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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ontario Trails News - Trailwise, landowner rights, grants, national trail work and more!

Ontario Trails Involved in National Trails Development 

national trails coalition

The Ontario Trails Council supports the initiatives of the National Trails Coalition who have made a pre-budget submission to Parliament.

The NTC was encouraged when, during the election campaign, we received the following response to our
request for continued support of this private/public partnership from the Liberal Party of Canada

“A Liberal government will provide a new, dedicated funding envelope of $20 billion for social infrastructure, which will prioritize investment in, among other things, recreational infrastructure such as trails. Our commitment to investing in infrastructure will ensure that groups such as the National Trails Coalition, and its municipal and provincial partners, have access to the stable and predictable funding they need to continue creating jobs and promoting our outdoors. We are proud to support investments in recreational infrastructure such as trails that keep Canadians active and healthy.”

We look forward to working with NTC to make this promise happen. We encourage you to contact the NTC to secure information to forward to your local MP.

OTC submits grants to OSRCF in support of Trails

G2G Trail
g2g trail logoVolunteers, staff and community members engaged in the management and operation of the G2G Trail will have their training costs subsidized to take the education program. Through the training they will be better able to manage and operate the Goderich to Guelph Rail Trail. The Ontario Trails Council offers three annual on-line courses for trail groups. Trail Planning, Trail Stewardship and trail Management. These are offered on a calendar basis through Algonquin College. The staff and volunteers of the Goderich to Guelph Trail wish to take these courses but do not have the money for up to 30 persons to spend 1,000 each to take the certification training. The OTC wrote a grant in support of their desire for training.

Hamilton Burlington Trails Council
hamilton burlington trailsTrail systems in Ontario are extensive but underused. With a trend of reduced activity driven by the use of technology, our project will use it to encourage communities to become more active. Our objective, through implementing innovative technology, is to improve trail usability and lower the barriers to trail usage thereby providing the community with the means to increased access of existing natural spaces.  This approach will promote the use of trails by raising awareness of their existence and providing guidance on usage and connectivity thus increasing frequency of activity.  Community trails provide a unique opportunity to accommodate various forms of activity, to users of all ages, at no expense thus rendering it very accessible.

We will attain our objective by creating a fun and innovative web based portal and supporting mobile device application. We propose to use various location based mapping technologies, to mesh panoramic imagery with ancillary cultural, environmental and heritage data. This will connect people to their natural surroundings, establish a sense of place and provide an avenue for positive experiences through increased safety, time and resource management.  

Ontario Tool Trailer/IMBA Canada
imba canadaThe Ontario Trail Tool Trailer project is a Resource Development project, in that it will provide a new and badly needed resource in the form of trail-building tools and volunteer event support, (there is NO trail tools trailer or lending resource in Ontario) and it will train several groups in the art and science of sustainable trail creation and maintenance. The primary deliverable that the project will address is in the category of "Volunteer and Education" - encouraging volunteer trail user groups to take a stewardship role in their trails, and providing them with the tools and education required to do so successfully.

The Ontario Tool Trailer project will consist of three parts: 1) A mobile tool trailer, that will house all the tools and support structure required to host a successful volunteer trail-building or trail maintenance day, 2) The creation of a lending structure to ensure the ongoing availability of the tool trailer to interested groups, and 3) A series of trail-building workshops to educate stakeholders in the art and science of sustainable trail creation and maintenance.

Ontario Trail Assessment
people using a hetap unitThe Ontario HETAP Trail Assessment Project is a Resource Development project, in that it will provide a new and badly needed resource of trail-assessments using our HETAP trail assessment tool, (the HETAP Unit) and volunteer event support, and it will train 4 technicians to  perform trail assessment to ensure AODA compliance. Once the technicians have been trained, a fee will be charged for the trail assessment. The trail assessment process will assess trails for accessibility and other trail characteristics.

HETAP stands for High Efficiency Trail Assessment Process and has been developed to accurately and consistently collect information on the length, grade, cross slope, width, surface type and obstructions of a trail, as well as inventory trail features, such as signage, amenities, maintenance issues, etc.

Great Lakes Guardian Fund for Georgian Bay Coast Trail and PartnersThe Project is part of a larger project by the community based organization Georgian Bay Coast (GBC) Trail which is developing a 200 kilometer rugged hiking trail alongside the east coast of Georgian Bay from Bayfield Inlet to Point Grondine.

