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    Kolapore Uplands Wilderness has Many Friends

    “Kolapore Uplands constitute one of the largest remaining intact wilderness areas in southern Ontario. This area is home to various endangered species of plants and animals. It is host to Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest. It is drained by cold water streams that shelter breeding populations of speckled trout. The last thing Kolapore needs is an industrial scale water extraction operation.”
    Kolapore resident, Richard Griffith, lives in a straw bale sustainable house

    “Kolapore Uplands is often referred to as the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Blue Mountains. For my wife and myself, the privilege of ownership of a bio-diverse property within Kolapore has come to mean conservation and stewardship sustained over twenty years. As wetlands, biologists have attested, the streams are as pristine and pure and cold as ones found anywhere. Regarding the latest threat by Paradise Springs to extract water, ‘one thimbleful is too much’ “. William & Janet Bartram are the stewards of 200 acres in the Kolapore Forest. They live in an off-grid house.

    The Kolapore Uplands is 5,000 hectares of some of the roughest and most biologically diverse areas of semi-wilderness left in southern Ontario. Names such as Quiet Pastures, Marc’s Folly, Northwest Passage, the Gulch, Mount Dhaulagiri, Jackrabbit, John’s Portage, Labyrinth and Red Death adorn the sign posts that can be found throughout the trail system. Each of these areas presents a unique aspect of the wilderness. Within two hours you can ski through a wetland, cross a hardwood forest and ascend to a look-out and peer over thousands of acres of wilderness.    Besides the fact that the escarpment weaves its way through Kolapore and brings with it countless caves and crevasses, it is the precious rivers that give life to everything here. No one can possibly pause on one of the small bridges that have been maintained since the 1970’s and not fail to see how sacred this land is. The protection of our last wilderness areas must be safe guarded.
    Well over a hundred people packed Grey Highlands Municipal offices not long ago to hear about the application to take water by Paradise Springs. The name “paradise” was the original name for Kolapore. The planners from Grey County and the councillors from Grey Highlands were made aware that local citizens were completely against the application. The people who have walked and skied here never want the trucks, the noise, the road building nor the destruction of rivers to ever start in Kolapore. Citizens are concerned that Paradise Springs will start with their daily swimming pool of water taking and it will develop into another large water extracting company. We have seen this happen many times before. But there is another unhappy face to this: climate change is already reshaping the face of our forests and our rivers.  There are many pressures on our wildlife as a result of climate change. The last ecological impact that Kolapore needs is to artificially take more of its water.
    The best way to experience these woods is to buy a map.  You can buy one ($6.50) at the Ravenna General Store. (519) 599-2796.  Take highway 2 south from 26.  The first entrance to Kolapore is a few kilometers south of the Store.  A small parking lot is on the east side of the road. Please see for more information.
    Thanks to Ontario Trillium Foundation’s on-going financial support of Georgian Triangle Earth Day Celebrations, these Nature articles that are part of GTEDC’s service to the Georgian Bay community continue to be written.

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