Who’s protecting Owls Head park from development? Not the provincial government

Morning File, Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Suzanne Rent
Halifax Examiner
December 18, 2019

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Province won’t protect Owls Head park from development

A developer wants to buy the lands at Owls Head park on the Eastern Shore to develop up to three golf courses.

Michael Gorman at CBC reports that Owls Head provincial park on the Eastern Shore, an area with a “globally rare” ecosystem, is no longer on a list of provincial properties that will get legal protection.

American couple Beckwith Gilbert and his wife, Kitty, owners of Lighthouse Links Development Company, already own 138 hectares next to the Owls Head property. In an email to CBC, Gilbert says it was their “dream to own and preserve an unspoiled, natural ocean beach,” but they also recognized that employment opportunities were needed along the Eastern Shore. They approached the province about the land to build up to three golf courses there, similar to Cabot Links or Cabot Cliffs in Cape Breton.

Conservation biologist Chris Miller, executive director of the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, says he’s concerned about the proposal.

It’s a place where conservation values and nature need to come first and human and economic development is only within the context of protecting those values.

Chris Miller, CPAWS

Some of the species that nest in the area including piping plovers and barn swallows, as well as species of “conservation concern” like the ruby-crowned kinglet and common elder.

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