This Project is located on a section of this trail on the north east shore of Georgian Bay approximately 90km of Sudbury on the west side of highway 69 and 71km north of Parry Sound on the Henvey Inlet Territory. This Project will identify and protect traditionally significant plants according to medicinal use, edibility or spiritual value along this trail.

 In partnership with Georgian Bay Coast Trail will utilize consulting firms such as Gayenaseh in Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, and community elders.

This Project has four (4) objectives as follows:
1) The training of the Recipient to identify plants of traditionally significant importance and if a  species at risk (SAR); and,
2) Geo-location of identified plants/SAR; and,
3) Conservation of identified plants/SAR through arboretum or other methodology so that the  development and use of the Georgian Bay Coast Trail does not negatively impact these plants; and,
4) The understanding of heritage and culturally significant plant life will lead to interpretive signage programs and provide material for guides serving the GBC Trail  

ontario federation of snowmobile clubs logoOFSC Warns About Trail Conditions 

opp snowmobile safety

 DATE: February 2, 2016
Three Ontario Snowmobilers Die in Weekend Incidents  
(ORILLIA, ON) – In the wake of a tragic weekend that claimed the lives of three snowmobilers on frozen waterways, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) are warning snowmobilers about unsafe ice and urging everyone, including anglers to stay off lakes and rivers.   
In one incident over the weekend, four snowmobilers went through the ice on a lake in the Haliburton region and one of them drowned. In another incident, a snowmobiler and his passenger were travelling on a Georgian Bay area lake and died after reportedly colliding with rocks on an island.  The ice was too unsafe to get to the victims by ground and they had to be recovered by helicopter.   
No ice is 100 per cent safe 
The winter’s late start and persisting mild temperatures throughout the province make current ice conditions extremely dangerous. Even when sufficient ice forms, it is never 100 per cent safe to snowmobile on.  Staying off the ice altogether is the only sure way to prevent snowmobile tragedies from occurring on waterways.   
A personal choice? Think again 
Some snowmobilers call riding on frozen waterways a “personal choice”.  This is not the case when you and your snowmobile go through the ice and police, other emergency personnel and civilians have to try to rescue you on that same unsafe ice. 
To avoid unnecessary risks and get home safely after your ride, the OPP and OFSC recommend that snowmobilers adhere to available, land-based OFSC trails whenever possible. OFSC clubs provide many trails that avoid water crossings altogether and include bridges and culverts that allow you to pass over water crossings safely.
“Common sense” checklist   
If parts of the province experience sustained periods of cold temperatures in the coming days or weeks, carefully assess ice conditions before you head out on frozen waterways. If you do choose to snowmobile on lakes, cross only where a marked stake line is in place and go directly from shore to shore, without stopping on the ice. The following safety checklist can help ensure a safe ride:
  • Check ice thickness and quality before riding onto any frozen waterway.
  • Only travel where ice is already well-tracked and others are present, and where ice roads and fishing huts are in place.
  • Be mindful that ice conditions can vary from day-to-day, from hour-to-hour and from one location to the next.
  • Never travel on ice alone, at night or while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid slushy or untracked ice or ice near moving water or dock bubblers.
  • Watch out for obstacles like rocks, stumps, docks, ice roads and fishing huts.
  • Wear a buoyant snowmobile suit and carry ice picks.
  • Do not travel on ice for several days after any mild temperatures and stay off the ice altogether as soon as spring temperatures stay at or above 0˚C.
Your family needs you to come home  
Finally, the OPP and OFSC are asking snowmobilers to remember every time they head out for a ride, that their loved ones expect and need them to get home safely. Don’t let your family be the ones who answer the door to a police officer who has to deliver the devastating news that their loved one died in a snowmobile incident.     
The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario’s highways, trails and waterways through the reduction of preventable injury and death. Initiatives are developed and delivered through the Provincial Traffic Safety Program.
The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.
For more information, click on the following links:  
OPP Sgt. Peter Leon            Or:         OPP Sgt. Lise Grenier
Media Relations Coordinator                Specialized Patrol Coordinator
Corporate Communications                Highway Safety Division    
Phone: (705) 329- 6878                    Phone: (705) 329-7660
For more information, click on the following links: