On Friday, October 18, OAC volunteers presented to the Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Spaces System (NEPOSS) Council. The presentation represented a significant opportunity for the climbing community to reach out to a large group of conservation land managers ranging from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Parks, Conservation Authorities, the Niagara Park Commission,, municipalities, the Ontario Heritage Trust, Bruce Trail Conservancy and Parks Canada. The presentation introduced the mission and objectives of the Ontario Access Coalition (OAC), identified collaborative projects between the OAC and NEPOSS Council members, and promoted climbing and its management as an environmentally sustainable activity.
To become more familiar with the NEPOSS Council, please visit their website at http://www.niagaraescarpmentontario.ca/
The following is a brief introduction to the NEPOSS Council:
The NEPOSS Council is organized to advance the NEPOSS objectives identified in the Niagara Escarpment Plan. It was created in recognition of a need to foster dialogue on NEPOSS issues and improve liaison, shared resources, and coordinated action among various NEPOSS agencies.
The Council provides advice to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) on NEPOSS policies and programs and bring awareness to Council issues.
Key Council Responsibilities include:
- Providing effective leadership for coordinated park management and stewardship
- Protecting natural and cultural heritage features of NEPOSS
- Supporting the growth of NEPOSS through land securement initiatives
- Building strong relationships with key stakeholders to address common park and open space issues and interests
- Working together to provide an interconnected system of trails and educational and recreational opportunities
With the goal in mind of educating Council members on climbing management, the presentation encouraged incorporating climbing as an environmentally compatible activity where appropriate on the Niagara Escarpment through sharing best practices and case studies of access successes in the province.
The response to the presentation was very encouraging and the presentation was well received. Discussions revealed that several Council members had climbing experience ranging from climbing at Buffalo Crag, years of climbing gym membership, to South American glacier travel.
Both the OAC and the NEPOSS Council will be posting copies of the presentation on their respective websites. The OAC looks forward to continuing to work with the Council and its members in the near future.
A big thanks to the OAC volunteers who took time out of their personal obligations to research, create and deliver the presentation on behalf of the climbing community.