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News Releases

Here you'll find official news releases from CPAWS ns. Clicking on a link will you take to the chapter's website.

May 18 10

CPAWS welcomes new national park for Nova Scotia

HALIFAX – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes today’s announcement by the Government of Canada and the Nova Scotia government of the intention to establish a new national park in Nova Scotia for Sable Island. 

“Sable Island is a Canadian landmark”, says Chris Miller, a senior conservation manager for CPAWS based in Halifax.  “With its wild horses, immense dunes, and abundant wildlife it is paramount that one of the highest forms of wilderness protection be afforded the island”. 

In January of this year, a review was initiated examining which of two conservation options are preferable for Sable Island, including a national park or a national wildlife area.  Today’s announcement means that the government has selected the national park option.  Sable Island will be the first new national park created in Nova Scotia since 1967. 

During that review period, CPAWS teamed up with the Sable Island Green Horse Society and the Ecology Action Centre to call on the government to select the national park option.  

A national park offers stronger conservation measures for the island and would require the island to be managed for ecological integrity as a first priority.  It would also ensure an existing management framework is in place to conserve the island and would ensure a dedicated research program. 

“We applaud the federal government’s continued progress towards establishing new national parks in Canada,” says Alison Woodley, CPAWS’ National Conservation Director.  “In the past year alone, in addition to Sable Island, we have celebrated the six-fold expansion of Nahanni National Park, a long-awaited decision to create a new national park in the Mealy Mountains of Labrador, as well as progress on a number of other proposed national parks and marine conservation areas across the country.” 

CPAWS looks forward to an open and transparent public review process associated with establishing the national park on Sable Island. Through this process CPAWS will highlight the need to limit visitation and develop alternate visitor experiences.  The national park would also need to clearly restrict any oil and gas development from occurring on the island. 

For more information, contact:

Chris Miller
National Manager,
Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change
Canadian Park and Wilderness Society
(902)446-4155
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


May 14 10

CPAWS welcomes extension of oil and gas moratorium on Georges Bank

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS) applauds the announcement by the Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada on the decision to extend the moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling on Georges Bank.

“Georges Bank is an important ecosystem sustaining significant fishing grounds worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Canadian economy,” said Rodrigo Menafra, Marine Conservation Coordinator for CPAWS-NS. “It’s not the kind of place where we should be taking needless risks associated with oil and gas development, particularly in light of the current ecological disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.”  

CPAWS is calling on the federal government and provincial jurisdictions to extend similar moratoria that are in place elsewhere in Canada, including along the coast of British Columbia.

“It’s a huge mistake to rush into oil and gas exploration in our fragile ocean environments, without proper safeguards,” says Sabine Jessen, CPAWS National Manager of Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes. “In British Columbia, a gushing oil spill could destroy ancient glass sponge reefs and massive seabird colonies, along with countless fish stocks and marine mammals. We simply can’t risk it.”
 
Canada needs to seek and implement best practices across-the-board when it comes to oil and gas exploration. CPAWS is very concerned about potential oil and gas development in the Arctic, where it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to contain a catastrophic spill, due to ice cover and the remote locations.

CPAWS is Canada’s leading grassroots voice for wilderness conservation. We are a non-governmental organization working to protect at least half of Canada’s natural environment and over the past 45 years have played a lead role in securing at least two thirds of Canada’s protected areas.

Contact information:

Rodrigo Menafra
Marine Conservation Coordinator
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS)
Nova Scotia Chapter
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
www.cpawsns.org
(902) 446-4155

"

Mar 30 10

CPAWS applauds major land purchases in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) congratulates the Nova Scotia government on completing its large land purchase program for this year. In total, over 56,000 hectares of land were acquired from four forestry companies, the substantial majority of which will become new protected areas. The total cost of the land purchases was around $75 million.
 
“This is a major investment in Nova Scotia’s future”, said Chris Miller, a senior conservation manager with CPAWS. “Much of this land would have been snapped-up by land speculators and private development interests, and lost to the public forever, if it wasn’t acquired by the provincial government”.
 
CPAWS is also pleased that the Nova Scotia government has started to implement some of the key recommendations of the Colin Stewart Forest Forum (CSFF). The CSFF final report, submitted to the provincial government in November 2009, recommended substantial investments in private land conservation and identified a number of high-priority sites on lands owned by the five biggest forest companies operating in the province. Many of the properties acquired by the Nova Scotia government in its large land purchase program were sites recommended for purchase and protection by the Colin Stewart Forest Forum.
 
