Search string: "king estate"Matches found: 15
Thursday, March 18, 2010
NCC releases Gatineau Park conservation plan
The NCC has announced another plan, this one for Gatineau Park - the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan. Apparently it will be essential reading up until 2035. As is usual for these plans, some group or other gets it in the neck; this time it's the rock climbers, who will see climbing routes developed over the past 50 years pared back to a handful. Apparently this is to protect and rehabilitate the Eardley Escarpment. From the CBC:
The commission is concerned climbers are trampling endangered plants and disrupting wildlife.
"The rock climbing is now happening all over the ecosystem and we need to address that," said Michel Viens, the NCC's senior manager of natural resources and land management.
Eric Grenier, chair of the Ottawa-Gatineau Climbers' Access Coalition, said the new restrictions are unfair because most climbers are already careful not to disturb the ecosystem.
"You'll be hard pressed to find a group of people who care more about the environment ... than people who spend as much of their free time in it as much as they can," said Grenier, who has been climbing for about six years.
The NCC's own eco-credentials have, of course, been severely eroded by years of road building and trail widening in the Park, as "Ray From Ottawa" explains in the comment thread:
This is the same NCC that allowed a large swath of the south end of the park to be cut down, blazed, bulldozed, dynamited, and paved to allow Blvd. Allumettieres (Highway 148 -- Google it) to pass through. The same NCC that brings in heavy machinery and tonnes of gravel every year to turn narrow walking paths into gravel highways for the fall leafers. The same NCC that cut down and paved even more sections of forest for the convenience of Mackenzie King Estate tea drinkers.
They aren't standing up for nature. They are using nature as an excuse to limit an activity they know little about, don't partake in, they don't like, and they don't make money from.
CBC: Eardley Escarpment climbing routes scaled back [18 Mar 2010]
Citizen: Gatineau Park rock climbing to be curtailed under new plan [18 Mar 2010]
Metro: Plan limits options for rock climbers [18 Mar 2010]
GPPC: Conservation Plan an Empty Shell (pdf) [17 Mar 2010]
GPPC: NCC policies threaten park [12 Mar 2010]
GPPC: GPPC Releases Full Park Conservation Plan [17 Apr 2010]
NCC: A natural space to pass on to future generations [17 Mar 2010]
Ottawa-Gatineau Climbers' Access Coalition
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Dion considers taking Gatineau Park away from NCC
Federal Environment Minister Stephane Dion said he would look at giving Gatineau Park some sort of special protection - either as a national park or giving it legal protection. Dion was speaking before a Senate energy and environment committee. The National Capital Commission remains resolutely opposed to any change in the park's status as its own fiefdom. While Dion gave no guarantees, park watchers responded positively to his statement.
The NCC has long since lost credibility on its ability to protect the park, in no small part due to the various road building projects they've sponsored over the years, including the McConnell-Laramee freeway and the Mackenzie King Estate access road built in 2003.
Citizen: Minister considers taking Gatineau Park away from NCC [15 Feb 2005]
Radio-Canada: Le Parc de la Gatineau pourrait devenir parc national [15 Feb 2005]
Radio-Canada: Des écologistes veulent que le parc de la Gatineau soit mieux protégé[21 Feb 2005]
Citizen: Protecting Gatineau Park [4 Sep 2004]
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Gatineau Park users take aim at NCC
The NCC heard from the public at its presentation of its latest Gatineau Park master plan. The plan calls for more user fees, less car traffic and more conservation areas to help preserve the park's ecosystems. In the process they will be banning or curtailing, somewhat arbitrarily, climbers and snowmobilers. This continues a trend of scapegoating park users, including mountain bikers, to distract from the NCC's own failures in managing the park. The NCC is, after all, planning to build a freeway through it, and recently finished building the Mackenzie King Estate access road in what was, for the NCC, record time.
Citizen: Gatineau Park users take aim at NCC [28 Oct 2004]
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
CPAWS renews campaign to protect Gatineau Park
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is renewing its campaign to get Gatineau Park legal protection similar to that of national and provincial parks. Currently, there is no law preventing the National Capital Commission (NCC) from logging or inappropriately developing the park or selling off park property. "One of the greatest threats to the park is the ongoing destruction and fragmentation of habitat by roads, such as the access road constructed last year through the Mackenzie King Estate, the recently approved McConnell-Laramee boulevard, and the proposed Deschenes highway which would cut through the park near Pink Lake."
Friday, May 7, 2004
Entrance fees for Gatineau Park
An NCC report is recommending an entrance fee for Gatineau Park - $4 per person up to a maximum of $8 per vehicle. Marcel Beaudry was careful to point out that this will help reduce the number of cars coming to the park and, as a result, pollution. All well and good. But, as usual, the NCC is saying one thing, and doing another. You see, the NCC, dismayed that the park is currently "reached with difficulty through a maze of regional roads," has plans to "encourage visitors to travel DIRECTLY into the Park via a broad, landscaped boulevard that goes straight from Confederation Boulevard in downtown Hull to the Gatineau Parkway" (quoted from the NCC website).
