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Macaulay Mountain among conservation areas facing influx of vandalism

Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area – Terry Sprague photo

Quinte Conservation’s public green spaces – including Macaulay Mountain – have been experiencing an influx of vandalism and property damage this summer.

“Aside from the usual incidents of garbage dumping, illegal camping, and damage to natural areas caused by visitors and off-leash pets straying from designated trails, most notably, it has been the intentional destruction of newly installed safety signage at Macaulay Mountain in Picton and severe damage to shoreline trees at Third Depot Lake in Godfrey,” said Jesse Platt, Field Operations Manager.

Platt said staff were directed by Quinte Conservation’s Board of Directors during the June meeting to decommission unofficial trails at Macaulay Mountain for safety reasons.

“Trail closed signs that included a QR code to Quinte’s official trail map were installed at each unofficial trail opening by field staff in July. Additional signage, reminding area users that operation of motorized vehicle on trails is strictly prohibited, have also been vandalized and often thrown into the wooded area off trail.”

Platt said the signs were put in place to protect visitors from the hazards that exist on unofficial trails as well to remind the public that trails are designed for hiking purposes.

“It’s really unfortunate that an individual or a few individuals have decided to rip them out, causing damage to the property owned by Quinte Conservation.”

She said dealing with these kinds of incidents, including the damage to shoreline trees at Depot Lakes, is taking valuable time and resources away from other projects.

“It costs money and time for our office to design and install signage and when we install safety signage it’s to protect visitors so that they have a safe and enjoyable experience in nature. Every time we must go back to an area to clean up the damage, it takes away from other projects.”

Visitors are asked to report incidents of vandalism or illegal activities to Quinte Conservation through the online reporting tool at, and in the instance of witnessing something first-hand, to report the event to local authorities immediately.

Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency serving 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. KB says:

    Cameras with lights, and signs indicating the area is monitored by video.
    As far as enforcement goes, who should be contacted for illegal camping?

  2. Graham Cobb says:

    Once again – cameras cameras cameras. Monitored by a group ” only ” If or when there’s an incident . It will save time and money in the long run. ****. Ex. All parks- Every 2nd block on Main st etc.

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