Runners, hikers & cyclists. Support single track usage in Dufferin Forest
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Over the past two and a half years, the Dufferin County's Forest Operation Review Committee has been working on the development of a Recreation Plan for the Dufferin County Forests. The Committee was comprised of five individuals from the public, including special interests groups, stakeholders (an active equestrian) as well as two Dufferin County Councillors
Committee meetings were scheduled in advance and were open to the public. The finalized plan was open for comment for almost two months and after considerable review and public consultation, the Plan was unanimously ratified by Council.
The Plan has provisions for separate trail networks to be formed: “The County Forest Manager or his/her designate will work with stakeholders to establish separate designated trails in the Main Tract for user groups. Trail maps will be distributed to users through a variety of means and signs will indicate designated trails in the Main Tract.” The County Forest Manager subsequently made her decision and designated nearly 60 kilometers of trails for equestrian use, and the remaining 25 kilometres of single track trails for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers. Permission was also granted to erect suitable signage to make all parties aware of recent changes.
It would seem that some equestrian groups took exception to the Plan, how trails were designated and insist on riding on the single track trails. The same equestrian groups started a somewhat sensational online petition, with an apparent disregard for procedure and due process, collected more than 150 signatures and were somehow able to reverse the decision to have designated trails!
We have always been of the opinion that the forest should be shared, especially with horses, however the equestrian groups apparent ability to influence due process, presented a difficult decision so we had to start our own petition.
If you believe that the Plan was developed in a fair, open and transparent environment, if you believe in the concept of designated separate trails in the Dufferin County Forest for equestrians, hikers, runners as well as mountain bikes and you would like to show support for our County Forester's decision, then I urge you to sign this petition.
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