Group urges Rankin to revisit Owls Head property sale decision

Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
February 8, 2021

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“We are hoping that once Iain Rankin is sworn in as premier, he will reverse his decision on the sale of Owls Head Provincial Park,” said Sydnee McKay, who now lives in Gaetz Brook, 40 kilometres west of Little Harbour, where she grew up next to Owls Head on the Eastern Shore.

“His (Rankin’s) motto is listen, learn and lead so we are hoping he will listen to the thousands of Nova Scotians and the scientific data about the ecological values of the park and put it back on the Parks and Protected Areas Plan with a full designation as a provincial park,” said McKay, whose 89-year-old mother still lives near Owls Head, along with her brothers, aunts and uncles.

… Asked Monday for comment about potentially revisiting the letter of offer from Lighthouse Links, Rankin said “not at this time, I have other priorities I’m looking at.”

… McKay said formally protecting Owls Head Provincial Park will preserve an important ecosystem and help to restore public trust. “Many of our provincial parks, nature reserves, and wilderness areas aren’t legally protected,” she said. “Nearly 200 other properties have the same status that Owls Head Provincial Park did before it was secretly delisted. We ask that any public consultations must be completed by the government and be open to all Nova Scotians.

McKay said her group is not against development and would like to see a strong investment in eco-tourism and recreation on the Eastern Shore. She said a valuation of the Owls Head property commissioned by the developer concluded that the highest and best use of the park property is conservation and recreation, such as kayaking and hiking.

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