Letter from N.S. Wild Flora Society

We of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society are writing to express our concern with the delisting of Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve and proposed golf course development on these public lands. The Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation and conservation of wild flora and habitat in Nova Scotia.

Letter 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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Dr. Willison’s Letter to Sean Fraser, MP

To: Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament

From: Martin Willison, retired Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University

Re: Public lands at Owl’s Head, Nova Scotia

Date: 28th January 2020

Dear Mr. Fraser (Sean)

You posted to the relevant Facebook page that you are interested to hear from Nova Scotians regarding the proposed sale of public land at Owl’s Head. I am sure you were sincere when you stated that you want to protect the environment while also fostering appropriate economic development. I wrote to Iain Rankin, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (NS) two weeks ago and my letter to him is attached here.

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The Marine Side: By Kristina Boerder

Marine biologist Dr. Kristina Boerder explains that Eastern Shore marine ecosystems and salt marshes are providing “important ecosystem services” that benefit humans and nature.

  • Protection from coastal erosion
  • Providing important habitat for a multitude of species
  • Benefiting local fisheries
  • Acting as important carbon sinks (absorbing & storing carbon dioxide)
  • Providing breeding and nursery habitat for terrestrial, near-shore, and migratory birds
  • Providing “shelter, foraging, and breeding habitat for marine invertebrates, such as shrimp and crabs, and small fish”
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Owls Head - Vision Air

Ecology Action Centre Statement

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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