Environment featured

Open letter: Proposed Owls Head golf course puts Piping Plovers and Barn Swallows at risk

To: Species at Risk Public Registry Office

E-mail: ec.registrelep-sararegistry.ec@canada.ca

cc: Prime Minister Trudeau

To whom it may concern,

On December 16, 2019, the government of Nova Scotia secretly entered into a Letter of Offer to sell Owls Head Provincial Park to Lighthouse Links Development Company. The Minister of Lands and Forestry at the time, Iain Rankin signed this Letter of Offer. Owls Head Provincial Park needs protection, specifically because it is home to two species at risk, Piping Plover and Barn Swallow.                  

The above two endangered species were revealed to me through FOIPOP 2020-0081-DLF. I will attach a copy to this email. Confirmed by statements of Sean P. Basquill, Provincial Biologist, Ecosystems and Habitats Program, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Division

On January 26, 2020 at a local community hall in Ship Harbour approximately 200 concerned citizens gathered to voice their concerns about this sneaky, secret backroom deal to de-list and sell Owls Head Provincial Park. Below please find a statement from Anthony Turner, Moser River who is the grounds keeper for the owners of Lighthouse Links Development Company. Again, more proof that the endangered Piping Plover resides on this property.

“The only piping plovers is on his beaches,” said Anthony Turner. No one can own the beaches in Nova Scotia, so these certainly are not the beaches of Gilbert and Katherine Gilbert. Attached you will find a video of his statement at this meeting.

Several times, over the last year or so, I reached out to Iain Rankin and he reiterated that it is illegal under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act to destroy the specific “dwelling” or “area habitually occupied” by an endangered species. There is much proof that they are living there and their habitat should not be destroyed. They are endangered and this is law both federally and provincially.

In Nova Scotia Supreme Court on September 23rd and October 1st, a court application was heard against the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry. The judge identified “long-term, systemic failures” by the provincial government to fulfill its legal obligations to protect vulnerable and endangered species. The Judge cited “a suite of failures of government” that breached the provincial Endangered Species Act.

I am asking you based on Federal and Provincial law to not allow Owls Head Provincial Park habitat for the endangered Barn Swallow and Piping Plover to be destroyed. Lighthouse Links Development Company wants to grind OHPP into sand. It will be impossible based on the description of how they propose to do this to not destroy these habitats. I will include in this email their proposal of October 29, 2019 outlining how they plan to destroy this rare ecosystem.

Please reach out to me and let me know if there is anything you can do to help save Owls Head Provincial Park. I really look forward to hearing your expertise on this issue.

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen of Nova Scotia.

Sydnee Lynn

Piping Plover

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