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An Important Victory for Gros Morne National Park

After almost a year of actively fighting off a proposal to carry out fracking in an enclave community of Gros Morne National Park, we have won an important victory.

On November 4th, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced a moratorium on fracking in the province until they had studied regulations that should apply for this kind of industrial development. We saw this as a partial and short-term victory that would allow Gros Morne to be spared. But yesterday, we learned that the offshore petroleum board had announced that it would not renew the exploration license of the company that was proposing it. The license expires on January 14th, 2014.

This is a very significant step towards protecting nature around the park for future generations. I can’t thank our supporters enough for their letters, petitions and contributions to this campaign. In the company's response, they used their very first quote to claim that they would have worked to keep the UNESCO World Heritage Site free from harm. This makes it clear to me that they felt the pressure. With dozens of news stories, thousands of letters, multiple ads online and across Canada, as well as strong science-based responses contributed to making this victory possible. Our local campaign team in the Gros Morne region was an enormous asset to us as well.

Of course, it is still possible for companies to put forward drilling proposals in this region in future years. We need to achieve a permanent buffer-zone around the park to keep it safe from harm for generations to come. That’s the victory that we still need to achieve.

But for today – let’s savour this huge step towards protecting one of the crown jewels of our national parks.