Featured Photo: Broom Crowberry by Megan Timmons
On May 24, the change.org petition surpassed 15,000 signatures. Caitlin Porter, a biologist who has studied the site’s rare plant ecosystem over several years, writes a short message of support.
FIFTEEN THOUSAND. That’s such an impressive number. Also, so impressive how much hard work and expertise is in this group. So many superheroes here.
The amount of volunteer hours going into making this happen is incredible and a testament to how much people care. It’s inspiring to me that so many people care about our shared public lands, protected areas commitments, and biodiversity conservation.
When I wrote to our local representatives last year, I didn’t receive any response to my letters. Organizations with expertise on this issue who wrote in their concerns also did not receive responses. Many people have not received responses from the same politicians who they voted for.
It is disappointing to not be heard, also to have no platform to be heard from. This Facebook group has garnered much attention to the issue. The website, demonstrations, social media efforts, sign campaigns, etc are all ways in which folks are getting the message out there.
We made our data publicly available so that folks could have access to whatever information that we had about the ecology of Owls Head Provincial Park. It’s a small professional group, but I have seen many other biologists now visit Owls Head Provincial Park and adjacent waters to contribute their expertise on the various ecological values of Owls Head Provincial Park. I can think of more than a dozen biologists now who have surveyed the site and made their expertise and data public so that people can have the full picture of what is out there. About barrens – this ecosystem is so often overlooked for its conservation value. When you look closely, it’s so much more than just rocky ground. So many people have come together to share this with the community.
Folks don’t want a golf course made of a provincial park for many reasons, but the collective effort of the independent scientific community to make information about this place known makes me feel so optimistic about the future, and also so grateful for the MANY hours that professionals have contributed their time voluntarily to the cause.
This petition, and all of the hard work you folks are doing in all of our various capacities, demonstrates a commitment to our land and our environment. Artists, designers, planners, and every type of people are on here speaking collectively and I am so inspired by that.
While the politicians may not be listening to the recommendations of scientists, they have no choice but to listen to this collective voice from all of their constituents. Thank you all for speaking up for what you care about! Collectively, we can advocate for accountability and for government to do the right thing. With these kinds of numbers, they will see just how many people care. It can’t be ignored.
To add your name to the online petition, please click here.
Report on the Ecological Importance of Owls Head Crown land
Species Spotlight: Broom Crowberry
Barrens Ecosystems in Nova Scotia: Classification of Heathlands and Related Plant Communities by Porter, Basquill, and Lundholm (Excerpt Below)