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Help Save Our Access to Loree Forest

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Loree Forest is a wonderful example of the beautiful ecosystem here in the Blue Mountains. There is currently a proposal to close the 5th line which provides access to Loree Forest. We believe it should remain open so everyone may continue to enjoy it's beauty regardless of ability or disability.

This area has catered to people from all over the world for the past ten years including China, India, Europe, Australia and Russia to name a few. Among these visitors are many with mobility issues from toddlers to seniors, quadriplegic's, paraplegic's, as well as those with mental and other physical disabilities. "Make a wish foundation", "E3" are just some of the organization that have benefitted from the use of this trail.

Certain members of the Beaver Valley Bruce trail club are stating that the ruts caused by vehicle use and are doing irreversible damage to the environment but this is totally unfounded. This is a road and has been for over 100 years. If using this dirt road is doing damage to the environment, should all dirt roads be closed? They have also stated that the ruts are 3' wide and 2' deep in places but this is untrue. There are only a few very short sections that have ruts along this road. These same individuals have written slanderous comments on the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club website stating

"The damage from motorized vehicles to the Trail, another track, and the road allowance is devastating, and demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the environment and for the safety of hikers."

This is also untrue and unfounded. As stated this was and is a road first, not a hiking trail and all roads cause some damage and need repair at times, especially a dirt road. Clear-cutting forests to make ski hills, subdivisions and golf courses do much more damage to the environment but should we stop building homes and roads altogether? There is only 1/4 mile where the Bruce trail goes along the road but the Bruce trail goes along many roads and we don't consider closing the road so it can only be used by hikers.

One of the primary industries of Blue Mountain is tourism. If the 5th line is closed then thousands of people will lose the right they presently have to see and enjoy this natural beauty.

Closing this road could be devastating to community and the thousands of visitors that come each year that would not have access to enjoy this area otherwise.

We would like to request that council vote to keep the road allowance going into Loree Forest open so that we can continue to provide access to ALL people regardless of ability or disability. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of all who are concerned with the proposed changes and the far reaching effects.

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