: Here's some images and a video from July 30!

Star Very SmallSpring Flooding! - Here's some images from the spring flooding: Winter's Last Kick!

July 2022 Update - Star Lake water level seems to be back to near normal and folks can enjoy boating and other on-the-water activities once again. Though, please be aware of debris from spring flooding!

Main beach docks: As you know the two large docks at either end of the Star Lake public beach were damaged and have now been removed. Proper ropes and buoys are in place to designate and protect the beach swimming area. The old dock cribs have yet to be removed though and remain a safety hazard. We need to keep up pressure on Parks to make our beach a safe place.

I hope that Parks will consult us when it comes time to make decisions about replacement (or not) of the public docks on our beach. And I hope that folks will give some thought to what they want for our beach. Given the economic and other constraints facing Parks in the aftermath of the flooding we need to make sure that Star Lake isn't forgotten!

Please get in touch with your thoughts at the email link below or post them to the Star Lake Cottagers FaceBook Page.

Star Very SmallMining Exploration - Please read this article regarding current mining exploration south of Star Lake: Mining activities in Our Backyard?

Star Very SmallMeeting with Parks re Mining Operations! - On March 3, 2022 I had an online meeting with Joanne Podolchuk, Park Specialist and Glen Holmes, Senior Manager, Planning and Coordination, both of Parks Branch. We discussed the possibility of the above mentioned mining issue and several other topics. You can read my meeting notes at this link: Mar. 3 Meeting Notes re: Mining Operations at Star Lake!

Star Very SmallPlease read the essay on Hunting Safety below. You can read the reply from Parks I received Oct. 6 with some comments and the reply I sent back to Parks. A tragic hunting death just outside Whiteshell Park is a reminder to us all.

Keep up-to-date on the fire situation on the Whiteshell Cottager's Website and Manitoba Conservation and Climate's Wildfire Service which includes an interactive map of current fires: FireView 2021. And let's all pray for more rain! (Guess the prayers worked!)

Archives: I will keep some information permanently on this site for future reference.

Cottage Light Industry Storage Site (CLISS) proposal information is archived at this link.

Older notices regarding various issues have been moved to an Issues Archive page.

StarEvents at Star Lake

Star Lake Days - Star Lake Days are back for 2022, July 30, great to hear! Follow the updates on the Star Lake FaceBook page.

Star Lake Family Fun Day returned for 2022: Here's some images and a video from July 30!

Meteor Fest - back for 2022, July 8 - 10! See the FaceBook page: Meteor Fest is Back!

Beaver Days - hopefully back in 2022!

Star Very SmallSend information about events at this email link:

Information about Events

StarIssues Facing Star Lake

In this section I want to raise issues that may impact cottagers at Star Lake. For now, these are just topics to think about. I'm going to post some of my own thoughts later on, but I'd welcome your input/feedback.

Star Very SmallSend suggestions, thoughts, and information via email at this link:

Ideas for the Issues Section

(Please remember, if you want anything posted to this site you must be willing to have your name included.)

Star Very SmallSome things to think about:

Star Very SmallGot something to add to these thoughts? Send it along via the email link above.

Star Very SmallAnd, please remember, the way to deal with any issue, controversy or complaint is through communication, consideration and respect for others.

The annoying ad below just lets me keep track of how much traffic this page receives.

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