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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have been following conversations over the past couple years and have noticed a lot of talk about lake access and the lack of it in the province. I offer another aproach a bit different than what might have been considered in the past. Instead of protesting on peoples lawns and relying on groups other than fishing clubs who work mostly with there own best intereste in mind, why not take the isue from lake access to barier free? Some of you probably know who I am or have seen me in tournaments but I use a wheelchair to get around and the only way I can access any lake is from a boat launch. I will show up to some of these meetings and try to help in any way I can if someone gets the people togeather. Sometimes this aproach works and I don't mind explaining if I get hurt trying to access water it will be far more costly than the price of a ramp. Just some food for thought!
Take care,
 

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I think it is a great idea, everyone should have access to our provinces reasources, not just a lucky few....espically seeing noone owns water. I wish it was just that simple.
 

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Hi;

Well, I think that this is a topic worth re-hashing as many times as it takes to get people politically active wrt the issue of private closure of public water. You only get what you fight for.

Let me repeat some points.

First, N.S. lakes and rivers, being public water, public access of some kind is a right--not a privilege to be granted by private property owners.

Second, it is the duty, [not the whim or choice or pleasure], of the provincial government to protect the rights of all Nova Scotians, including their right to public access to public resources; including lakes, natural ponds, streams, rivers, shorelines/beaches,-- both fresh water and marine.

Third, it is already a matter of established law and tradition that an angler has a limited right to walk across privately owned land and along shorelines fronting privately owned shore property on lakes, streams, natural ponds, and beaches; a right that takes precedence over trespass legislation.

Fourth--the above right needs to be extended to anyone with a legitimate intention wrt the use of public waters--including bathers, birdwatchers, scientific investigators [including school kids], and so on.

Fifth--apart from a pedestrian right of way to such waters and shores, the government has no further duty, and where there is public land [provincial property]that abuts such water and is not held by lease to a private individual or business interest, it need do nothing. It can't be building roads, trails, and pathways to every body of water in the province.

Sixth--Where public water is blocked from public access by private interests of any kind, then it is the government's duty to provide at least pedestrian access points to any water enclosed within a barrier of private interests. Whether each and every pedestrian access point needs to be wheelchair accessible, or only some of them, is a different debate.

Seventh--Government resonsability begins and ends with pedestrian access to the water's edge, and the use of that water and its shoreline. It has no responsibility to provide access to non-human goods and things. Things include non-portable items, such as power boats and motors, cars, trucks, ATV's, Snowmobiles, sailboats, motorcycles, horses, dogs, and what-not. These things may have access at the government's pleasure, but not as of right, and each case must be decided on its own particular and specified merits.

Eighth--All governments are RE-ACTIVE, not PRO-ACTIVE. That is, they initiate no action, but must be pushed, [kicking and screaming in protest], into doing the right thing, including that which is their duty and responsibility in the first place. So, if the public does nothing, then it will do nothing, and the public will get nothing;--including that which is rightfully their own to begin with!!

And that's that.

IMHO,

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So How do we do it? We obviously have the people who want this to happen but do we start with a lake like Second Lake or do we go for all the lakes in question. If people are interested we should do it as a group and the larger the group the better but every one has to be on board and not let the issue disolve and not follow through.
 

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Hey Ben, Second lake would be the ideal lake to get public access too, it could consume huge amounts of resources to do so unfortunately. Good lakes that come to mind are lakes like Tomahawk McCabes Third Wrights to name a few. I think all of these lakes are modestly remote lakes with good fishing and well serviced roads, most already have decent launches as well. I belive getting access to these lakes can be accomplished with a little work and organization.

Cheers

Colin
 

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Hi Colin,
Why do you think Second Lake would require more resources than the others you mentioned? It already has a launch area that was used for years prior to it's closure.

Matt
 

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Hey Matt, with Regrades to Second Lake the people who have created the park have really dug there heels and they really really do not want motorized boats ( except for one guys boat) on the lake. If we could organize and show our stewardship of the lakes, then Second lake should open up.

Cheers

Colin
 

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Thanks Colin,
I thought that might be what you were refering to. The "Friends of Second Lake" do seem to have some "friends" in high places for sure!
Is there only one power boat in the lake now? Years ago there were a few.
Just seems to me there must be a better solution that everyone could live with. Closing an access point to the public seems a little heavy handed.

Wheelben, maybe you could inquire if there are wheelchair-friendly trails to the water & request some sort of fishing dock be installed. DNR would be the place to start as I know they were heavily involved in the creation of the park.

Matt
 

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I may be naive here but by lake access I always thought you guys meant a spot where people could get on the lake and put in a canoe or kayak and paddle or just walk the shore and fish. When you guys talk about lake access do you mean a place where people and drive in a truck and trailer and launch a big ole motor boats in the lakes?

