Urges public to get involved
March 1, 2013
The Ecology Action Centre is urging all Nova Scotians with a love of nature to get involved in the final public consultation for new Parks and Protected Areas announced yesterday by the Nova Scotia government.
“The government has put forward an excellent plan to move our Parks and Protected Areas network forward - but they still need strong public support to see it through to the end” says EAC Wilderness Coordinator, Raymond Plourde.
The province has a legislated commitment to reach at least 12% protection by 2015. The plan released yesterday would protect up to 13.7%, surpassing their minimum target of 12% and capturing a few more of the last remaining truly wild natural areas left in Nova Scotia . Currently about 9.3% is protected. The plan also calls for the creation of four new Provincial Parks. Now it’s up to the public to weigh in and make their voices heard in support of nature conservation.
“Protecting the most important areas for nature and wildlife conservation, as well as providing places for low-impact outdoor recreation, is tremendously important” says Plourde. “We look forward to participating in this final round of public consultations and urge all Nova Scotians to do the same.”
Public consultations, which will help shape the final plan, will begin next week and run until May 1. A series of meetings across the province are planned beginning March 7. Written and online comments are also encouraged through their website. An impressive online interactive map system has been set up which shows details for each park and habitat patch under consideration and provides online tools to register site-specific comments.
Show your support! Get involved now and help save the last great wild places in our beautiful province - for present and for future generations.
**Please Note**: AT THE SAME TIME (and somewhat confusingly) the government is also going to conduct a separate public consultation on the fate of all the Crown lands in Western Nova Scotia, including the recently aquired Bowater Lands. This consultation, with a focus on industrial use of those lands, will begin in late March. It is important for people to ALSO participate in that process to ensure that support for proposed new protected areas and community-based, low-impact forestry is heard loud and clear. In particular there are roughly 30,000 acres of former Bowater lands that have been previously promised by government for protection that are now listed as “conditional” pending the results of the two separate consultation processes. You can see which land patches they are by using the online interactive map system. They appear in orange color with diagonal lines running through them. It is important for folks who want to see these areas protected (and any others they wish to mention) to register those comments in the western crown lands planning process AS WELL AS the parks and protected areas consultation process.