Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ontario Trails News - greenbelt consultations and running trails!

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We would like to invite your organization to attend a special Stakeholder Workshop for the co-ordinated review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan
Monday, March 23, from 1:30 – 4:00 PM
Daniels Spectrum (Ada Slaight Hall)
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto (east of Parliament Street)

The co-ordinated review is looking at how the plans can better achieve the following goals:
·         Protecting agricultural land, water and natural areas
·         Keeping people and goods moving, and building cost-effective infrastructure
·         Fostering healthy, livable and inclusive communities
·         Building communities that attract workers and create jobs
·         Addressing climate change and building resilient communities
·         Improving implementation and better aligning the plans

We want to hear your ideas on how to make the plans stronger and work better together. We also want to know what parts of these plans you see as working well and should remain as they are. The document Our Region, Our Community, Our Home is intended to help inform and guide discussions.

We can only accommodate one individual per organization.

We hope you can attend.

The Honourable Ted McMeekin
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
17th Floor, 777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2E5
The Honourable Bill Mauro
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, 99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3      

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ontario Trails News - find your favorite trail, editorial about canoes

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To the editor:
With all of the subsidizing factors prevailing in hydro today and the rate that our citizens are getting gouged to the limit so they can send the excess production to the U.S. and Quebec for others to profit, we need a moratorium on all hydro issues until such time as major questions are dealt with and answered.
Maybe it's time to realize that they (Hydro) in conjunction with sister resource industries have essentially killed industry and commerce throughout all of Ontario and that it's time to dissolve the status quo and return it under new and true organization where the primary motive is to return Ontario's competitiveness and help our citizens stave off economic demise. Critical energy resources such as hydro power supply should not be allowed to be plundered for the personal gains of those within and used for political purpose and doling out favouritism and reward.
I am particularly distressed by the very suggestion that they propose a wind farm on our Mattawa watershed route, which happens to be one of the most beautiful and pristine historic resources in our area.
We talk about tourism, economic development and job creation for our area. Let me propose an idea that I believe has great potential for the North Bay/Mattawa historic canoe route that would have very minimal environmental impact.
If an entrepreneurial outfitter (preferably native) enterprise were to organize guided, hosted and accompanied canoe journeys from Trout Lake to Mattawa taking in at times the Moose Grass, White Throat, Werewolf, Big Fish, Tilliard, (not in order) Mouth of the North River to Talon Loop and overnight hosted camping at predetermined beaches and historic sites (i.e. Talon Shoots/Pimisi) it would provide tempted tourists an experience of a lifetime. I can envision this type of enterprise providing employment and business opportunity especially for our experienced First Nation paddlers and native entrepreneurs who cherish this route. They could do so in historic native regalia and customs that define their heritage and culture. If organized and marketed correctly, freighting the canoes, gear and clients back to the Trout Lake Gateway a vacationing family could arrive in North Bay with zero voyageur provisions and experience an adventure of a lifetime hands free or hands on. Expeditions could last anywhere from an one night to a four-day expedition.
The hotels/restaurants in the North Bay/Mattawa areas would be the primary benefactors second only to those who paid for the voyage. Who knows, it could even be expanded over time to include the French River/Georgian Bay route that I am much less familiar with. We could use the Chief Commanda to get them over to a calmer starting point.
There has got to be a better way with far more continuous reward than taxpayer-subsidized windmills for subsidized production to be sold cheaply elsewhere at our expense.
I only wish I was a lot younger.
Miles Peters
North Bay

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Greenbelt must accommodate mixed use trails and farming.

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Mark Reusser, Special to the Examiner
This spring will be remembered as the season of land use deliberations in Ontario. Four significant land use plans are under review and the process could have significant implications for Ontario farmers.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently announced a review of four provincial land use plans – The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
The four provincial land use plans under review are intended to manage growth, protect agricultural lands and the natural environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support economic development in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe and Greenbelt. Through the review process, public consultations will be held to evaluate the plans, consider expansion of the Greenbelt, build transit friendly communities and support economic development.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) participated in an active consultation and advisory role 10 years ago when the first plans were implemented and will be actively involved in the review process. The OFA’s position remains that farmland preservation is critical. With the average loss of 350 acres per day of agricultural land in Ontario, it’s never been more important to address policies to protect this prime resource.
But along with preserving farmland we also need policies to ensure that farmland can be worked sustainably. The OFA encourages the government, policy makers and parties involved in the land use review to consider farmland from our perspective. Preserving farmland, our most strategic resource, preserves the tools necessary for sustainable farming and ensures a local food source.
We will be taking our messages directly to government, providing insight, suggestions and a fair evaluation of the four land use plans. The OFA believes consistency across all four land use plans is vital. We need to see the implementation of fixed urban boundaries and higher urban density requirements as a key element in preserving farmland in areas surrounding the protected land.
The OFA will be engaged in the upcoming public consultation period and encourages all OFA members in the greater Golden Horseshoe, Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges regions to submit feedback on these land use plans. The 90-day public consultation period will include 12 regional town hall meetings and commenting through the Environmental Registry.
The OFA’s own vice president, Keith Currie, has been appointed to the expert advisory panel for this land use plan review. Currie is one of six members on the panel, including former federal cabinet minister and former mayor of Toronto, David Crombie.
We are encouraged to see the government undertake such a thorough review of these four plans. And we look forward to participating in such an important consultation process because of the significant implications for Ontario agriculture.

