Queen Elizabeth Wild lands P.P. Development report

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McCollJeff
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Joined: 04/23/2010

Last fall I have accepted an invitation to be involved with the next level of development in Queen Elizabeth Wild Lands P. P. along with the many other stakeholders that share interest in this area. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people with even with more than my almost 50 years of going into the area which is good for the point that they want to preserve the area as much a possible.

We met in early December, which was a meet and greet and to identify issues and to build direction from this and the past park documents. It was a great opportunity to show the other groups that our concerns where very similar.

From the canoeing fraternity perspective reasonable inexpensive access where we don’t cause conflict with the different property associations is the major point I brought to the meeting.

In this process we are looking at least at 5 year time span before things get really going (or more)
Hopefully in the near term we can come up with some temporary solutions.
On this point I have offered the paddling fraternity as a possible work/volunteer force to help clear any parking access point that may be identified to alleviate any places we are in conflict with other stakeholders.

The sad news here is the manners of some paddlers has put us on about the same level as the ATV’ers in the way they have treated surrounding landowners and users, but both are above weekend fishing people with powerboats.
We have lost a few of the parking spots due to this activity. Yes the park is a free/public area but we don’t pay taxes to the surrounding area.
So we need to make sure all paddlers are considerate to these surrounding groups. It will make it that much easier to develop new parking access locations.

Here are some of concerns from other Groups.
Trespassing on Private property.
Blocking of driveways and obstructing lane ways.
Leaving garbage, pet droppings.
Using private property and the access roads as a bathroom.
(yes they are watching!)
Camping too close to cottages.
Conflict when it is pointed out they are doing the above.
Not following hunting/fishing laws.
For the Hunt/fish camps.
Respect their camps, give them some space.
Don’t camp beside them.
Trespassing, they have had a number of break-ins.
Report any suspicious activity. They understand it is not canoe trippers, they would just like to protect their camps.
In hunting season wear ORANGE!
It is just common sense to make both your outdoor experiences safe and enjoyable.
This is just a readers digest version when the full report is made public I will post it.
This area is close to the GTA and will come under increasing pressure for use before it becomes an operational park.
It is up to us as paddlers to make sure we are not on the naughty list of park users.
I will post if I hear on the suggestions I made about helping to develop/expand and parking areas.
If you hear of a land owners/stores that will let us park for a few $ let us know, the competition will help keep the prices in the known areas competitive.
It is not going to be a fast process, if you have any concerns pass them on to me and I will bring them up at the next meeting.
Jeff McColl
Conservation Chair
WCA

PS When making comments on the use of the Park remember that all groups have a voice in what is going on. Look at it from others perspectives when trying to come up with solutions.