Return to Boater Board

Minden Development Planning

Home Page Forums Boater Board Minden Development Planning

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3077
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    WO has approached Fleming College’s Ecotourism and Adventure
    Tourism Management Program (a College Graduate Studies Program based at the Haliburton Campus of Fleming College ) requesting that the
    students develop a management plan for the existing Minden Wild Water
    Preserve. WO is currently negotiating the terms of this agreement.

    The College Graduate Studies Program in Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Management may be able to help. These students are university grads with undergrad degrees and, college grads with college certificates.

    We could use pictures, stories and background material from others.

    Please contact kayaky@hotmail.com

    #23058
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    I’m looking for public/paddler input on these questions concerning the future development of the Minden Whitewater Preserve at Minden

    1. How much access should WO retain to the site? (for
    running courses, races etc.)

    2. SHould WO take over formal management of the training
    facility and associated lands while retaining the original ownership
    agreements?

    3. What is your view concerning increase in the use of the preserve
    by members only? by non-members? by non-paddlers?

    4. What should WO’s liability insurance specifically cover?
    water? land? campground? associated infrastructure?

    5. what activites should WO develop at the site?
    boat rentals? mtn. bike rentals? building rental to non-paddling
    activities?

    suggest some possibilities?

    6. What funds should be needed to manage the training centre
    further than those existing?

    7. Should WO partner with i.e. the bed and
    breakfast association to jointly market Haliburton county.

    8. What have been the main management concerns in the past? How
    can these be overcome in the future?

    9. Should WO have an outside organization manage the
    training centre while retaining a percentage of the revenue.

    Consider two different management plans, one that outlines this option and one that outlines WO managing the site. Open for comments.

    10. Suggest possible WO’s activites at the site for the
    year and the associated revenue and expenses. Including
    site use that WO doesn’t direclty link to i.e. a folk festival for
    example.

    We’re looking for a clearer vision of how upu all see the
    preserve developing or at least the parameters from which things are to work.
    i.e.
    Should there be public access to camping in the management
    strategy or is this something that should not be in the plan?

    #23059
    Scotty The MAN
    Participant

    I would love to see a quality mountain bike trail system. There are limited quality mountain bike trail networks in Ontario, and the riding community is usually very receptive when a new quality network emerges. It is very possible to have a quality trail network without the management demands of a mountain bike rental fleet. A bike fleet usually requires more mechanical upkeep than a boat fleet.

    I don’t know a whole lot about the Minden preserve land agreement. I DO know there is lots of forest all around the camping, and that when I walk one of the trails from the take out back up to the camping, I see a sign for the cross country ski trails in winter. What are these trails like? Are they conducive to mountain bikes? Can the trail system be extended further out fom the preserve? Who owns the neighbouring land? Would they allow a trail system to pass through the forested "back 40" on their lands? Is there a network of snowmobile trails nearby? Could a preserve mountain bike trail be linked up to that trail system? (There are lots of ways to route a connection so that mountain bikes can get in and out yet limit motorized traffic, if that is a concern)

    I am sure I cannot be the only paddler who is also interested in mountain biking. The Minden preserve seems, without knowing more about the lands agreements and neighbouring land owners, to be a great spot to develop a mountain bike trail system.

    S.

    #23060
    Jackson Franchetto
    Participant

    is sir sanford flemming in haliburton?

    #23061
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    There is interest in developing single track trails in and around the preserve but this will hardly mimic the Kanata Lakes experience as the distance is short and the likelihood of getting lost is remote.

    Remember: the idea is to make the preserve self sustaining which requires money and supervision. There are taxes to pay, dead fall to clean up, roads to repair, washrooms to clean, garbage to remove, campsites to remediate, camping fees to collect… and camper fee theft to prevent.

    We are just now looking at the site plans and surveys to determine the totality of our acreage. <img loading=” title=”Wink” />

    On the other matter, Sir Sanford Flemming has a campus in Haliburton where is based the Recreation and tourism program.

    I think Minden could be a very interesting case study for them.

    Its a gem in the rough… no Canada’s wonderland, mind you, but for the right audience, a place of great value.

    Pete

    #23062
    ThomL
    Moderator

    Yes, Fleming has a campus in Haliburton, along with campuses in Lindsey and Peterborough.

    The Haliburton campus hosts the program Peter is referring to: Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism Management.

