Here's my letter, faxed today:
MNR Aylmer District
353 Talbot Street West
Aylmer, Ontario, N5H 2S8
Attention: Sherry Pineo, Project Lead
RE: EBR Reference Number PB03E3003
July 1, 2003
Dear Ms. Pineo,
Please accept my comments regarding the EBR listing noted above with respect to the protection of the St. Williams crown lands as a conservation reserve and the resulting changes to the land use policy.
We have personally visited this site (in 2001) and found it to be well worth the effort to preserve it. We are especially concerned with the protection of rare herpetofauna found at the site.
With this in mind, we are particularly concerned about the uncontrolled use of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) at the site. The edges of the old nursery blocks are prime basking sites for snakes, and incidental or even intentional mortality due to ATVs is likely to be an on-going problem if their use is not prohibited or regulated. We would prefer to see ATV use prohibited but would accept regulations such as closed areas/ open areas as a compromise. If such regulations are developed, it would be beneficial to the snakes to direct ATV use into the middle of open areas rather than around the edges.
Generally, we support the recommendations of the technical advisory group.
Further, we believe that the government should endow this initiative through the establishment of a $2 million trust fund held by the Ontario Heritage Foundation.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this chance to preserve such a vital habitat for so many species at risk in our province.
Jeff Hathaway and Jenny Pearce