• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Copeland users talk logging, trails and poop

In Oro-Medonte
Nov 9th, 2012
By Janis Ramsay Barrie Advance Nov 07, 2012 
ORO-MEDONTE – Approximately 140 people concerned about the future of Oro-Medonte’s Copeland Forest spent several hours brainstorming about preserving the wilderness.
A meeting was held at the Horseshoe Valley Ski Lodge Saturday to talk about issues faced by users.
Dorothea Hangaard, project manager for the Couchiching Conservancy – a steward for the forest – said the horseback and mountain bike discussions were important.
“They were able to talk to hatch out their differences,” said Hangaard. They also agreed to meet once a year to address any further problems.
People spoke about garbage and manure issues, and how to keep the forest wild and protected, said Hangaard.
One group talked about logging and another suggested a water treatment system for the Horseshoe area to protect the three headwaters that run through – Willow Creek and Sturgeon and Coldwater rivers.
Most agreed that the long-term ecological sustainability of Copeland Forest was the most important focus, with water quality and sharing the trails also high on the list.
“I saw a lot of creative solutions coming forward,” said Hangaard.
There was even mention of making money from the forest which would be used to maintain the land.
“The momentum (from this meeting) has been stepped up several notches,” said Hangaard.
Copeland Forest is 4,400 acres that is used by mountain bikers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers, hunters and anglers.
For more information on the project, go to http://www.couchichingconserv.ca/copeland-forest and check under news and events. 
Public meeting on forest’s future
By Janis Ramsay Barrie Advance Nov 01, 2012 
BARRIE – In the midst of the province announcing plans to close Springwater Park, friends of Copeland Forest are getting together to talk about its future.
Copeland Forest is a natural wooded area of 4,400 acres in Oro-Medonte that is a playground for mountain bikers, hikers, hunters, anglers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers.
It first opened in 1979 and is managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 2011, the Couchiching Conservancy was given an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to start a stewardship initiative. 
“We might have been in that position (closing like Springwater Park) but this initiative started over a year ago,” said Dorthea Hangaard, project manager for the Couchiching Conservancy.
She said the Trillium grant paid for a four-season study to study the biology of the area, listing plants, animals and invertebrates that call the forest home.
In the past five years, recreational use of the forest has increased and user groups and new guests are invited to talk about keeping the forest in top condition.
A meeting is being held at Horseshoe Valley Ski Lodge Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be served.
“The information will be used to create recommendations on the future stewardship of Copeland Forest,” said Dorthea Hangaard, project manager for the Couchiching Conservancy. “People are really passionate about this forest and we want to tap into that.”
For more information on the project, go to www.couchichingconserv.ca/copelandforest and check under news and events. 

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