Letter: Seven years and seven generations

(Editor’s note: The Friends of the Carp Hills (FCH) released this letter earlier today (Dec. 15) wrapping up 2020 an looking in to the future.)

To the Editor,

Maybe you are thrilled by watching otters play in a beaver pond or by riding your bike down a granite rock face.  Maybe you feel a sense of peace walking among the whispering pines or tracking your quarry through the woods.  Maybe you delight in finding an orchid or snowmobiling through crisp air and fresh fallen snow.  The Carp Hills offer all of this and more. Will it do so for future generations?

As 2020 draws to a close, we reflect on how lucky we are to live in an area with beautiful and wild green space like the Carp Hills. We can enjoy nature at our doorstep to provide physical and mental well-being during difficult times. Our Carp Hills are home for bears, deer, fishers, otters, eagles and hawks and owls, beavers, turtles, salamanders, snakes, and hundreds more creatures and unusual plants – all functioning together to sustain a diversity of life.

Our organization formed in 2013 ‘to try to manage the diverse interests of landowners, environmentalists, and users with the aim of preserving and conserving the Carp Hills for the benefit of nature and the community.’ With increasing population, our Manifesto correctly foresaw more recreational use of the Carp Hills and the potential impact this could have on its landscape, its wildlife, and its human residents.

Seven years later we still believe that we can strike a balance between sustainable use and conservation.

Taking guidance from First Nations wisdom, “the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.”  

Seven Generations thinking means we need to be Stewards of the Carp Hills, looking beyond ourselves and our desires to how we fit within the natural world in a sustainable way.

Learn about the Carp Hills. Discover what makes it special. Enrich your experience when out on the trails. We have many Resources on our web site about the geography, ecology, and geology of the area.  Join our Webinars this winter.

Use authorized public trails and stay on the trail.  Please leave conserved areas for the plants and animals to live without disruption.  We need the biodiversity that they sustain.

Leave only footprints and take only memories.  Leave the rocks on the ground, the plants in the earth, and the animals undisturbed.  Remove your garbage and dog waste.  You are one person among many who becomes part of the ecosystem you visit.  Your actions matter.

Respect private property. Most of the Carp Hills is privately owned.  Land owned by the City of Ottawa is protected for conservation. Vacant land – whether owned by individuals or the City of Ottawa – is not an invitation for public use.

Volunteer. It’s an opportunity to learn, be outside, and socialize with others who care about the Carp Hills.  You can help with trail monitoring, trail maintenance, ecological studies, and more. 

Our Carp Hills are unique, beautiful, and transcendent.  Will they be so seven generations hence? It’s up to you.

Friends of the Carp Hills.