Friday, April 9, 2010

human powered trails please!

I go to the woods to get away from the 'hustle and bustle', which for me is an euphemism for 'motor vehicles.' The trails offer quiet and safe surroundings to relax and enjoy nature.
But it seems recreation for some people means simply changing what and where they drive. The two uses (passive human powered locomotion: fast loud ATVs etc) in one area are incompatible. I hope they catch and fine some of the ATV, motorcycle riders, etc. for trespassing on Conservation Area trails and can find ways to keep them out. The damage they cause to sensitive natural areas is too great to ignore.

Motorized vehicles not permitted on trails

Published on Apr 08, 2010, Dundas Star News

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has developed more than 140 kilometres of trails throughout the City of Hamilton in conservation areas and on regional trails, like the Dofasco Trail, Chippawa Trail, Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail and the Lafarge Trail.

The popular trails provide areas for passive enjoyment by hikers and bicyclists throughout the region. HCA also provides Hamilton with first-class hiking and outdoor recreation facilities.

The high value of these trails to the physical and mental well-being of citizens in the community is well recognized, said HCA operations manager Bruce Mackenzie.

“The Conservation Authority asks all members of the community to enjoy the trails for their intended uses,” he said. “However, we request that no one uses these trails with motorized vehicles.”

Mackenzie said the use of these trails by all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and motorcycles seriously erodes the value of these trails for the community.

“Plus HCA is spending thousands of dollars trying to keep motorized vehicles off of the trails,” he said, pointing out gates are being destroyed and barriers removed, while legitimate users of these trails are intimidated by fast-moving motorized vehicles.

HCA hopes thousands will enjoy its trails in the way they were intended to be used. To help ensure public safety and decrease property damage, HCA staff will be assigned to patrol areas frequented by ATVs and other motorized vehicles.

Mackenzie said violators could face charges and fines under the Trespass to Property Act and/or the Conservation Authority Act of Ontario.

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