You'll be gazing at more than stars at this popular night-sky viewing spot. Ontario's Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve could be banning certain activities, and a rise in littering is one of the reasons why. The Township of Muskoka Lakes has requested a temporary camping ban in order to address issues that are leading to the area's destruction.

Imagine looking out at twinkling stars, lush landscapes... and piles of garbage. 

Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve in Muskoka is a frequented spot for stargazing

The 4,707-acre expanse of Crown Land is far away from the shining lights of the city, making it the perfect spot to see constellations and shooting stars. 

Recently, an increase in popularity has sparked concerns about the destruction of this starry paradise.

On August 12, 2020, the Township Of Muskoka Lakes requested a temporary camping ban in order to address some of the growing issues.

In the request, the Township outlined that growing popularity, lack of funding, and the absence of visitor responsibility has caused several issues.

On behalf of Muskoka Lake's Mayor Harding, the Township informed Narcity that they have received numerous complaints from the community over the past year regarding activities taking place in the reserve.

Common complaints include the destruction of natural resources such as vulnerable species and the dumping of garbage and debris throughout the land.

According to the Township, conflicting uses of the area, namely camping and conservation, have pitted visitor groups against one another.

The situation has become so extreme that there have been physical altercations between visitors and the OPP have had to intervene.

Another concern is the deteriorating state of the infrastructure, which is being deemed a safety hazard and has lead to several serious injuries.

With a temporary ban on camping and associated activities, the Township means to implement a short-term work plan to address immediate issues in the reserve, as well as establish a long term strategy for sustainability.

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