Carp Barrens Conservation Strategy

In fall 2017 Carleton University students from the Group Research in Environmental Science Project course developed a conservation strategy for the Carp Barrens. They performed an assessment of the impact of human use on the fragile ecology of the rock barrens, with emphasis on mountain bike use, conducted a survey of best practices used in other areas to deal with human use in fragile areas, and recommended measures to address human impact.

The Carp Barrens lie in the geographic middle of the Carps Hills, forming the most extensive, best-expressed complex of exposed Canadian Shield bedrock in the Ottawa area. The Carp Barrens are a candidate Provincially Significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI), which supports plants typical of cliff tops and outcrops in the Gatineau Hills and uncommon in Ottawa. 

Unmanaged and increased bike and pedestrian traffic are damaging the plant ecology as people forge new trails to create new experiences. Limited parking along a high-speed roadway and use by deer hunters in the fall add to the human use issues facing the Barrens.

We were partnered with the Friends of the Carp Hills for this project.

A bike trail cuts through lichen on exposed Canadian Shield of the Carp Barrens in the photo below.