Exploring potential sale for protected Crown land at Owls Head began in 2016

Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
November 3, 2020

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The province was preparing to remove Owls Head Park Reserve from the parks protection list and sell it to an American developer more than three years before the public was notified, provincial documents show.

…The properties in question, which according to the provincial documents include a variety of coastal barrens and wetlands, exceptional bedrock-ridged topography and are home to the piping plover and the barn swallow, two species at risk, are adjacent to a 138-hectare property already owned by Beckwith Gilbert, who controls Lighthouse Links.

“The first step that must be taken before the transaction can proceed is DNR obtaining authorization from cabinet to remove the Crown lands from the Parks and Protected Area Plan,” Margaret Miller, then natural resources minister, wrote in a Sept. 26, 2017, email to Gilbert.

“All other processes are subject to this step being successfully completed,” Miller wrote.

Miller went on to say that the ministers of environment and natural resources in 2013 had committed to protecting land identified in the plan, lands that included the Owls Head reserve.

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