Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve in Nova Scotia has long been recognized for its conservation significance, as a stunning coastal headland that supports important ecosystems and a globally-rare plant community, but it is currently under threat.
In March 2019, the Nova Scotia government secretly delisted this site in order to sell the public land to a golf course developer. The government made this move without consulting or notifying the public. News of the delisting was discovered following investigative journalism by the CBC.
“In the beginning the 13 per cent was a great goal, but the more I learn and share, the more I realize that’s not where we should stop,” she says. “We definitely need to increase that number to allow for more Indigenous-led conservation but also to create more protected spaces for all of Nova Scotia and the people here.”
Melissa Labrador, Mi’kmaw Activist
Chris Miller [executive director of CPAWS NS] says the province needs to make more space for Indigenous-led conservation in the spirit of reconciliation, but also to sustain the health of the planet for everyone.
Statement from Canadian Parks And Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Nova Scotia Chapter
This summer, CPAWS-NS has visited Owls Head numerous times. Accompanied by a range of biodiversity experts, we have been completing a series of surveys to record the rich natural diversity of this coastal headland.
Our team has identified over 75 species of birds that occur here, undertaking surveys from the land and on the water. Later this month, we’ll be out again with our snorkels, studying eelgrass beds in the area.
Located in the Mi’kmaw traditional territory of Eskikewa’kik, the Eastern Shore Islands include hundreds of islands stretching along the coast from Clam Harbour to Liscomb Point. This is the largest archipelago in eastern North America, and it’s only a short drive from Halifax.
Nova Scotia was once considered to be a leader in Canada for the creation of new protected areas, but in a new report, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) says that’s no longer the case.
The non-profit, which is dedicated to the protection of public land, oceans and freshwater, released its annual parks report, ‘Healthy Nature Healthy People,’ on Wednesday. The publication reviews the state of Canada’s parks, celebrating significant progress, noting slowdowns, and highlighting threats.