Ganaraska Forest is Closed Until further notice | GTAMotorcycle.com

Ganaraska Forest is Closed Until further notice

Trackday

Active member
The latest news on the forest - with riding season starting in May, lets hope this does not last very long.

"Keeping employees and watershed residents safe is paramount to the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA). In light of COVID-19, the GRCA has closed all conservation areas, the Ganaraska Forest, and all conservation authority buildings, including the Ganaraska Forest Centre, until further notice. The Conservation Authority is being optimistic that the current situation will be resolved shortly; however, are taking the precautions to keep everyone safe."
 

Trials

Well-known member
Did riding areas just become valuable?
 

Hardwrkr13

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Saw this coming. Without oversight the "rules don't apply to me" crowd will head out in full force and do whatever they damn well please because of it.
The ban doesn't doesn't change anything as anyone that would be using the area from now until May 1st as the motorized aholes that always go in early will continue as will the non-motorized people that never get any passes in the first place.
 

Face

Well-known member
My e-mail to Ganny:

"Mr. Van Osch, Mr. Saurer,

Can you please explain to me why the forest is now closed. I understand that the buildings, programs and treetop trekking need to be closed to discourage social gathering, but trail use, by its very nature, operates beyond the minimum social distancing requirements. Additionally, the governments are still encouraging people who are not in quarantine and not showing symptoms to still participate in fitness activities which can observe the minimum social distancing requirements. Ganaraska, with its large area, vast number of trails, and relatively small membership is ideal for this activity. If the forest and trails remain closed, people will end up going to other areas where larger gatherings are more likely to occur.

Given that the majority of trail activity will start on May 1st, I think it is premature to announce trail closures at this time. Should the current government directives still be in place by then, people will be looking for outlets to relieve 1 1/2 months of cabin fever. This closure announcement now only adds to the depression of those anticipating the start of the season.

As I understand, this closure now bans hiking at this time. Prior to this announcement, I was into the trails once this Spring hiking and clearing deadfall from the single tracks. Since hiking is now banned, I trust that during this closure, staff will be out clearing deadfall making the trails safer for when they open.

I note that Gyms that are closed due to COVID-19 are not charging their gym membership, or are crediting pre-payments for the time they are closed. This is appropriate since the service is no longer available to those who wish to use it. I recognize that it it may be difficult for Ganaraska to issue credits for the time closed to all annual membership holders. Given that annual memberships start at the date of purchase and continue for 1 calendar year, it would be much easier to simply extend the renewal deadline by the length of the closure. I think this would be most appropriate should you still decide to keep the forest and trails closed.

Regards,"


Their Response:

"Good afternoon,

On behalf of the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, Ed Van Osch and Gus Saurer, thank you for your email.

The decision to close GRCA’s conservation areas and the Ganaraska Forest was not an easy one. The mandate & mission of conservation authorities is the protection of people & property within their watershed. Closing conservation areas and the Ganaraska Forest amid COVID-19 is consistent with that mandate; along with the federal and provincial levels of government asking for people to stay home.

In light of COVID-19, GRCA staff have been reduced and are working remotely. Therefore, there are less staff on-site to enforce regulations, proper trail usage, or complete trail maintenance.

The GRCA is being optimistic, like many others, that the current situation will be resolved sooner than later. The hope is to have conservation areas and the Ganaraska Forest re-opened in time for the scheduled opening dates. Once this has been determined, the GRCA will be looking into the effect it has had on our membership holders.

During this unprecedented and difficult time, we all need to work together to minimize the spread and transmission of COVID-19.

We thank you for your understanding.

Amy Griffiths

Marketing and Communications Officer
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority"
 

Trials

Well-known member
Sadly I think I know what the response will be :|
Maybe swing a deal with the new shannonville track owners, or mosport to use their off road areas, I've ridden both those areas at some point.
 

Xhumeka

Well-known member
Sadly I think I know what the response will be :|
I should hope so - considering he posted their response in his original post ;)

Great letter Face - I'm assuming there might be a lot of potential liability issues if someone is hurt while riding and they don't have the proper staff in place to assist with evacuations etc. Hopefully it opens sometime after May 1st without too much delay.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Mosport doesn't allow any vehicles anywhere but the track and paddocks anymore.
 

Trials

Well-known member
Mosport doesn't allow any vehicles anywhere but the track and paddocks anymore.
What if they initiate a CMA chapter and ride as an event?
That can open a lot of doors when all participants have race license and a FIM sanctioned body to assist with the underwrite.
Wingboy you mentioned BMA (Ottawa area riders) they seem to find lots of places.

.... not many places to ride while a quarantine is on unless you own a riding area.
 

Trials

Well-known member
My favourite riding destination right now is my front yard, although both side and the back yard are pretty nice too. :LOL: Then there is the chutes, the sand pit, the blueberry mountain and if distant travel was an option; Moab, Alma, Ioco, Sudbury and the Ottawa river valley during low water level (y) all offer great riding areas.
 

xrljoel

Well-known member
My e-mail to Ganny:

"Mr. Van Osch, Mr. Saurer,

Can you please explain to me why the forest is now closed. I understand that the buildings, programs and treetop trekking need to be closed to discourage social gathering, but trail use, by its very nature, operates beyond the minimum social distancing requirements. Additionally, the governments are still encouraging people who are not in quarantine and not showing symptoms to still participate in fitness activities which can observe the minimum social distancing requirements. Ganaraska, with its large area, vast number of trails, and relatively small membership is ideal for this activity. If the forest and trails remain closed, people will end up going to other areas where larger gatherings are more likely to occur.