The landscaped boulevard is, of course, the McConnell-Laramee freeway, which the NCC has been planning for decades. Together with the recently constructed Mackenzie King Estate access road, the NCC's road-building schemes tend to suggest that the NCC's goals are in no way related to discouraging automobile use. The fee proposal is simply a cash grab from an overlarge bureaucracy working at cross-purposes with itself.
A curious side effect of Park fees will please environmentalists: apparently the NCC cannot legally charge fees unless the Park is given protected status, something environmentalists have been lobbying for for years.
CBC: Entrance fees floated for Gatineau Park [7 May 2004]
Radio-Canada: Deux députés s'opposent au droits d'entrée [7 May 2004]
Ottawa Citizen Sound Off: Let drivers pay a park fee [10 May 2004]
Friday, November 14, 2003
NCC must commit to protect Gatineau Park
Aylmer writer Ian Huggett argues in the Citizen that the money the NCC is throwing away on monoliths on Island Park Drive would be better spent acquiring new land for Gatineau Park:
Projects that are high-profile and conspicuous, yet superfluous, are gobbling limited funds at the cost of purchasing woodlands west of Gatineau Park. Recent expenditures on capital projects such as the million-dollar replacement of the facade at the Daly site on Sussex Drive or the $250,000 monoliths marking the entrance to Island Park Drive could be better spent purchasing woodlands to complete the park's western boundary.
Twenty to 30 square kilometres of forest could be acquired, extending the park to Wolf Lake Road between the hamlets of Ruthledge to the north and North Onslow to the south. Woodlots in the Pontiac run between $280 an acre and $500. The million-dollar price tag of the recently completed Mackenzie King Estate access road could have purchased an additional 5,000 acres to help absorb the exponential increase in park visitors. Every year 500 new homes are built abutting the park in the Gateway sector, in the southerly confines of the park in Hull.
Ottawa and Gatineau residents drive to the park in increasing numbers merely to get outdoors, as their green spaces such as Moffatt Farm in Ottawa and Fraser's Field in Aylmer are sacrificed to development.
The NCC is managing our assets by a law of diminishing returns. Chairman Marcel Beaudry is wrong in asserting that the NCC owns land in the capital on behalf of all Canadians. The commission merely acts as a steward -- and our steward is acting like a peacock. The majority of Canadians have voiced their opposition on the hungry consumption of every last piece of open space.
[...]It's a matter of values and priorities. To curry favor with a cynical public, resources are injected into frivolous visible icons such as the pretentious cairns along Island Park Drive, where several thousand commuters a day can goggle at their architectural incongruity while lining up to cross Champlain Bridge. Conversely, spectators are sparse in the remote sectors of Gatineau Park, where 30 square kilometres of forest could easily be added to the park.
[...]Gatineau Park continues to be eroded by new roads that dissect sections of the park. Dismembered sections fall into hands of the private sector, such as the Vorlage ski hill in Wakefield, land behind Wakefield School, the field beneath Champlain Lookout, and property south of the McConnell-Laramee highway. Despite a hypothetical priority list of properties that the commission targets for acquisition, there are no funds allocated to purchase private land in or around the park when it is placed on the open market. A private log cottage on Lac Lapeche, inside the park's high-conservation zone, was sold a few years ago to a private buyer after the park was given first dibs to buy. A hobby farm including 50 acres bordering the park at Lac Philippe is on the open market, with no attempt by the NCC to purchase the $160,000 property.
Citizen: NCC must commit to protect Gatineau Park [14 Nov 2003]
Citizen: Let's enhance this NCC gem [17 Nov 2003]
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Group to present case to give Gatineau national park status
The recently formed Coalition for the Survival of Gatineau Park will present Parks Canada with a formal written proposal next week to give national park status to Gatineau Park:
The Coalition [...] says that under the current management by the National Capital Commission, a federal agency, the mandate to protect the park is unclear. National park status would lay out in detail how the park can be protected, the group says.
The coalition is concerned about projects such as the new access road for the Mackenzie King Estate, the McConnell-Laramee Highway linking Aylmer and Hull, and increased human traffic into the park which the coalition believes will degrade the environment in and around the park, said Nicole Desroches of the Council on the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Outaouais.
'If you make it easier for cars, therefore you will have more cars and then you are going to need another parking lot," said Ms. Desroches.
Citizen: Group to present case to give Gatineau national park status [10 May 2003]
Thursday, May 1, 2003
Group wants Gatineau Park protected
With the impending construction of the McConnell-Laramee freeway and the Mackenzie King Estate access road, a new coalition of environmental groups is calling on the federal government to protect the park with new legislation:
Jean Langlois calls the NCC's management and development of Gatineau Park short-sighted and "death by a thousand cuts."
