April 29, 2021
To our PEC Trails Community:
As you know, PEC Trails do not own the Millennium Trail. We are stewards. This week we were informed by several Trail users of on-going acts involving large machinery in lands abutting the Trail. A letter was sent to the officials who might have jurisdiction or an interest in the Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSW) that surround the Trail. Here is an excerpt of the letter and some pictures. To date, PEC Trails has been informed that inspectors from three different regulatory bodies will visit the site to see if any of the activity is illegal, or if it falls within the rights of the landowner. Details are here:
This week, PEC Trails was notified of destructive action along this segment of the Trail, specifically in the section west of Danforth Rd. that runs along the Hubbs Creek Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW).
We have been told the following. Excavating equipment was brought in to destroy a beaver dam in the ditch adjacent to the Trail, on what appears to be property belonging to Prince Edward County. There are signs of extensive logging of trees on land that borders and may well be part of the PSW on the southwestern side. There are reports of clearcutting and filling in of the northwestern most portion of the PSW closest to Benway Rd. There has also been a report of a trench that may have been dug with the aim of changing the direction of water flow, and of a culvert that may have been filled in, with the same intent. Pictures were sent to us. As you can imagine, all of this destruction has had a dramatic impact on the region.
PEC Trails is aware that PSWs have the highest protection of any Environmentally Protected land in Ontario. We know our PSWs play an essential role in replenishing our groundwater for all of our residents.
We trust that you will investigate and collaborate with Prince Edward County to determine if these actions are legal and then let us know so that we may advise our PEC Trails Community. We do not have the knowledge to judge, but thought that, as a matter of urgency, Quinte Conservation, MNRF, MOECC and Prince Edward County would want to be notified, given the nature of the destruction and the location.