Beyond Owls Head Park

Rally 2/20/2020 - photo Peter Barss

June 30, 2020

It bears repeating at this point that the struggle to stop the secret sale and protect Owls Head Provincial Park has never been just about Owls Head.

It has never been about preventing local economic development , and never about just preventing golf courses.

It is about protecting all our Provincial Parks and Wilderness Areas.

Minister Rankin and Premier McNeil have both stated publicly that every property in the Parks and Protected Areas Plan is ” under review.” Any property on that list can be removed and offered for sale without public knowledge or oversight, and without following established policies and procedures.

After the years of public engagement, stewardship, and commitments to protect our lands, for the government to act in this manner is morally and ethically unacceptable.

Stop the sale. Save Owls Head.

Christopher Trider

The Whole is Greater

There’s a saying, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” which refers to the synergy that is created when the pieces all complete each other and contribute to a greater experience.

Owls Head was not appraised by the secret real estate deal guys as the integral part of the whole Eastern Shore Islands that it represents.
The public lands of Owls Head, 700 acres of pristine coastal heathlands, represent an invaluable connection between the Wild Islands project and the Eastern Shore Seaside Park System. They are a classic, representative landscape of parallel quartzite ridges, bogs and coastal spruce forests with a globally rare plant community.

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Hold Them Close

Owls Head by Kenn Kaufman

The formal transfer of the so-called “surplus” federal land at Owls Head to Environment and Climate Change Canada is good news for all of us that are trying to prevent the secret deal to sell the lands of Owls Head Provincial Park.

The same developer, to whom Minister Rankin and Company offered to sell our parklands, was also secretly maneuvering to acquire these lands by using the Federal MP and the Provincial Cabinet.

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How Do We Put a Value on Owls Head?

Corema - Broom Crowberry

How do we put a value on Owls Head Provincial Park?

There have been few valuations for rare plants, let alone globally rare plant communities. For example, a rare Shenzhen Nongke orchid is valued at $202,000 per plant. We would need to do a series of transects and plots at Owls Head Provincial Park to get an honest number of the rare plants and communities to put into the economic calculus of a ” balanced ” view.

“A mature tree can have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” So let’s do a survey of all the ancient coastal white spruce stands at Owls head and put an average value of $2000 on the individual specimens, but let’s be fair and only value the trees that are 75-100+ years old, the ones impossible to replace in a lifetime.

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Deep Roots

The stories of climate change and sea-level rise are written in the rocky shores and beaches of Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Coast. The eroded headlands and glacial till have created the migrating sand platforms, our beaches, and marshes. Drowned bays, coves, and inlets, cobble storm berms, rock ridges, and cliffs all stretch along the length of the Eastern and South Shores.

Owls Head has long been recognized as a “representative” coastal landscape, first as a candidate National Park component, then as a survivor of the community battles to emerge as a Provincial Natural Environment Park component of the Eastern Shore Seaside Park System.

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