Updated: Mar 3
Letter to the Editor by Christopher Trider Saltwire - Nov.12, 2022
Letter originally published here
Given my long personal history with West Mabou Provincial Park and previous golf course proposals there, I am compelled to write in response to Rodney MacDonald’s Nov. 5 opinion piece, “Cabot seeks community input on Mabou golf project.”
I was a park planner with the Department of Natural Resources from 1980 to 2001 and was involved with the transfer of this property to the Crown for the purposes of protecting it for future generations.
The site has a rich and important history. Concerned citizens acquired it, and then acted as stewards of this land so that we all could enjoy its tremendous natural beauty and unique collection of coastal ecosystems. West Mabou Beach is a provincial park for us all to love and protect for our grandchildren. It is, without question, one of our finest beach properties in public ownership and it should never be leased, or given up to any developers for any purpose.
West Mabou Beach is a designated natural environment park, and is an essential component of the province’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan.
It is the largest, publicly owned piece of representative land in the Judique coastal plain. It has a large sand beach that is nourished and protected by a beautiful, pristine, successional dune system, one of the few remaining in Nova Scotia.
This project would destroy these fragile, important dunes by converting them to golf-course fairways, greens and tees that require watering, fertilizers and pesticides to maintain. Heavy equipment would be deployed in the construction phase.
West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is home to endangered species. It has alkaline ponds with rare plants growing in their margins, and beautiful walking trails that have been carefully developed over the years by the community. This park is one of the most beautiful cultural heritage landscapes in public ownership in the province and it has a legal history of government commitments to its protection for future generations.
The premier and minister of the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables have stated publicly that this government is committed to the Parks and Protected Areas Plan.
They have committed to increasing the areas of ecologically significant lands like West Mabou Beach under protection. Any robust, transparent, science-based assessment of Cabot’s golf course proposal will surely reject it because it requires the destruction and loss of such important provincial parklands.
Respectfully, Mr. MacDonald, you should help the Cabot Group find a more suitable alternative site on private land for this project and to understand that West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is protected in perpetuity for all Nova Scotians.