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August 2016
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Volunteers needed at Harrison Lewis Centre

In exchange for quality time on a beautiful South Shore beach, we are looking for two to four volunteers to help with workshops and other events at the Harrison Lewis Centre. August 24-29, August 31-Sept. 4 (Labour Day Weekend), Sept. 8-12, and Sept. 22-25. Duties are primarily of a house-keeping nature as the Centre prepares for hosting students or researchers, looking after up to 24 people in residence, and restoring the Centre to order after each of the groups leaves. Pick a weekend or all. Give us four hours of help each day and the rest of the time is yours to read a book, walk on the beach, appreciate the natural surroundings, or perhaps simply “cool out.” Your cabin in the woods promises restful nights.
For board we offer groceries and a pick of the garden, along with access to a fully equipped kitchen in which to prepare your own meals.
Email HLC@eastlink.ca
www.HarrisonLewisCentre.org
FBook: Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre

Parrsboro Field Naturalists Saturday Events

Parrsboro shore John Brownlie, an HFNer from way back, is organizing naturalist outings in the Parrsboro area on Saturdays. “There is an event every Saturday except during the Gem and Mineral Show on the 20th of August when the Fundy Geological Museum is offering a variety of geology and dinosaur excursions. For all events but one, we meet at the Fundy Geological Museum at 1:00 pm and then proceed from there by car caravan to the site of our exploration. All sites are within 15 km of Parrsboro…These excursions are family oriented. We don’t walk more than a couple of km at most and events last for about one and a half hours.” See Events for Aug 13-Sep 24, 2016

Reg Rankin’s controversial motion sidetracked, consideration of BMBCL on Sept. 6

Reg Rankin’s controversial Item 15 was moved up the agenda at the Regional Council meeting this afternoon. After a confusing set of discussions and motions about “Map 3A” (cited in item 15) and whether it should be released in camera, a motion was passed requesting that a full Read more »

The Gem we could lose

Irwin Bennet has posted some remarkable pics from the Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes area. See pics.

And look at this Backgrounder if you need more reasons to urge the Mayor and Council to stick to the original plans for a Regional Park.

Reg Rankin makes untimely motion to amend the concept plan for BMBCL Regional Park

In a break from Reg’s usual support for green initiatives in HRM, he has put forward a motion for next Tuesday’s Regional Council meeting that tacitly accepts the highly criticized Facilitator’s report on Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park, see Item 15. It also means, apparently, that the 1500+ letters written to Mayor and Councillors urging them to reject the Facilitator’s report topic will not be in the packages for councillors. Those who support the original concept of the Regional Park are urged to attend Regional Council at 1 pm on Tuesday when this item is likely to come up (See Agenda). See op-ed in the CH July 22 for a few of the many reasons why Reg’s motion would best be withdrawn and if not, soundly defeated.

ADMIRAL LAKE/SKULL ROCK– POSTPONED TO SUNDAY JULY 17TH

This hike has been postponed until next week due to weather. View hike details on Walks and Talks page.

Over 1000 submissions & One Enthusiastic Ranger!

CTV News reported over one thousand submissions were received concerning the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park..(including this letter from HFN/WRWEO) and an HFN member is a super keen Birch Cove Ranger! “I took this selfie while trail running around Fox Lake last Thursday. In the background you can see the untouched shoreline of Fox Lake, the side that is threatened by development.”

PLANifax Video about the BMBCL Regional Park Issue

A PLANifax video provides a good overview of recent events related to Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park, and the background to those events. It includes a visit to the area with Akhtar Abbasi.

View View Video on the PLANifax Facebook page, or below (small version),

Karen Beazley on why Halifax must save Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park from suburbia

An opinion piece by Karen Beazley (Prof in SRES at Dal) nicely summarizes a key issue – the loss of integrity of the Protected Wilderness Area if the developer’s proposal goes ahead. View CBC

HRM: Are you ready for the Birch Cove Rangers?

Three-hundred plus citizens passionate about Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) attended the public meeting about the planned BMBCL Regional Park this evening (June 30, 2016), which followed a highly criticized Facilitator’s Report. Two MLAs (Diana Whalen, Joachim Stroink) attended. There were only two HRM Councillors (Waye Mason & Jennifer Watts) present, but several candidates who will run in the fall election were there. EAC’s veteran BMBCL campaigner Raymond Plourde gave a history of the Regional Park and MC’d further presentations and discussions to repeated applause. Read more »

HRM rewrites web page following June 20th BMBCL Facilitator’s meeting

A member of HFN noticed a recent change in HRM’s webpage that links to the Facilitators Report:
“Wow. It is unbelievabale how different the current City of Halifax web page that links to the Facilitators Report is from the page upon which I initially accessed it. New page: https://www.halifax.ca/property/bluemountainbirchcovelakes.php
There is no sign of the old page, which had the Vision of BMBC Lakes Regional Plan, with beautiful photo images from the area. The new page is very corporate, under the banner of “Corporate Real estate”. The different feel of the two pages is like night and day (or shall I say, day and night). This change has occurred since the June 20th Public Presentation. It even says on the new page that “Following the public presentation of the Facilitator’s Report on June 20, 2016, the municipality recognizes the need for additional context regarding the background, current status and next steps associated with the Proposed Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park.” ”

HRM cannot completely rewrite history, The original intentions, with maps, are very clear. See Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee September 6, 2012: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Regional Park – Conceptual Plan and Objectives

Dal Prof questions integrity of BMBCL Protected Area if development goes ahead

Karen Beazley, Professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dal, has raised concerns about the integrity of Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Protected Wilderness Area if the proposed development goes ahead. “Without the city’s contribution of the Regional Park as envisioned and re-affirmed in the 2006 HRM Regional Plan, and with the proposed development as presented and recommended in the Facilitator’s Report, there will be essentially no buffering of BMBC Wilderness Area (see notes and map images). Further, there will be substantially more edge effects and access. These two exacerbating circumstances would no doubt seriously impact the ecological quality and character of BMBCWA, and make management of the park consistent with the Act virtually impossible. ”


Map shows the shrinkage in the core wilderness area after the buffer zones are applied using the developer’s proposal, recommended by the Facilitator. (Click on map for larger version.)