Need Help - Save the Minden Wild Water Preserve

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McCollJeff's picture
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My Letter

Dear Minden Hills Council and Whitewater Ontario:

To say I am horribly disappointed on the way this story on the proposed Hydro Plant on the Gull River has evolved is an understatement.
This falls/rapid site has long been a tourist attraction for the Region and the loss of revenues to your community will be much greater than the small benefits that have been mentioned in the proposal that is now being tabled.
The loss of this easily accessible, valuable public asset that attracts not only a huge number of recreational paddlers, but fisherman, hikers and tourists that come to view the falls shows little foresight on how it will negatively affect the community as a whole.
My family first paddled this section of river in September 1969. We where given the information of this location from a Mrs. Reynolds who along with her husband ran the Esso and store on the southwest corner or Head Lake on Monck rd. on what used to be HWY. 503. Our family cottage was on Head Lake, and Mrs. Reyndolds was already in her 60’s then. She told us she lived in Minden as a little girl and her Father took her and their row boat by wagon up to the falls and ran down into Minden, and that was before the dam was put in that created Minden Lake.
So this falls/rapids has attracted people to this area a long time.
I not only raced in the Olympic trials in 1972 there but have also been a volunteer since day 1, from clearing brush to moving rocks and fallen trees from the river plus helping build the building along side Roger Parsons. My footprints, my fingerprints and sweat are all over the building and property along with a lot of others.
I have also put in more than 30 years as a club representative, an executive member and as Provincial Coach of what was then the Ontario Wild Water Affiliation and I am sure I can speak for the many others who gave from their hearts to the Minden Wild Water Preserve project that this proposed hydro project should not go forward.
At 60 years old now I am still involved in paddle sport, not only as a recreational paddler but also as the Conservation Chair of the Wilderness Canoe Association.
As their representative we are deeply troubled and concerned at the loss of the access and use of this valuable Community asset and Preserve.
We feel there is a much higher return to all the Community both financially and environmentally if the Preserve is maintained as an all around outdoor destination.
I sincerely hope that this weighs heavily on your decision.

Jeff McColl
Conservation Chair
Wilderness Canoe Association