Saturday, April 21, 2007

Deseronto

It was kind of a trade secret, but I suppose it doesn't matter anymore. The Deseronto quarry that's now occupied by the Mohawks was one of the more productive secret localities for my fossil buddies and me. We collected quite a few nice trilobites, starfish, and other very cool 450 million-year old invertebrates there. The owner of the quarry is a decent enough guy. I don't know how he and the Mohawks at the nearby reserve got into this fight. Last fall, when the quarry -- which is relatively new -- was occupied by the Mohawks, the leaders of the protest were quoted saying the trouble was connected to a condo development that was buying gravel from the quarry. The occupation was supposed to put pressure on the condo developer by squeezing his suppliers. Now, the Mohawks say they own the property outright. I doubt very much this quarry will ever be worked again. The operator owns a couple of more within a few kilometres, and far enough from the Mohawk community that an occupation is unlikely. The blockade of the main line of the CNR happened just up the road from the quarry.
The same area -- in fact, that particular road -- was the focus of a very long fight between non-Native rural residents, the town of Napanee, the province and Waste Management Inc. over the expansion of the local dump. It's about four kilometres north of the quarry, on the other side of Highway 401. For years, there was an old bus in a field near the Deseronto Road-401 cutoff that was painted "Napanee: Dump City".
I hope to get down there in the next few days and find out what this is really about. I think it's much more likely to escalate than it is to be settled.

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