Photo by Nicole Tomasic

The Birds of Owls Head Need a Wingman

Love will soon be in the air—for barn swallows, that is. Courtship during the upcoming mating season will feature elegant aerial displays. Cobalt blue, cinnamon and chestnut-coloured, the barn swallow is a striking species. But it’s in flight that these birds go from interesting to incredible. Barn swallows are aerial acrobats, which have been recorded at speeds of up to 74 km/hour. They zip and zoom through the air, performing impressive manoeuvres to catch flying insects. Who knew that you could look so graceful while eating bugs all day?

(more…)

Proponent of Owls Head golf development has acquired more than 20 area properties

Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
May 2, 2021

Full Article Here>

“Beckwith Gilbert, director and president of Lighthouse Links, has been acquiring real estate in Little Harbour on the Eastern Shore that are referenced in the Lighthouse Links proposal as part of the larger plans for the area,” said Sydnee McKay, founder of the the grassroots Facebook group, Save Little Harbour/Owls Head from Becoming a Golf Course.

“Owls Head provincial park should be protected for the enjoyment of all Nova Scotians, not ground into sand, like Lighthouse Links proposes to do,” McKay said.

(more…)

Owls Head development: An economic driver or an ecological disaster?

“It’s absolutely ludicrous to compare Inverness to Owls Head,” said Trider, alluding to Cabot Links in Inverness having been built on an abandoned coal mine site along the Gulf of St. Lawrence.“Owls Head, they are going to have to totally destroy the place to build the golf courses and the real estate development they are proposing there,” Trider said. “They can greenwash it as much as they like, ‘oh golf courses are organic.’

“That’s OK when you are dealing with maybe an abandoned farm or a clearcut or some place that has a capacity for golf course development. Owls Head has none of that. There is no what you really can call soil there. There’s kind of an organic duff layer that has evolved over centuries in the rock ridges, a peat-like soil.”

(more…)

Pollsters Asking Questions About Owls Head

Someone is paying for a phone poll of people on the Eastern Shore to see what they think about destroying Owls Head Provincial Park. You can listen to the poll on this link on Soundcloud.

This poll suggests that someone is getting really worried about the political impact of Premier Rankin’s decision as Minister of Lands and Forestry to secretly de-list Owls Head Provincial Park and sell it to American billionaire Beckwith Gilbert. Gilbert’s company, Lighthouse Links, plans to grind the park into sand in order to build luxury housing and a few golf courses.

(more…)

Dalhousie marine biologist calls sensitive eel grass at Owls Head ‘treasure’

Kristina Boerder says development would likely cause negative consequences on surrounding aquatic vegetation and marine life

Kristina Boerder completed work in the area last summer and says the rare eel grass beds at Owls Head are more effective at trapping carbon than forests on land. She says about one acre of eel grass can store about 330 kilograms of carbon per year. 

“This is about as much as a car travelling from Halifax to Vancouver would emit in carbon,” she says. “The function of eel grass beds trapping carbon is incredibly important if we talk about climate change and a warming planet.”

She says it also benefits humans and the environment by protecting the coast from erosion and improving water quality.

“It’s one of the most productive ecosystems in the world,” she says. “A square metre produces about 10 litres of oxygen per day, and really benefits everybody.”

(more…)

JIM VIBERT: Without answers, Rankin’s credibility suffers

Naturalist Bob Bancroft and the Eastern Shore Forest Watch were in court last week making the case that the secret removal of Owls Head from the list denied the public an opportunity to be heard. There was broad public consultation to develop the list.

… Rankin’s defence of the behind-closed-doors machinations was vague and vapid. He talked about listening to Nova Scotians and following the right process.

Yet, all available evidence suggests Rankin and the government listened only to the golf course proponents and their well-connected Liberal lobbyists. As for the process, it was hidden from Nova Scotians, who just happen to own the land.

(more…)