Public Consultation Summary Report - Summary of Results

What Was Heard — Key Issues

These issues were the most prominent ones to be made across all the types of submissions received, as well as the stakeholder focus groups.

Tourism & recreation (hiking, skiing, canoeing, hunting/ fishing)

  • Protect/ promote wilderness and rivers / lakes for hiking, canoeing and fishing with suitable camping facilities to attract ecotourism
  • Controlled and balanced access management
  • Some suggest multipurpose trails (including ATV) promoted for tourism as in Newfoundland; develop a western loop trail with facilities and services for ATV tourists

Forestry

  • Forestry is seen as an important economic driver
  • The majority of those promoting forestry want forestry that is sustainable economically and environmentally in the long term, avoiding clear-cutting; replanting former clear cuts; require FSC certification
  • Strong support for community forest projects and small scale operations
  • Emphasis on forestry that provides economic sustainability and creation of local, viable jobs and businesses
  • Diversifying products (different uses of wood, value-added, not just pulp & paper, forest food products: berries, mushrooms, maple syrup)
  • Fair allocation of resources and avoid giving too much control and long term licenses to very large dominant companies
  • Education in sustainable forestry harvesting and management practices

Vehicular, ATV & snowmobile access

  • There are sharply divided opinions, for and against more ATV/ vehicular access
  • Suggestions that ATV clubs should have oversight/ regulation and responsibility for developing/ maintaining trails
  • Suggestions that there be licensing as a way of keeping track of who is accessing areas by off highway vehicles (OHVs), and that fee structures should motivate people to join clubs and be regulated via the clubs
  • Many want access to their camps and fishing holes and for hunting

Sustainability

  • Province needs a plan to balance between sustainable economic development, habitat and biodiversity protection and access for recreation; use the land for what it is best suited for
  • Planning for future sustainability needs a different approach from past resource utilization practices
  • Emphasis is strongly placed upon using the land to maximise economic and social benefits to local areas and to Nova Scotians

Protection

  • Species at risk, ecosystems, waterways and watersheds, wildlife corridors
  • Balance protection and access: allow all Nova Scotians to enjoy the land
  • Carefully assess socio-economic impact when designated protected areas: this can have a negative impact on smaller communities. The Department of Natural Resources needs to bring this to the attention of the Department of Environment
  • Enforce regulation to protect environment and wilderness; more DNR resource for enforcement; bigger fines for companies that cause damage
  • Educate users in protecting the environment

Resource extraction

  • Plan for it; small scale, diverse and done as sustainably as possible – minerals, aggregate, peat

Continuing consultation/ engagement processes

  • Ensure ongoing consultations and transparency with multiple departments participating with users in the management of lands
  • Maintain public control of the land; no long term leases or arrangements that give too much control to large companies
  • Plan for long term, holistic sustainability; encourage varied uses; continue consultation