    #23063
    Jon
    Participant

    Yes, you’re right. Minden is a diamond in the rough. It currently has the air of a place that has had a lot of work put into it, but has been ‘let go’ and needs some TLC.

    The big question is: Will this be a place for paddlers (mostly we play hard during the day and things get very quiet between 10:00 and 11:00) or are you going to open it up to public camping with YaHoos at midnight?

    "What a nice place for a family vacation! Sorry about the dog and the kids – cute, arn’t they?"

    There has been a lot of volunteer work done there, but if the place is not sustainable through the paddling community, then I guess we’ll loose it.

    Does WO want to convert this to a cash cow to enable WO to promote whatever pet projects happen to be the gems of executive? That would be a loss to all. Are you going to cut most of the trees and bulldoze the land to open it up to commercial scale public (motorhome) vacationing. It’s a pretty spot with good fishing in the river and swimming at the bottom. Rent mountain bikes, rent ATVs, hold rock concerts, perhaps ban paddling on the river – too dangereous…

    1. How much access should WO retain to the site? (for
    running courses, races etc.)

    YOU MEAN THAT YOU WOULD SELL THE SITE OR THE ‘RIGHTS’ TO THE SITE TO SOME GROUP TO COMMERCIALIZE IT? HOW DARE YOU EVEN THINK OF THIS! THIS WAS NOT THE VISION THAT PUT IT TOGETHER!

    2. SHould WO take over formal management of the training
    facility and associated lands while retaining the original ownership
    agreements?

    DON’T HAVE ENOUGH BACKGROUND TO COMMENT ON THIS. I THOUGHT WO DID MANAGE THE TRAINING FACILITY AND OWNED THE LAND.

    3. What is your view concerning increase in the use of the preserve
    by members only? by non-members? by non-paddlers?

    I THINK THE CURRENT ARRANGEMENT WHERE MEMBERS PAY LESS THAN NON-MEMBERS IS FAIR. NON PADDLERS CAN USE IT, THEY JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT. THIS USUALLY MEANS I CAN GET A CAMPSITE I LIKE ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON, RATHER THAN HAVING TO RESERVE A YEAR IN ADVANCE.

    4. What should WO’s liability insurance specifically cover?
    water? land? campground? associated infrastructure?

    WHATEVER YOU NEED TO HAVE, BUT I ACCEPT THE RISKS OF PADDLING AND, SOMETIMES CRAP HAPPENS. HOW MUCH WORK NEEDS TO BE PUT INTO THE CAMPGROUND TO KEEP ME REASONABLY SAFE FROM FALLING TREES? DON’T CLEARCUT IT! A STORM LIKE LAST SUMMER IS GOING TO DROP WOOD NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.

    5. what activites should WO develop at the site?
    boat rentals? mtn. bike rentals? building rental to non-paddling
    activities?

    AS LONG AS IT IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE PADDLING COMMUNITY, GO AHEAD. IF YOU ARE GOING TO HOLD ROCK CONCERTS AND FOLK FESTIVALS – COUNT ME OUT.

    suggest some possibilities?

    WHAT PROBLEM – SPICIFICALLY – ARE YOU TRYING TO SOLVE?

    MKC IS BUSY ALL YEAR ROUND. JESSOP’S IS BUSY AS LONG AS THERE IS WATER. THE CAMP GROUNDS ON THE OTTAWA ARE BUSY. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH MINDEN?

    6. What funds should be needed to manage the training centre
    further than those existing?

    HOW WOULD I KNOW?

    7. Should WO partner with i.e. the bed and
    breakfast association to jointly market Haliburton county.

    WHY IS WO MARKETING HALIBURTON COUNTY? THE GULL IS ALREADY A TOURIST ATTRACTION. MANY TIMES THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE WALKING ALONG THE RIVER WITH CAMERAS THAN THERE ARE PADDLERS. IS IT NOT CURRENTLY PART OF THE FACILITLES ADVERTISED BY MINDEN?

    8. What have been the main management concerns in the past? How
    can these be overcome in the future?

    LACK OF BASIC MAINTENANCE. USERS (SOME REGULAR, SOME WO MENBERS (I HEAR)) NOT PAYING. OCCASIONAL ROWDY DRUNKS.

