Save Owls Head Joint Letter

Marchers at Feb 20 Rally

Office of the Premier
7th Floor, One Government Place
1700 Granville Street
Halifax, NS
B3J 1X5

March 10, 2020

Dear Premier Stephen McNeil:

Owls Head is an ecologically significant area along the Eastern Shore that is deserving of legal protection. It contains a number of rare ecosystem types, as well as important habitat for migratory birds and species-at-risk. It is a key headland within the “100 wild islands” ecosystem.

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Ecology Action Centre Statement

Owls Head - Vision Air
EAC logo
Ecology Action Center

Owls Head is a coastal headland on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia/Mi’kmaqi. A portion of the headland (268 hectares/ 662 acres) is provincial Crown Land and has been managed as a provincial park since the 1970s. Though Owls Head Provincial Park was never legally designated as a protected area, it has been proposed for designation in the Nova Scotia’s 2013 Parks and Protected Areas Plan (site #694). 
 
Because of investigative reporting and freedom of information requests, we all learned of the backdoor deal to sell Owls Head Provincial Park to a private developer, for conversion into golf courses. The secret actions of the Department of Lands and Forestry staff, past and current Ministers, and Cabinet to dispose of a rare ecosystem home to a number of endangered species without public consultation are deplorable. 

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A Park is a Park, is a Park, is a Park

Nova Scotia Owls Head Park Reserve Map

It is important to remember that when Premier McNeil says there is no history of Owls Head as a protected space, he is lying.

When other politicians claim that there is no history of Owls Head as a protected space, they are lying too. We have provided clear, unequivocal evidence, prima facie proof of the protected status of Owls Head Provincial Park for the past 45 years.

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We Fight On

Gilberts Land on Owls Head

We are fighting to save Owls Head Provincial Park.

We are fighting on many fronts and must remain vigilant.

The Court case—thank you Eastern Shore Forest Watch and N.S. Biologist Bob Bancroft—opens another front. It gives us oxygen, like Katie Porter’s report, the public meeting at Ship Harbour, the work of Richard Bell in the Eastern Shore Cooperator, the hundreds of people who have joined this group and share its posts, the work of Stan Frantz on the website, Sydnee Lynn’s determination to stop the sale and destruction of Owls Head, the work of the Conservation Groups: CPAWS and the EAC. The comments, the posts, the public engagement, and dialogue are all keeping us moving forward together, an army of common purpose.

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Letter to MLA from Concerned Scientists

Caitlin Porter, MSc, Research Associate
Jeremy Lundholm, PhD, Professor & Department Chair
Ecology of Plants in Communities Lab
Biology Department
Saint Mary’s University

To the Honourable Labi Kousoulis,

We are biologists and environmental scientists writing to express our concern with the potential development of the proposed Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve.

Over the past 15 years, the Ecology of Plants in Communities lab at Saint Mary’s University has worked with collaborating NGO and NS provincial government partners to describe and classify heathland ecosystems across Nova Scotia. We have included the proposed Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve in our field surveys. Our years of data reveal that Owls Head is ecologically unique and of importance to biodiversity conservation.

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