Open Letter to the National Capital Commission re Lime Kiln Trail Fire

The fire near the Lime Kiln Trail has been described as a tragedy. Perhaps not. If houses or roads had been built on the land it certainly would be a tragedy that the forest would never recover from, though some would call it development or progress. But the forest will recover from the fire and, though we all wish it could have been avoided, the fire presents an opportunity.

So what should the National Capital Commission (NCC) do about the site of the fire, I would suggest nothing, or as little as possible, only what is necessary to make the site safe. Please no attempts to make it presentable, or tidy it up, or artificially beautify it. What we have is an opportunity for the public to see a forest naturally regenerate itself, and perhaps a chance for scientists (an endangered species themselves within the current federal government) to study the regeneration.

I would call upon the NCC to allow the public, particularly regular users of the trails, back into the trail system as soon as possible to see the effects of the fire and to start observing the changes as the forest regenerates itself. Please avoid any further damage to the forest from heavy equipment beyond what was obviously required to fight the fire. The only tools likely needed might be rakes to clear burnt wood and debris from the trails. Trail users, who probably know the trails better than the NCC does, will rebuild the trail system by using it.

Simply closing it down would be to ignore a great opportunity and trying to artificially create an unnatural ecosystem or tree plantation would be worse. Let us seize this opportunity to build something meaningful from the ashes of this unfortunate event.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree woth this open letter.

Anonymous said...

I visited the area last week on my mountain bike. I did not know the area was closed and ended up gettin in there a day after the fire was under control. And I gotta say I agree 100%

rww said...

Reply received from NCC:

Mr. Woodley,

This is a follow-up to your email CC-49266-H7VXZ9 - "Open Letter to the National Capital Commission re Lime Kiln Trail Fire", created on 2012/07/23 1:11 PM.

Thank you for contacting the National Capital Commission (NCC) and for taking the time to share your comments and suggestions with us.

Please rest assured that your input is taken seriously and have been shared with the Greenbelt management team. It is important to note however, that at this point, it is premature to make an assessment of the impacts of the fire and, consequently, to make any decisions or plans about the management of area thereafter.

We thank you again for your valuable feedback. If you have any additional questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Telephone: 613-239-5000 or 1-800-465-1867
Teletypewriter/TTY: 613-239-5090 or 1-866-661-3530
E-mail: Info@ncc-ccn.ca

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