Hilton Falls protects rare species and coldwater creek in partnership with recreational groups

Read on to learn more about the protection of rare species and a coldwater stream at Hilton Falls Conservation Area.

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
CONTACTS AT END

CAMPBELLVILLE – Conservation Halton (CH), Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association (GORBA) and Campbellville Dundas Mountain Bike (MTB-C) Group are working together to protect the habitat of rare species and reducing trail impacts, such as erosion and runoff, to protect a coldwater stream at Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Coldwater streams are important as they support habitat for fish species dependant on clean, cold water that is full of oxygen.

This past weekend, Conservation Halton staff and over 50 volunteers from the cycling community assisted in decommissioning two unauthorized trails that previously connected Hilton Falls Conservation Area to the Halton Regional Forest Complex.

These trails were impacting the habitat for Species at Risk at Hilton Falls. A Species at Risk is any naturally occurring plant or animal which are in danger of extinction or of disappearing from Ontario, and are thereby protected under provincial legislation. Visitor trampling alongside a high-traffic trail at the conservation area threatened several of these species.

The project is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ Species at Risk Stewardship Fund. This project builds upon three years of work by CH to monitor, protect, and aid in the recovery of species at risk, as part of updating the conservation area master plan.

During the recently completed master planning process, environmental features were mapped and ranked according to their local and regional significance, resulting in a priority level map. The highest priority areas shall be preserved and protected for their unique natural heritage features. In these areas, permitted uses will be restricted to low impact recreational activities as long as they are shown to cause no further negative effects on the sensitive features, and subject to appropriate monitoring and management decisions.

Cycling community members supported this initiative and also assisted in building and installing a bridge 32 feet long at the intersection of ‘Five Bridge Bike Trail’ and ‘Bog’d Up Bike Trail’ over a coldwater stream of Sixteen Mile Creek. This bridge will enable safe visitor passage in all seasons and protect fish habitat by reducing erosion, soil compaction (ground being packed down), and sedimentation caused by trail users.

GORBA and MTB-C Group aim is to assist in repairing and improving trail networks to reduce the impacts of rutting, poor water drainage, and erosion, thus protecting the natural environment.

Ron Kindt, the Manager of Hilton Falls Conservation Area said, “Conservation Halton looks forward to the continued partnership with the cycling community to protect and enhance the natural heritage features of Hilton Falls, while providing a location for sustainable low impact recreational activities.”

For more information on the natural environment in our watershed go to www.conservationhalton.ca . To learn more about Guelph Off Road Bicycling Association, visit www.gorba.ca . To learn more about species at risk in Ontario, visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website – www.mnr.gov.on.ca .

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Conservation Halton is the community based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators along with a network of volunteers who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science based programs and services.

Since 1992, the Guelph Off Road Bicycling Association has been devoted to the needs of the off-road cyclist in Guelph and the surrounding area. By providing a group voice, they help to preserve, maintain, and even increase the trail network in the Guelph area.

CONTACTS:

Brenda Axon
Manager Watershed Planning Services
905-336-1158 x 222

OR

Norm Miller
Communications Advisor
905-336-1158 x 233

GORBA
www.gorba.ca
trails[at]gorba.ca

MTC-B Group
647-866-8815
peter.welcon[at]sympatico.ca

In: Ontario
Tags: GORBA | Halton
mountain