Parks and Protected Areas: What the Government Tells the World

If you have a few seconds, read what the Nova Scotia Government tells the world on its official website about protected areas like Owls Head Provincial Park, site #694.

You will note at no point do they say ” we will secretly negotiate to remove selected protected areas in the plan when approached by lobbyists for wealthy American developers who feel they need golf courses instead of important ecological areas. “At no point do they say, ” we will lie about the history of any protected area we select, and sanitize our websites of any record of it to facilitate its sale for the profit and enjoyment of the few.”

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Parks and Protected Areas: Protecting the Public Interest

Here’s another gem from the government website on Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan:

Our parks and protected areas contribute to our economy by:

  • anchoring our nature tourism industry
  • supporting the outdoor recreation industry
  • helping us brand Nova Scotia as a clean, green place in which to live, work, and do business
  • contributing to local and regional economies
  • employing people (directly and indirectly), especially in rural areas

So now, on April 1, we have to go to Court and fight the government, Premier Rankin’s government, to protect the public interest in the significant, large, coastal protected area referred to as Owls Head Provincial Park.

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Group urges Rankin to revisit Owls Head property sale decision

“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.

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Parks and Protected Areas Network in HRM

Maps by Shanni Bale

Owls Head Provincial Park is a gem of Nova Scotia, containing a variety of ecosystems, including heathlands, salt marshes, bogs, freshwater lakes, and estuaries. This habitat diversity makes it a haven for at-risk species, including the Barn Swallow and Piping Plover. Owls Head Provincial Park had been awaiting protection for decades. However, in 2019, the NS Liberal government removed it from the ‘Pending Protected Area’ list so that this ecological treasure could be sold and developed. The fate of the park remains uncertain, but thousands of Nova Scotians continue to give their time, money, and energy to save it.

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