"Under the current direction we're going, 100 years from now we're not going to have a natural park left," says Langlois, director of the Ottawa Valley chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
[...]Langlois says there are three options: national park status; new legislation limiting the NCC's hold on the park; an act of parliament to create a whole new classification for Gatineau Park.
[...]Instead of pushing for national status, the NCC is urging the coalition to take part in its consultations. The master plan for Gatineau Park is being revised, and the NCC says it's willing to listen.
The group is calling itself The Coalition for the Survival of Gatineau Park, and has already received vocal support from Jack Layton and the NDP.
CBC: Protect Gatineau Park for good, coalition urges [1 May 2003]
CPAWS: Make your voice heard [1 May 2003]
Radio-Canada: Meilleure protection pour le parc de la Gatineau [1 May 2003]
Environmental News Network: Gatineau park: is this the beginning of the end? [1 May 2003]
Monday, April 14, 2003
Speak out against new road in Gatineau Park
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has created an information page on the proposed Mackenzie King Estate access road, along with a sample letter to send to the National Capital Commission. Action Chelsea is also hosting the page.
CPAWS: Speak out [14 Apr 2003]
Action Chelsea: Gatineau Park access road info page [30 Jan 2003]
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Mackenzie King Estate Access Road Report
The final version of the Preliminary Screening Study, the Public Consultation Report (by the consultants Tecsult) and the draft environmental screening report (by the National Capital Commission) are now available from the NCC for review by the public.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Gatineau 'Park'? Not really!
An upcoming CPAWS Wilderness Wednesday is featuring an update on the latest developments in Gatineau Park entitled "Gatineau 'Park'? Not really!" They'll be describing new road development such as McConnell-Laramee and the Mackenzie King Estate access road, along with new housing development inside the park. April 2, 2003, 7:15 p.m., Mountain Equipment Co-op, 366 Richmond Road, Ottawa. The talk is free; space is limited, register in advance by calling (Ottawa) 729-2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, January 31, 2003
NCC approves Gatineau Park road
An NCC Management Committee has approved the million dollar access road to the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park. This despite Chairman Beaudry stating at the NCC's most recent General Meeting that further studies on the road would be done before approval and widespread criticism that the preliminary environmental screening is inadequate. They aren't wasting any time on this one: the road route was staked late last fall.
Meanwhile, residents of Hull are battling plans by the Quebec Government to allow heavy trucks on that other road through Gatineau Park, the McConnell-Laramee freeway.
CPAWS: Gatineau Park access road info page [30 Jan 2003]
Action Chelsea: Gatineau Park access road info page [30 Jan 2003]
CPAWS: Speak out against new road in Gatineau Park [April 2003]
Radio Canada: Les opposants aux camions lourd sur l'axe McConnell-Laramee [12 Feb 2003]
Minister's response to McConnell-Laramee petition [14 June 2001]
Friday, November 22, 2002
Gatineau Park Master Plan Review meeting
Apparently, the NCC is reviewing its Gatineau Park Master Plan. The "public consultation" will take place from 5 pm to 9 pm on two nights: mostly in English, on Tuesday November 26, 2002 at the National Gallery of Canada; and mostly in French, on Wednesday November 27, 2002 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. There will be a Q and A session, so be sure to get up there and ask 'em about all the new roads they're planning, like the McConnell-Laramee freeway and Mackenzie King Estate access road.
Citizen: Traffic jam in the park [16 Oct 2002]
Saturday, November 2, 2002
NCC to build yet another road in Gatineau Park
The NCC intends to "improve access to the MacKenzie King Estate", which means building a 900 metre road from the Champlain Parkway to the Estate parking lot. The Environmental Assessment is available at the NCC website.
LowdownOnline: Trees will die, but better than a kid [24 Oct 2002]
Friday, August 9, 2002
NCC roundly criticized over Gatineau Park
An editorial in the Citizen by Stephen Hazell, Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, outlines some of the NCC's failures:
New roads such as the Laramee-McConnell connection and Mackenzie King Estate access road, along with new housing development inside the park and on its periphery, continue to fragment wildlife habitat. Exploding levels of trail use by bicyclists, skiers, all-terrain vehicle riders, snowmobilers, rock climbers and hikers also increase the stress on ecosystems. If Gatineau Park was a national park, it would be on the critically endangered list.
National parks are protected by law, but not Gatineau Park. Incredibly, Parliament has enacted no law governing how land in the park is to be used. The NCC owns most of the land in the park and thus has some control over development. But decisions to build new roads or expand skiing facilities are made at the discretion of the NCC and in secret. And without a governing statute, the NCC lacks the tools to properly manage the park, even if it wanted to.
Hazell notes that Public consultations are under way for a new Gatineau Park Master Plan. CPAWS would like to see legislation that would make the park more like a real national park (as opposed to an NCC fiefdom). The NCC is currently backing a plan to build the McConnell-Laramee freeway through the park.