Letter to the Editor
The Chronicle Herald
March 22, 2022
Contributed by Dusan Soudek

Originally published here

Re: “Nature Trust protects three wilderness gems” (March 11 story). I am thrilled to read that the Nova Scotia Nature Trust has just succeeded in acquiring three important coastal wilderness properties; Lowland Cove on Cape Breton Island and Middle Island and Sand Beach on the South Shore.

I am also impressed by provincial Environment and Climate Change Minister Tim Halman’s comments praising the Nature Trust’s work and reminding us of his new government’s ambitious goal of protecting 20 per cent of the province’s land and fresh water by 2030.

However, actions (or the lack thereof) speak louder than words. The public is still waiting for an official word on the results of public consultations on the designation of new wilderness areas and provincial parks, or their enlargement. We were asked to comment on 12 properties in February 2021 and on eight more in July 2021. The sixty-day public consultation periods are long over, yet there has been no word from the province about any new designations.

I am not going to mention the 48 properties throughout the province, many of them provincial park reserves (a.k.a. undesignated provincial parks) that were advertised as being “intended for protection” on Earth Day 2021 (April 22).

Again, fine words but no action from the Department of Environment and Climate Change nor from its sister Department of Natural Resources and Renewables.

Finally, no developments with respect to the future of the former Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve, in spite of a promise by our new premier, Tim Houston, to protect it. At this rate, we will never reach the 20 per cent protection goal.

Dusan Soudek, director of environment, Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia

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