Keppel Quarry… Hundred Mile vs NIMBY

Okay so I’m a little behind on my Flickr uploads… these are a couple of shots from a bit of a photo jaunt I took back in the spring…

Keppel Quarry, Grey County

Keppel Quarry, near Owen Sound, Ontario, is the subject of some local controversy as they seek to expand their enterprise. Valid concerns have been raised, on both sides. Not sure where it stands. The gate was open as I drove by on this photo shoot day back in the spring, so I parked and walked in. Trespassing I suppose, technically, but the gate was open. I managed about a half dozen shots from just near the gate before I saw a company vehicle speeding my way. I high-tailed it, gave them the slip, scrammed outa there in a jiffy. Investigative photo-journalism is very stressful.

Keppel Quarry, Grey County

Keppel Quarry, Grey County

Much of Grey and Bruce Counties, particularly Bruce County, consists of solid limestone beneath a thin layer of topsoil. Trees in some areas take only tenuous root, and can be pushed over by hand. Consequently, drainage is a bit of an issue, and flat areas tend to pool, especially in the spring. So I can’t tell you for certain that the shot below is of a wetland, per se. It is wet, I’ll say that much…

Wetland, sort of

Wetland or not, it is representative of the area surrounding the quarry, part of what is at risk. Or more neutrally stated, part of what would be re-purposed for excavation.

There’s a kind of a conflict here: Hundred Mile vs NIMBY. The Hundred Mile idea is that one should only eat food, for example, grown within a hundred mile radius. Less gas trucking it around, and better quality. Good idea. NIMBY (“Not in my back yard”) is a more venerable notion, probably needs no explanation… and is also a good idea when something viewed as undesirable is threatening one’s back yard.

So the next time I want some nice limestone pavers for a garden path in my back yard, do I want to support a local business? Or do I want to truck them in at greater expense to me — and to the environment — from somebody else’s backyard, far away where I don’t care what happens to their wetlands?

Dunno. But I had to ask…

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