Just not sure of the terminology.....

BTW was out lake Kinsac a few weeks ago bass fishing and I went down Kinsac road and turned in by the tracks. There was a cottage there that had like 7 no trespassing signs up and including 'private access to the lake no trespassing' it was crazy. I don't know why people do that - they don't own the lake.

On the bright side caught a decent bass almost right behind their cottage lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Colin,
I thought that might be what you were refering to. The "Friends of Second Lake" do seem to have some "friends" in high places for sure!
Is there only one power boat in the lake now? Years ago there were a few.
Just seems to me there must be a better solution that everyone could live with. Closing an access point to the public seems a little heavy handed.

Wheelben, maybe you could inquire if there are wheelchair-friendly trails to the water & request some sort of fishing dock be installed. DNR would be the place to start as I know they were heavily involved in the creation of the park.

Matt
I will check with DNR and see what the process is and who I have to talk to about Second lake. I used to fish that lake a lot before they closed the road.
 

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Hey Grasshopper,
In my opinion "Lake Access" is a general term used in a variety of situations. There are different issues for different bodies of water, ie. Grand - great launch & parking facilities but restrictions on when they can be used. Second, Miller etc. were lakes that had launches used by the public for years but have been closed by developement. The gov't should have a plan in place when the shores of our waterways are being developed to include public access in whatever form is suitable. ie. Boat launch/parking, park area, barrier free fishing, etc.

Wheelben,
I would be interested to know how you make out. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

Matt
 

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Hi all,

Just a brief note. The Canadian Association of Smallmouth Anglers formally submitted a request to the Minister of Natural Resources (John MacDonell) expressing our want for reasonable access to Second Lake. We were very clear that our main goals were to provide access to the lake for all water users and also to build a barrier-free access point. We even suggested that we could impose a speed limit similar to Lake Banook to reduce wake disturbance on the shoreline, or further yet, not build a boat launch at all and just allow people to get next to the lake to dump their canoe / cartopper into the water. We were also very clear that we wanted to respect the new park and that maintaining the ecological integrity of the park was a focus. As it stands, the park is designated for both preservation and recreation, and following the definition of a recreational park in their park management plan, lake access fits the bill and is permitted. We have the funds to completely pay for the project, we have a designer, a heavy machinery company, and an environmental scientist/biologist all volunteering for the project. We also had an occupational therapist donating time to design an effective barrier-free site. This letter was circulated to the Premier, Major and several other officials.

Our official reply from Mr. MacDonell stated that while it was a good project, they could not accommodate us nor the needs of anglers or any other water-user who was unable to walk down the rather long and steep gravel trail.

We are looking at other avenues at this time!
 

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Eddie

In regards to your attempt to gain access to Second Lake and the refusal from the government. I higly suggest that you involve the media. After all the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

It's time that we stop playing nice. We are getting nothing in return and in fact we are loosing what we have / had.

Let me know what I can do to help.

Charles
 

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Hi;

About Second lake. It is included in a "park", but just what sort of "park' I cannot make out. The only name for the 'park' is Second Lake Regional Park. But what region? Lwr. Sackville, Bedford, Windsor Junction, Fall River?
Or all of HRM? Or all of N.S., as a provincial park? The land is owned by the province, and is 'administered' by DNR. Not much administration being done, since no development of trails or anything else is being done, so far as I can tell. DNR calls the land a "provincial park reserve", meaning, I suppose, that it may become a park someday, but at the moment it is just undeveloped land. And judging by the Minister's response to Halfyard and company, that is exactly the way that somebody with 'pull' wants it to stay.

Now, are those people the dozen or so shore front owners on Second Lake? Is the reserve being reserved for them and their exclusive use?

I am in full agreement with anyone who wants to ban motor vehicles, including ATV's , snowmobiles, and powered watercraft, from all provincial parks. But surely a paved parking lot and access path for people with portable boats to carry, or in wheelchairs, is not too much to ask. And a beach for kids to swim at, etc.

It looks to me like this is another one of those parks that was built and maintained for rabbits and squirrels [like that 'park' in Waverly on Lake Thomas], with no human use except for that of the few people who live on, in, or beside the property.

That's fine for wilderness locales, but in the middle of suburban HRM, it's ridiculous.

I say take a lesson from Laurie Park. Last winter that land was to be "developed" into a place for tourists to park their Winnebagoes in July and August. People rose up, held meetings, formed pressure groups, got media attention, and saved the day-use/picnic area from obliteration. The province listens when a few thousand votes are at stake, but it sees, hears, and does nothing until then.

So, contact the Laurie Park action committee, or whatever it's called, and see if their methods can't be applied to the Second Lake "provincial park reserve".

cheers,

chuck
 
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