    9. Should WO have an outside organization manage the
    training centre while retaining a percentage of the revenue.

    SURE – AN RV CAMPGROUND WITH ROCK CONCERTS, AND THE EXEC AT WO CAN COUNT THER MONEY ALL YEAR ROUND! AND JUST WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR PERCENTAGE OF THE REVENUE?

    Consider two different management plans, one that outlines this option and one that outlines WO managing the site. Open for comments.

    10. Suggest possible WO’s activites at the site for the
    year and the associated revenue and expenses. Including
    site use that WO doesn’t direclty link to i.e. a folk festival for
    example.

    THE PLACE IS PACKED FOR THE OC SLALOM IN SEPTEMBER, BUT OC’S ARE DISCOURAGED! FROM THE ANDREW WESTLAKE SLALOM (???). NO ONE WANTS TO STEP ON MKC’S TOES, BECAUSE THEY ARE A NET CONTRIBUTOR TO THE PADDLING COMMUNITY, BUT THERE MUST BE LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR PADDLING RELATED EVENTS, TRAINING, SLALOM, LEARN TO DO DONKEY FLIPS, …

    WHAT PART OF MINDEN IS BROKEN? THE MONEY PART?

    WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO FIX? (IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE, OR IS WO IN OVER IT’S HEAD HERE?)

    HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM (GAP)?

    WHAT DOES WO WANT TO DO? ARE YOU GOING TO LOOSE MINDEN AND TRY TO SAVE THE RUPERT?

    #23064
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    I appreciate the questions and feedback as it provides an opportunity to share facts and dispell false impressions. You may not be alone in your thinking!

    Whitewater Ontario is a not for profit organization. Its primary source of funding comes form the Ontario Government, about $20,000 a year. With this we fund a part time virtual office, assist junior slalom racers, operate the Minden Preserve, maintain instructional competence through certification, promote river preservation, support a network of clubs and commercial enterprises.

    So as you might guess: this takes mostly volunteer workers.

    The problem for Minden will be a complex mix of shortage of cash… and shortage of committed volunteer hours which combine to forstall serious site upgrades and maintenance.

    The "training" building on site and its many outbuildings are valued at about $145,000. We have never had showers or laundry facilities. At one point our pay phone was literally ripped off the wall and smashed.

    Our camping fee box was regularly pilfered. The water and well is of good quality. The campsites always need attention. These are only some of the challenges. Another is hypothetical: what if somebody decided to automate the minden water control dam thereby interfering with our historical use of the dam as a recreational resource? (read Kipawa case here)

    The directors of Whitewater Ontario are paddlers like you and me trying to conduct their responsibilities in a fiduciarily correct manner. Its appropriate that we ask these questions about the preserve.

    We felt initially that if the Minden Hills township was brought on board, if we developed a closer link with the Chamber of Commerce, same for Haliburton this would be a positive step for the Minden Preserve. Good links with the community are necessary to establish grant partnerships, and programs. We’ll continue doing these sorts of things.

    The objective for Minden is to help maintain the preserve as our funding is gradually withdrawn which is promised to us by government. Further, the preserve, it is believed should be self supporting. If the preserve is self supporting, the paddling community which should support it, will not lose it!

    You’ve mentioned rock concerts and profiteering. There have been folk festivals and gull festivals held, and to my knowledge these have not been money makers but your comments about the need for quiet past a certain hour are valid.

    In the past the preserve has benefited from the volunteer hours of many. It often reflects the time and interest of specific volunteers, like Roger Parsons whose vision, the preserve is. But individuals like Roger Parsons come by infrequently and now the reality is that people have difficulty making that kind of volunteer committment.

    I would welcome greater volunteer contributions at work weekends, diligence in paying camping fees, a sense of paddler ownership of the place: a place to be cherished and nurtured.

    Some of those enjoying the preserve are families, some have dogs and children. We don’t believe that this inherently is a problem but there are rude persons both single and family members who may need to be educated.

    As for commercial operation this needs to be explored. I personally believe that the site could be commercially run at a profit such profits to pay for the services of the commercial operator and the long term maintenance of the preserve. This is my theory, it has yet to be proven. History does not support this idea. It may involve significant increases in camping fees, reservation systems, great site supervision, but these are all areas currently under study.

    Lets explore all these ideas further, keep this thread going. I want to hear from you!

