Friday, November 27, 2009

secret passage?

This highway pedestrian underpass is certainly a welcome bit of infrastructure for Bruce Trail hikers who formerly had to take their life in their hands to cross #6 Highway between Hamilton and Waterdown. With stairs leading from the Bruce Trail to the underpass on the Burlington and the Hamilton side of the underpass, the trek is now terror free.
As far as I know, there has been no official opening or announcement, but for you lucky readers, know that it is open for your ambulatory business anytime.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Iroquoia Heights Trails Reopened

Ancaster park reopens after native assurances

The Hamilton Spectator, (Nov 19, 2009)

An Ancaster park closed because of safety concerns over deer hunting by members of Six Nations has reopened.

Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area reopened yesterday morning after the Hamilton Conservation Authority said it received assurances from a Six Nations Confederacy representative there'll be no more deer hunting in the Old Mohawk Road park.

"It is our understanding there is no hunting taking place," said Steve Miazga, chief administrative officer for the HCA, shortly after he had a phone conversation with lawyer Paul Williams. "He just said that is the current position of the Confederacy."

While the park has reopened, the HCA is still asking citizens to inform them immediately if they see any hunters in the park.

Miazga said the authority is also continuing to "dialogue" on the issue with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Six Nations -- both the traditional Confederacy and the elected band council. He is planning to meet with Williams.

Williams, a Waterloo-based lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

Miazga said closure signs at the park have been removed and notices will be sent to neighbours informing them it has reopened.

The park was closed Nov. 6 after residents complained to the HCA about native hunters killing deer in the park.

Some members of Six Nations say they have the right to hunt in the park under the Nanfan Treaty of 1701, which gave the Iroquois Confederacy perpetual hunting and fishing rights in southwestern Ontario.

The HCA says the hunting was unauthorized. The city's discharge of firearms bylaw prohibits people from firing a bow within 100 metres of a dwelling, a public park or a private park.

Those who violate the bylaw can be charged under the Provincial Offences Act.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

dam creeks

Beavers have made some changes to the ecology in Dundas Valley, with a new dam on North Spring Creek, near the junction of the John White and Sawmill trails in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.
The expanding water is making new habitat here, so it will be interesting to see how the changes effect the area, and what else the little busy bodies get up to.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

not bored

A beautiful fall day for waterfalls in Dundas: Borer's Falls [pictured above] in late afternoon, doing its thing. If someone could retrieve the blue tarp seen in the foreground, that would certainly help improve the view.
Most of the leaves are off the trees these days, so the views are extended: you can see the Skyway Bridge from the edge of the escarpment, even through the mists that clouded the view today.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

trail troubles

The Bruce Trail will be effected by this temporary closure as the link between Hamilton and Dundas goes through Iroquoia Heights CA. [ed.]

Illegal hunt closes Mountain conservation area
Bow hunters found in urban area

Danielle Wong, The Hamilton Spectator, (Nov 12, 2009)

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has indefinitely closed the Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area after a number of deer were illegally killed by hunters armed with bows and arrows.

"(The area) was closed due to our concern for public safety," Hamilton Conservation Authority general manager Steve Miazga said yesterday. "It's not condoned by us at all."

Miazga said the Ancaster conservation park, east of Highway 403 and north of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, was closed Friday after a Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officer confronted someone who had been illegally hunting in the area.

Miazga said the conservation officer reported the male hunter was from Six Nations and said he was conducting a "chronic waste disease control study on deer" that involved killing the animals.

"(The conservation officer) discussed the issue with a person on site last Friday and we did not get (any) indication of when that will end," Miazga said.

The authority contacted the Six Nations band council and Chief Bill Montour. Montour said he was not aware of the hunting in the area prior to receiving a letter from the authority.

"I'm not sure of what's happening at all," Mountour said.

He referred questions to Paul General, who oversees wildlife and ecological matters for the Six Nations. General could not be reached for comment.

Miazga said the conservation authority is also anxious to hear from General. The authority had no prior knowledge of a chronic wasting disease study, Miazga said.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal nervous system disease that infects white-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, moose and elk.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Ministry of Natural Resources websites, this disease has not been detected in deer in Ontario.

Miazga is aware of illegal hunting incidents Friday and Tuesday in the densely populated park, which is surrounded by houses. He did not know how many deer were killed.

The first report came from Victor Pavlicic, an avid deer photographer who was walking through the park last Friday morning when he saw a pile of deer guts just south of the park's main trail near the middle of the site. "They had cut the belly open and pulled out everything," Pavlicic, 57, said, adding the ministry told him the remains were one to two days old.

Pavlicic called his wife, who called the conservation authority and then the ministry. A ministry officer arrived at about noon and spoke to a man by his truck. Later that day, as Pavlicic was leaving the area, he found a carbon arrow outfitted with three razor-sharp blades.

"It's crazy, them being in there shooting them," he said. "They're almost like pets. They come right up to you."

On Tuesday, the authority delivered letters to adjacent homes, advising residents to stay out of the park until the problem is resolved. The letter indicated the authority is "attempting to communicate with the involved parties."

Mustafa Ghouse, 21, whose family has lived on Old Mohawk Road across from the conservation park for the past 10 years, said he and his family often see deer roaming the neighbourhood. "I could see how hunters would want (to hunt here); there are so many of them."

In January, an aerial census over a 10-kilometre radius of the city conducted by the ministry and the authority found 102 deer in Iroquoia Heights, where there would be ideally 12 or fewer.

While there may be an overpopulation of deer in the area, it doesn't justify the hunting, Pavlicic's wife, Susan, said.

Monday, November 9, 2009

valley inn out

From our friends at transportation for liveable communities, a temporary trail closure report:

Work underway on the old bailey bridge at Valley Inn Road, part of the improvements to the cycling and pedestrian environment that are to follow the fairly recent closure of the road to motor vehicles. Above, at around 2pm and below a couple hours later from the same side of the bridge.

My cycling partner and I were able to cross the bridge today, but we had to go over the flexible fencing to do so. Check back here to find out more about the bridge work and any expected work that would block passage.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

i hate "timmies"

Two cups in one. Why can't take-away cups be made so they don't need to double cup? Why do so many Tim Horton cups get left in natural settings, as thought they were a a sleek car in pristine car commercial settings? When does our throw-away society get a grip on sustainability? When will I stop taking photos of abandoned Tim Horton's cups?
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