On February 19, 2020, CBC reported: “Owls Head land sale put on hold as potential buyers explore their options.” At first glance, this seems like cause for celebration. Right? Not so fast. The more you read, the less clear the situation becomes.
Ever since the story broke in December 2019, there has been clear and persistent opposition to the government secretly delisting Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve. No private development would preserve public coastal access or the site’s “natural beauty.”
On the contrary – the government of Nova Scotia must preserve Owls Head’s rugged beauty, rocky shores, sandy beaches, and public access for generations to come by restoring it to Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan and permanently protecting the property. After all, only 5% of Nova Scotia’s coastline is public. Even less is formally protected.
The rare ecology of Owls Head has developed over thousands of years and would be irreparably harmed. Yet the Gilberts still refer to golf course development (which scientists have shown would destroy these ecosystems) as “eco-tourism.”
Of course, I would like to believe that the Gilberts genuinely want to preserve sites of high conservation value. If that is the case, then I encourage them to work with conservationists, not contractors.
As for the rest of us, let’s not forget that the would-be developers referred to the provincial park reserve as “unused land.” The land is still in danger of being sold and developed. For anyone who hasn’t done so already, please sign the CPAWS online letter. Send a letter to your MLA and our premier. Your voice still matters and it is most definitely still needed.