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Fracking Moratorium in Newfoundland and Labrador: Gros Morne still needs protection

Over the last few hours, many of us have cheered the decision of the Newfoundland and Labrador government to place a moratorium on fracking. This is an important step in the protection of the world famous Gros Morne National Park and World Heritage Site.  But while we celebrate this positive development, we must also keep in mind that the fight isn’t over.

In recent months Black Spruce Exploration and Shoal Point Energy have been signalling their intention to adjust their proposals to say that they may not be fracking, but instead would use traditional or other extraction methods. This, and the fact that the moratorium is not permanent means the industrialization of the Gros Morne region is still a strong possibility.

We need to take advantage of the "pause" this moratorium offers to secure a permanent buffer zone around Gros Morne National Park.  We need to make sure that large-scale industrial activity never spoils this beautiful World Heritage Site and that the thriving tourism industry isn’t torpedoed by any kind of industrialized landscapes.

Sadly – the struggle to protect one of the gems of our national parks continues. While we savour the short-term reprieve of the moratorium, let’s keep our eye on the ultimate goal: Gros Morne in its natural state, forever, with its ecosystems and stunning views unimpaired by industrial development.