As I watch the climate change debate unfold in Glasgow at COP 26, I find myself wondering about how a seriously disconnected proposal like the destruction of the park lands at Owls Head to build golf courses ever got as far as it did. I can understand how a developer could have put a plan like this forward for private coastal lands that remain largely unregulated despite the growth in our understanding of the importance of natural areas. However, the large undisturbed coastal barrens, wetlands, bogs and beaches of Owls Head are public land and need to be viewed through the lens of climate change, the global loss of biodiversity, and the importance of protecting the remaining, large undisturbed coastal habitats for all species.
Where are the laws, the Acts, the regulations, the government policies and platforms that would say a project like this should ever be considered? They do not exist. This was a backroom, patronage-driven deal to rob Nova Scotians of a precious, a sacred resource. You can greenwash it, you can try to hide the impacts but the fact is this proposal will irreversibly alter and destroy Owls Head Provincial Park.
The truth is, this proposal is based on greed, on profit, on providing a play area for the elite, the 1%, and the destruction of the park area, the loss of habitats, and the threat to important adjacent marine areas mean nothing to its advocates.
There is no place in 2021, in Nova Scotia, for a proposal like this on candidate protected areas. It does not deserve a moment more of consideration, the Letter of Offer should be rescinded and the park lands, the large, important, coastal park lands should be formally designated. That would demonstrate clear leadership, commitment to the environment and our protected areas, leadership that is desperately needed.
It’s time to stop the sale and save Owls Head Provincial Park.