    #23065
    Jon
    Participant

    Your plan to get closer to the Minden / Haliburton tourist stuff is a good one. I don’t know if they realise what a draw both the Gull itself and the paddlers that are artificially stocked there are for the tourists who come through the area. Often there are more ‘tourists’ than there are paddlers. The Chambers and Tourist organisations should be promoting the ‘picturesque beauty" and the ‘death defying antics’ (you know what I mean).

    I appreciate the need for volunteer help and personally did 4 or 5 hours of chainsawing this summer, after the storm. I had suggested a To-Do list (perhaps a sticky here on Boatwerks) that people could pick from and spend a half hour or whatever doing on a weekend or day visit to the Gull as well as the more formal organised ‘work weekends’.

    I don’t think that the Gull is well suited to ‘Intro’ type courses, (like Palmers) (especiall open boat type stuff), but is a perfect place to gain/hone intermediate skills. This is an area that I don’t see much being done with. Bob Foote runs a course there, but are there others?

    I doubt that people would appreciate permanent gates being hung, and I am confident that they would be vandalized, so that is out, but an orgaised (ie paid instructor, $ for WO) traing slalom weekend might work – doesn’t even have to be a full set of gates top-to-bottom.

    An organised River Reading course could be done, too. The Ottawa Y has paid instructors for Intermediat WW and River Reading courses that are run mostly on the Ottawa R. IMO the Gull is a far better place for both of these courses. Why wouldn’t WO try this using some of the WO certified instructors?

    Same thing for playboating.

    After an Ottawa Y Intermediate course with Andrew Westwood and Beth Kennedy, a long time open boater friend of mine, who we both thought was pretty good, said "Wow, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know!. Make use of the Gull and the Preserve for formal skills transfers. Camping + food + $80 for two days with an expert, what’s there not to like?

    I expect MKC will not be in favour of this, because it may be seen as direct competition, so … Would they like to be a partner in this? An alternative location to Palmers on the weekend when there isn’t any water on the Middle Mad anyway. Perhaps become part of the solution.

    IMO the provincial parks run as they are by commercial operators – while perhaps successful, are not a place I like to be, the costs are high along with the overhead b.s., but perhaps that is the only way to stop those few who ruin it for everyone.

    #23066
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    1. The funding of WO that includes the sources and amount WO receives in the current 3 years -need to know the public/corporates/organizations that support WO)

    2. There are many events held in Minden Water Preserve during Summer and Fall besides regular courses such as Minden work weekend and Rapid Mag Gull River Open Race. We would like to know where do the participants come from ? US? Toronoto, or other parts of Ontario? We are interested to know how many participants (approximately) in one event of such kind?

    3. does WO work with tourism council of Haliburton or Ontario in promoting whitewater race? Does WO anticipate to work with them in the future to increase popularity and participation?

    4. W.I.L.D. features whitewater kayaking certificated courses from WO and it focus on paddlers from the States and Mexico (besides Canada). Can you briefly describe the partnership between W.I.L.D and WO?

    #23067
    Mano
    Participant

    It might not hurt to ask paddlers to pay a small fee everytime they come to paddle the Gull even if they park in he Horseshoe Lake parking lot. A couple bucks from each paddler might help? Is that parking lot not part of the Gull preserve? I guess the problem would be where to drop the money sinced there is already a problem with the drop box being broken into another one on the other side of the river maybe worse.

    Also WO advertises courses (or used to) like fast water rescue which there are never any posted dates for and I think there’s always going to to be interest in. I also agree that it would be great to have other courses with paid instructors offered, are there any courses other than the odd instructor course or recert. ?

    #23068
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    This lists the members of the executive, the events for the coming year, the details about using the Minden Preserve camp ground and much much more.

    The website is being updated with this information.

    Thanks for the suggestions

    Pete

    #23069
    ThomL
    Moderator
    "Mano":1g96rgwu wrote:
    Is that parking lot not part of the Gull preserve? [/quote:1g96rgwu]

    No, the parking lot is on township land. WO only owns land on the upper half of river left (about down to the falls), nothing on river right. River right is owned by the township – down to about the footbridge – and Orillia Power Corp below that.

    #23070
    Peter Karwacki
    Participant

    Definitely keep those questions coming, we’ll add these to our whitewaterontario.ca website with a Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Pete

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.