Bob Rosborough’s Feb. 20 opinion piece, “Sick of critics taking swings at golf development,” leaves out a number of significant aspects of the current debate on Owls Head. These aspects are important to understanding the widespread and growing public opposition to the secret removal of the property, referred to as Owls Head Provincial Park, from the Parks and Protected Areas Plan, and offering it for sale to a private developer.
Owls Head has a long history of protection that can be traced back to the intense public discussions of the mid-1970s around the creation of a potential national park on the Eastern Shore. The large, unique coastal Crown block survived that process as a natural environment park component in the Eastern Shore Seaside Park System. It was recognized as a park by public agencies for 45 years and was included in the final 2013 plan that identified the sites to be designated for protection to meet the province’s 13 per cent target as site #694.
Christopher Trider, co-administrator of the Facebook group Save Little Harbour/Owls Head, joins host Jordi Morgan to offer perspective on Owls Head Provincial Park.
Jordi Morgan: So we’re talking about Owls Head this morning. We wanted to get both sides of this issue, so joining us today is Chris Trider. Chris grew up on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and he also has formed a Facebook group to talk about this issue and to oppose it. They are opposed to the sale of this land, which is not a done deal yet, but Chris joins on the phone this morning. Good morning, Chris.
It bears repeating at this point that the struggle to stop the secret sale and protect Owls Head Provincial Park has never been just about Owls Head.
It has never been about preventing local economic development , and never about just preventing golf courses.
It is about protecting all our Provincial Parks and Wilderness Areas.
Minister Rankin and Premier McNeil have both stated publicly that every property in the Parks and Protected Areas Plan is “under review.” Any property on that list can be removed and offered for sale without public knowledge or oversight, and without following established policies and procedures.
After the years of public engagement, stewardship, and commitments to protect our lands, for the government to act in this manner is morally and ethically unacceptable.
Posted by Richard Bell January 14, 2020 3:25 PM Eastern Shore Cooperator
The revelation that the province’s Department of Lands and Forests has been secretly planning to sell Crown land on Owls Head to a wealthy American couple who own Lighthouse Links Development Company to build as many as three golf courses has stunned Nova Scotians.
For more than four decades, members of the public had every reason to assume that Owls Head would eventually become a fully protected provincial park. As late as the week of January 6th, a Department of the Environment online map of protected areas showed the area as “Owls Head Provincial Park” as late as January.
A former provincial park planner for the Nova Scotia government says a proposal that would see coastal Crown land sold for a potential golf resort is a “betrayal of the public trust” and should be stopped.