What Sparked This Movement:
- The government secretly removing Owls Head Provincial Park from a list of properties slated for permanent protection (Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan)
- The secretive way in which the government delisted Owls Head Provincial Park, entered into a Letter of Offer with a prospective developer, and later scrubbed the government’s websites.
- The proposed sale of a Provincial Park Reserve without public notice or consultation.
- The need to protect the site’s ecological values, including a globally rare coastal broom crowberry ecosystem and offshore eelgrass meadows.
The Facebook group Save Owls Head Provincial Park/Little Harbour has continued to grow and now has over 6,000 members. This is a grassroots movement of concerned citizens who strongly believe that the government should honour its commitments to Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan by formally protecting Owls Head Provincial Park.
What We’re Fighting For:
Our Short-Term Goals:
- Convince the government to withdraw from the Letter of Offer and restore Owls Head Provincial Park to Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan.
- Seek formal and lasting protection for Owls Head Provincial Park.
Our Long-Term Goals:
- Seek formal protection for all properties on the Parks and Protected Areas Plan, in order to preserve them in perpetuity as public parks and reserves.
- Protect public land for future generations through conservation science, meaningful public consultation, and transparent governance.
Why We Support Saving Owls Head:
- Owls Head Provincial Park and other properties of high conservation value were slated for protection through the 2013 Parks and Protected Areas Plan. The plan was based on conservation science as well as extensive consultation with citizens, industry, and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.
- On March 13, 2019, Owls Head was removed from the Parks and Protected Areas Plan through a confidential minute letter, without any scientific basis, public consultation, or notice.
- Owls Head Provincial Park has significant biodiversity and ecological value, including rare and endangered species of both plants and animals. Jeopardizing the significant wetlands, coastal barrens, and eelgrass beds is an unfathomable decision in our current climate crisis.
- Nova Scotia’s natural beauty is our province’s greatest asset. The coastline draws visitors from all over the world. Owls Head Provincial Park is part of the Wild Islands Tourism Advancement Partnership. Irreparably harming the environment of Owls Head Provincial Park will adversely affect opportunities for eco-tourism, which could offer economic potential without harming the environment.
- Private development on this property would prioritize the interests of a for-profit company over the long-term interests of Nova Scotians.
- A golf course development at this particular site would conflict with environmental standards. It would be harmful to the area’s ecosystems, including wetlands, water recharge systems, and offshore eelgrass beds. Chemical runoff is known to cause algae to bloom and subsequently cause eelgrass to die, which would negatively affect local fisheries.