Mark Reusser is an executive Member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Find your favorite ATV Trails, off-roading in Trent Hills debate

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Mar 09, 2015 | Vote100   0

Trent Hills approached once more about opening up roads to ATVs

Trent Hills Independent
Trent Hills is again being asked to grant all-terrain vehicles access to some of its roads to create a route that will allow ATV users to pass through the municipality and connect with other trails.
The request this time, however, came from a resident who doesn’t own an ATV and isn’t a member of the Northumberland District ATV Riders Club, which tried and failed three years ago to get a road use bylaw passed.
But members of the club, including president Mike Ainsworth, were present March 3 to show their support for Betty McCarrell when she appealed to a new council to open up certain roads to ATVs with a bylaw that would designate their location and deal with issues surrounding noise, speed, time of day and seasonal use, and trespassing.
The retired dairy farmer touted the many economic benefits that would come from allowing “a family-orientated activity” a wider ambit for its enjoyment, saying ATV riders would spend money on food, fuel and lodging during extended trips.
Thirty-eight municipalities in eastern Ontario allow ATVs on their roads, including all five neighbours of Trent Hills: Quinte West, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, Stirling-Rawdon, and Cramahe Township.
McCarrell presented correspondence from several sources affirming the municipalities have had no problems with ATVs making use of their roads.
Stirling-Rawdon Police Chief Darrio Cecchin said his department has received “no significant concerns or complaints” about the operations of ATVs, adding ATV clubs “are educating their members well with respect to safety and following the rules of the trails.”
Cramahe Township Mayor Marc Coombs said his municipality has received only one complaint about an off-road vehicle since it passed a bylaw in 2009 allowing ATVs on roads north of Highway 401 “and that was about a dirt bike.”
Norwood real estate agent Todd McRobbie said he’s “not aware of any empirical evidence” that expanded ATV regulations “decrease property value.” In his experience they’ve been “a non-factor regarding real estate transactions."
McCarrell told council she had collected nearly 700 signatures on a petition in support of her request, including those of 34 businesses, who thanked her for taking on the challenge.
She read a letter from the owner of The Garden of Eatin’ in Warkworth, Karen Raymond, who wrote that council is “taking away a great deal” of business by not allowing ATV traffic to her restaurant.
McCarrell pointed out that ATV clubs will create, groom and police trails “at no cost to the municipality” and with its input.
As well, they do a great deal of work “to ensure public safety” through training sessions and educational materials that promote observance of the law and proper use of the machines by their owners.
Councillor Rosemary Kelleher-MacLennan praised McCarrell for having done her homework in putting together “a really great presentation” that gave council members “something to really think about.”
Council voted to have a staff report prepared updating information that was compiled a few years ago in response to the initial request for an ATV road use bylaw.
McCarrell said in a later interview she was prompted to act after learning a farmer’s son had been fined $118 for riding an ATV on a municipal road between his house and a woodlot to get wood.
“I see the common sense and the rightness of it, for the businesses and the people,” to pass an ATV road use bylaw for a trial period, McCarrell said.
“What harm can be done?” she asked. “Let the feedback from the businesses and the public decide after that one year whether it should stay or not.”
The Northumberland District ATV Riders Club says “Trent Hills is an important link” in connecting its trails with those managed by the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance in an area that stretches from the Bay of Quinte to Algonquin Park.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ontario Trail News - find you favorite snowshoe trail, and a quick snowshoe lesson from the Hamilton Spectator

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Snowshoeing: A Quick Lesson

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Hamilton Spectator
Adventure Attic in Dundas, Ontario has been providing top quality clothing and equipment in a friendly, relaxed and non-commissioned atmosphere since 1987.
Looking for some wintertime adventure?
Snowshoeing is a great way to get outdoors during the winter months. It’s safe, easy to do and a fantastic form of exercise that will give you a full body workout as well as some much needed sunshine, fresh air and adventure.
Exercise can be hard to come by during the snowy seasons-but it goes a long way to staying happy and healthy. Snowshoeing offers a low impact and safe workout that strengthens muscles, improves endurance and burns a massive amount of calories.
The concept of snowshoes is a simple one. Putting more surface area on your feet distributes the weight more evenly across the snow, making it easier to walk on, rather than sink into.
On modern snowshoes the frame is made of aluminum making them strong, lightweight and maintenance free.
The decking creates the increased surface area and is composed of extremely rugged, waterproof material 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ontario Trails News, many trails in Ontario Conservation Areas, congratulations Saugeen Conservation!

Learn more about our supporter - Conservation Ontario

Forest Donated To Saugeen Conservation image
A large piece of property south of Kincardine is changing hands.
A total of 100 acres of forested land has been donated to Saugeen Conservation from the Martyn Family from the Pine River area.
The donation was made in memory of Donald ‘Murray’ Martyn.   The property has been in the Martyn family since 1852.
Jim Penner, Manager of Forestry with Saugeen Conservation says this 100 acre property is a haven for local wildlife because of its size and the fact that it’s one of the few larger forested properties in the Pine River Watershed.
Saugeen Conservation will erect a special sign on the property in recognition of the generosity of the Martyn Family.
Luke Charbonneau, Chair of Saugeen Conservation, stated, “This is an exceptional property in that it is entirely forested. Only approximately 7 per cent of the Pine River Watershed is forested. To have a piece of property within this watershed, entirely forested, is a real gift”.
Murray’s daughters remember planting trees on the property when they were young girls. “My dad was always an outdoorsman”, stated Mary, one of his daughters. “He took great pleasure in the planning and planting of thousands of seedlings. Over the years he spent many happy hours wandering the property, planting additional native species and making note of the increasing wildlife.”