Given that the majority of trail activity will start on May 1st, I think it is premature to announce trail closures at this time. Should the current government directives still be in place by then, people will be looking for outlets to relieve 1 1/2 months of cabin fever. This closure announcement now only adds to the depression of those anticipating the start of the season.

As I understand, this closure now bans hiking at this time. Prior to this announcement, I was into the trails once this Spring hiking and clearing deadfall from the single tracks. Since hiking is now banned, I trust that during this closure, staff will be out clearing deadfall making the trails safer for when they open.

I note that Gyms that are closed due to COVID-19 are not charging their gym membership, or are crediting pre-payments for the time they are closed. This is appropriate since the service is no longer available to those who wish to use it. I recognize that it it may be difficult for Ganaraska to issue credits for the time closed to all annual membership holders. Given that annual memberships start at the date of purchase and continue for 1 calendar year, it would be much easier to simply extend the renewal deadline by the length of the closure. I think this would be most appropriate should you still decide to keep the forest and trails closed.

Regards,"


Their Response:

"Good afternoon,

On behalf of the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, Ed Van Osch and Gus Saurer, thank you for your email.

The decision to close GRCA’s conservation areas and the Ganaraska Forest was not an easy one. The mandate & mission of conservation authorities is the protection of people & property within their watershed. Closing conservation areas and the Ganaraska Forest amid COVID-19 is consistent with that mandate; along with the federal and provincial levels of government asking for people to stay home.

In light of COVID-19, GRCA staff have been reduced and are working remotely. Therefore, there are less staff on-site to enforce regulations, proper trail usage, or complete trail maintenance.

The GRCA is being optimistic, like many others, that the current situation will be resolved sooner than later. The hope is to have conservation areas and the Ganaraska Forest re-opened in time for the scheduled opening dates. Once this has been determined, the GRCA will be looking into the effect it has had on our membership holders.

During this unprecedented and difficult time, we all need to work together to minimize the spread and transmission of COVID-19.

We thank you for your understanding.

Amy Griffiths

Marketing and Communications Officer
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority"
I'm sure it's a just me, but I found your message to the guy a bit "pissy".

You know as well as I do that the conservation authority is not going to send staff into the trails to clear dead fall to facilitate riding your dirtbike or any other activity.
You also must know that NOBODY is going to be out there to prevent you or me from going for a walk, walking our dog/llama/dragon/elephant or chainsaw to clear the existing trails.
So why "flick the end of his nose"?

Conservation authorities across the province were having their funding cut across the province, and with the current situation they'll likely be hit a bit harder.

Effectively they "closed" the forest to mitigate liability and deter whoever is willing to abide.

If you feel the need/desire to go cutting stuff out of the way then have at it. They're not going to sanction it, nor are they going to thank or praise you for it. Most importantly, they're not interested in stopping you.

As a bit of an aside, I recall being at a club meeting (actually at the bar afterwards) many years ago when a well-meaning fellow (like yourself) piped up saying he was going out to perform the task you have taken upon yourself and asked if anyone wanted to come along.

A well lubed old friend of mine spoke up, "Why are you going out doing that? They're TRAILS...not a racetrack! If you can't blip the throttle to get over a fallen tree or bushwhack your way around it then go ride a street bike."

I'm not meaning to offend and I hope you didn't take offence. I just don't see the upside of making some guy's day just a little bit ******** in these trying times.
 

KD99

Member
According to annual pass Holder buddy of mine who perused the west forest a week ago the plowing and cleaning maintenance was going on as of then
 

Trials

Well-known member
Ground is very very soft today anyway, you wouldn't like it, it's like riding on flat tires and there is mud everywhere it's just terrible riding out there today 😁
 

Face

Well-known member
I'm sure it's a just me, but I found your message to the guy a bit "pissy".

You know as well as I do that the conservation authority is not going to send staff into the trails to clear dead fall to facilitate riding your dirtbike or any other activity.
You also must know that NOBODY is going to be out there to prevent you or me from going for a walk, walking our dog/llama/dragon/elephant or chainsaw to clear the existing trails.
So why "flick the end of his nose"?

Conservation authorities across the province were having their funding cut across the province, and with the current situation they'll likely be hit a bit harder.

Effectively they "closed" the forest to mitigate liability and deter whoever is willing to abide.

If you feel the need/desire to go cutting stuff out of the way then have at it. They're not going to sanction it, nor are they going to thank or praise you for it. Most importantly, they're not interested in stopping you.

As a bit of an aside, I recall being at a club meeting (actually at the bar afterwards) many years ago when a well-meaning fellow (like yourself) piped up saying he was going out to perform the task you have taken upon yourself and asked if anyone wanted to come along.

A well lubed old friend of mine spoke up, "Why are you going out doing that? They're TRAILS...not a racetrack! If you can't blip the throttle to get over a fallen tree or bushwhack your way around it then go ride a street bike."

I'm not meaning to offend and I hope you didn't take offence. I just don't see the upside of making some guy's day just a little bit ******** in these trying times.
Yes, I understand why they are closing. For liability, enforcement and to be seen to be doing the right thing. The reason for my "pissy" comments was to point out the reasons why keeping trails open is good, the good volunteer things they are officially stopping, and the obligations they need to also consider (deferring memberships). As far as I'm aware, other conservation authorities remain open, they just advise to social distance.

And FYI, I would never clear deadfall that are fun to ride over. I cleared stuff that could clothline you coming around a blind corner, and stuff that spanned the trail with a gap underneath that even if you could pop the front over, unless you were Birchy, you wouldn't be able to ride the rear wheel over.
 

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