Several of the properties acquired by the provincial government contain irreplaceable elements of Nova Scotia’s natural history. Some of the best properties acquired include, over 40km of wilderness coastline along the Bay of Fundy, frontage on significant waterways including the Tusket River and St. Mary’s River, a large portion of Kelly’s Mountain in Cape Breton, species-at-risk habitat, important karst landscapes with alkaline soils, sinkholes, and caves, and properties adjacent to existing protected areas.
 
“Some real ecological gems have been purchased,” says Miller. “The provincial government has done a very good job in acquiring some of the most important properties for conservation purposes”.
 
In Nova Scotia, almost one million hectares of land are owned by five forestry companies (e.g. J.D. Irving, Abitibi-Bowater, Neenah Paper, Wagner, and NewPage), and much of that land is currently for sale or will likely be put on the real estate market in the near future. A number of forest companies are raising revenues by divesting capital assets, including land holdings.
 
CPAWS remains concerned that a portion of a property acquired from Wagner at Apple Head, along the shores of the Bay of Fundy, will be clearcut prior to being protected. The provincial government announced that it would allow whole-tree harvesting on approximately one-quarter of the property, saying it would have cost an additional $1million to acquire the land without allowing some forest harvesting. CPAWS encourages the provincial government to find the necessary resources to allow this property to be protected fully intact.
 
CPAWS is Canada’s leading grassroots voice for wilderness conservation. We are a non-governmental organization working to protect at least half of Canada’s natural environment and over the past 45 years have played a lead role in securing at least two thirds of Canada’s protected areas.
 
For more information, contact:
Chris Miller, Ph.D.
National Manager,
Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change
Canadian Park and Wilderness Society
(902)446-4155
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Dec 22 09

Breakthrough for new protected forests in Nova Scotia!

Halifax -- CPAWS welcomes the announcement today by the Nova Scotia government that it will move ahead on the recommendations of  industry leaders and environmentalists to expand the protected area system in Nova Scotia.  Named in honour of a  conservation leader,  over five years  industry and conservation members of  the Colin Stewart Forest Forum (CSFF)  worked out a mutually agreeable proposal for the creation of new protected areas and mitigation options to lessen potential impacts on the forest industry.

 “This is a landmark agreement for conservation in Nova Scotia”, says Chris Miller, a senior CPAWS conservation manager based in Nova Scotia, who was an original participant the forum.  “We’ve put aside some of our differences with the forest industry, decided to work together and come up with solutions to protect more land.  And, we’ve done that.  Together, we’ve identified the highest priority lands for conservation and come up with a number of strategies to lessen potential impacts on the forest industry.”

  Adds Miller, “CPAWS is proud to have been a founding member of the CSFF and a full participant in these multi-year negotiations.  Together with our colleagues at the Ecology Action Centre (EAC), we’ve worked to ensure that the highest priority sites for conservation are recommended for protection through the CSFF negotiations.”

   In total, about 269,000 hectares of  public and private lands  owned by forest companies  were identified by the Forum members as a priority for the creation of new protected areas.  The CSFF report provides a clear path for the Nova Scotia government to achieve its legislated target of legally protecting 12% of the provincial landmass by 2015.

 The CSFF participants presented the final report to the provincial government in November and are calling on the government to implement the recommendations.  The province has already taken several important steps to ensure that the CSFF recommendations are implemented, including allocating $80million in new funding to acquire lands from the forest companies for conservation and advancing the legal protection of several important areas on Crown land, such as Chignecto.  Previously, the provincial government also set-up the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, which provides $23 million in matching funding for land trusts for the purchase and protection of ecologically-significant private lands.

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 View backgrounder
http://cpawsns.org/news/2009/12/landmark_conservation_agreemen.php.

For more information, contact:

 Chris Miller, Ph.D.
National Manager,
Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
(902) 446-4155

"

Dec 17 08

Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area announced in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX –  The provincial government has taken the necessary steps to officially protect the Municipal Water Supply Lands owned by the Town of Amherst as a legally-protected wilderness area.  It will be known as the Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area and is the 34th wilderness area established in Nova Scotia.

“The Town of Amherst has demonstrated strong and progressive leadership in protecting its water supply lands as a protected wilderness area”, says Chris Miller, National Manager of Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change for CPAWS.  “We look to the provincial government to very quickly expand the Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area onto adjacent Crown lands, to establish a much larger protected wilderness area that will stretch all the way to the New Brunswick border”.

 “We also look to other Municipalities to similarly protect biodiversity on other Municipal lands across the province”, says Miller.

The Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area is nine hundred and seventy hectares in size.  It is located in a very important part of the province, near the NS-NB border on lands that form the very narrow land bridge connecting Nova Scotia to the rest of the continent

“The land connection must be maintained in a natural state”, says Miller, “so that species are not cut-off from the rest of the continent.  This is particularly important for the native moose population, which is common in New Brunswick but endangered in Nova Scotia”.

The Nova Scotia government has committed to protecting 12% of the provincial landmass by the year 2015.  Today’s announcement will help move the province closer toward achieving that goal.  Currently, approximately 8.4% of the province is legally-protected.

A number of other sites are currently working their way through government and are under interim protection.  These include the Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area near Halifax, and the Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Area along the Eastern Shore.

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For more information:
Chris Miller
National Manager
Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change
CPAWS
(w) 902-446-4155
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 


Nov 21 07

CPAWS commends Nova Scotia Environment Minister on quarry decision

The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS) is pleased to learn that Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour Mark Parent has decided to reject a proposed quarry on Digby Neck.

Minister Parent has agreed with the findings of an independent review panel that the Whites Point Quarry would pose an unacceptable risk to the environment and to the communities on Digby Neck.

“Given the rich natural values associated with this part of the Bay of Fundy, I am both happy and relieved to hear that it will not fall victim to this kind of industrial development, which poses more risks than benefits to the local area” said CPAWS-NS Marine Coordinator Laura Hussey. “The people of Digby Neck want to build on the natural values of this area, not see them stripped away.”

The Digby Neck and Islands area provides important bird habitat to large numbers of both migratory and resident birds. It is an important area for a variety of whale species, including the endangered North Atlantic right whale. It also contains a number of rare coastal plant species. Because of the ecological values of this area, CPAWS-NS considers it to be an area that is significant not only regionally but also on a national and international scale.

“We commend Minister Parent for putting communities and the environment first with this decision,” said Hussey. “We also hope that the other recommendations made by the review panel, which included a coastal management plan for Nova Scotia and stronger community involvement, will not be forgotten but will be used to further benefit coastal communities across the province.”

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For more information, contact:
Laura Hussey
Marine Coordinator
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Nova Scotia Chapter (CPAWS-NS)
1526 Dresden Row, Halifax
4th Floor, Unit 3
Ph: (902) 446-4155
Fax: (902) 446-4156
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Oct 30 07

CPAWS welcomes provincial decision to protect Blue Mountain ?
Halifax, Nova Scotia ?

Oct 23 07

CPAWS celebrates panel?
The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is very pleased with the recommendations of a joint federal-provincial review panel that was tasked with reviewing the potential environmental impacts of a proposal basalt quarry for Digby Neck, Nova Scotia.

The Whites Point quarry and marine terminal would see approximately 2 million tonnes of rock each year blasted from Digby Neck and shipped to New Jersey for use as aggregate.

The review panel is an independent body consisting of three experts in geology, oceanography, and regional planning and resource development. After thorough consideration of literally thousands of submissions and reports from government departments, scientists, community members, environmental groups, and others on this project, the panel has recommended that this project be rejected due to significant adverse environmental impacts as well as irrevocable impacts to quality of life for local communities.

?ǣHaving witnessed the extraordinary efforts of dedicated local citizens to take control of their fate and the fate of Digby Neck, and to have their opposition to this project known, I?

May 22 07

Nova Scotia establishes Blandford Nature Reserve: conservation status upgraded from game sanctuary
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Public lands within the Blandford Game Sanctuary will be designated as a nature reserve.
 
That was the announcement made by the Nova Scotia government on Friday, indicating that the conservation status of the site would be upgraded from its current game sanctuary designation to a nature reserve (the highest form of land-based protection in Nova Scotia).
 
"This is an important recognition by the province that a nature reserve is a far more effective designation for ecologically significant areas than game sanctuaries", says Chris Miller, Wilderness Conservation Coordinator for CPAWS-NS. "We welcome the government’s decision and we congratulate the local community groups who campaigned so hard to have the public lands at Blandford properly protected".
 
CPAWS-NS has been advocating for the upgrade in the conservation status of the Blandford site for the past two years, since game sanctuaries in Nova Scotia lack the legislative and administrative tools to protect habitat. Unlike nature reserves, game sanctuaries do not prevent activities such as clearcutting, mining, road-building, or development.
 
The Blandford Nature Reserve is located on the Aspotogan Peninsula, just west of Halifax. It contains a number of important ecological features, including old jack pine forests, coastal barrens, significant wetlands, rare plants and lichens, and concentrations of migratory birds.
 
CPAWS-NS will now focus its intentions on upgrading the conservation status of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary. This site, located near the New Brunswick border, is home to one of the largest remaining populations of endangered mainland moose in Nova Scotia.

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