Ecology, wilderness groups oppose exploration plans for sanctuary

Brad Works
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AMHERST - A decision to grant an exploration agreement for oil and gas in and around the Chignecto Game Sanctuary has drawn condemnation from Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.

Eastrock Resources has been given permission by the Nova Scotia Energy Department to conduct testing in an area from Eatonville, Cumberland Co., to Economy, Colchester Co., including the game sanctuary.
The exploratory licence will last for three years.
"The government and the current environment minister have indicated the Chignecto Game Sanctuary is being looked at and examined for potential protection, and at the same time here's another department issuing exploration licences for natural gas and oil. It just seems like the left hand and the right hand aren't aware they are attached to the same body," said Raymond Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre. "Why would you allow for exploration when you are looking at protecting it?"
Plourde said if a viable resource was found, it would almost certainly derail the protection process.
Harry Thurston of Cumberland Wilderness, an organization formed to pursue enhanced protection of the game sanctuary, agrees with Plourde.
"(The sanctuary) is the best and the last of wild area in northern Nova Scotia, and any development that puts that at risk is not acceptable," said Thurston.

Organizations: Ecology Action Centre, Nova Scotia Energy Department, Cumberland Co. Colchester Co.

Geographic location: AMHERST, Eatonville, Northern Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Jeep
    January 18, 2010 - 11:22

    There are already a few drilling rigs in parts of Cumberland and one is near the Sanctuary. It has been there several years. Guess what. The area does not look like the Alberta Tar Sands project or Fort MacMurray.
    I think everyone should look at the comments from yesterday's news item about Eastrock.

  • Jamie
    January 18, 2010 - 11:20

    Well said first of all Larry . But reading the coments from yesterday leave littlwe to the imagination for me . Ross you mention about jobs ...... last year when Eastrock was here ,right , how many jobs were given to LOCAL guys huh ??? If I can recall I seen like 15 workers ,,,all vehicles ALberta plated . What makes you think they will use local workers ?

    Like someone said ,,,,it does not matter what we say ,,,the government will do what they please .

    Clearcuts ............. are not a bad thing !!! Clearcuts provide top notch feed and browse as long as it is managed properly .

    I do have to admit ,I jumped the gun lastyear when Eastrock was there and seen the garbage that was left behind ,,but they did clean it all up and the paths that they made were minimal . I do appoligize for that and my hat goes off to them .

    But really who is in favor of this right now ????? Just rig workers or local people who actually care what happens with the Chignecto .

    Over the next few days I will be implementing and online petition as well as a paper trail petition just to see what people really think . Posting a coment on here is very small to what other people of the local communities are thinking .

    I also agree that the mess that is made by fellow bunchers and skidders is way worse than what of the atv'ers,,thats not hard to see ,,,,,but really look at the size of them ........ bound to stir things up ....and lumber has to be manufactured .

    Todays society and demands are growing everyday and cost of living is rising rapidly.. resources in their minds are the way to take care of it ,,not in mine !!!!

    There will be many views on this topic but if you could seperate them ,,,I know for a fact that the ones that are for this movement ,,have never set foot in the Chignecto or just don't care ,,,,,then you got people who utilize it for different purposes ,and care what heppens to it .

    It really is a shame either way it goes !!!

    So comeo n Mr. Thurston and your group ,,lets see what you can do !!!

  • Moriarty
    January 18, 2010 - 11:08

    The goal of throwing a protective blanket over this area is admirable, however, there is a considerable amount of impoverished and working poor n Cumberalnd (and all of NS). Our resources shouldn't be hiddne away like a dirty little secret. We need the prosperity. We complain in Cumberland that we are left out of the provincial loop. This is a chance to lead the eay for once in NS, rtaher than follow. Let's embrace it (cautiously).

  • Realistic
    January 18, 2010 - 10:59

    The comments in the story by Mr. Plourde & Mr. Thurston show that there is no balance in their positions - they give no consideration to the economic impacts that the wholesale protectionism they advocate may have, let alone the lost recreational opportunities.

  • Larry
    January 18, 2010 - 10:50

    Maybe if Cumberland Wilderness were to support a plan to protect some of the more sensitive areas of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary which was devised by Natural Resources with several of the sanctuary user groups present and that has already been presented to government by our local MLA and supported by our Count Councillors we would have some of the sanctuary protected by now.

  • SnappyCat
    January 18, 2010 - 10:49

    Yeah, all that prosperity - just like that BoardGame factory in Parrsboro that the local MLA was so excited about. Here's a better idea - protect the friggin sanctuary already!! We don't want FORt McMurry here.

  • Ross
    January 18, 2010 - 10:33

    Jamie, Those Albetra trucks where manned in part with a local work force. The equipment comes from AB but they did hire locally. Ask around Springhill and you'll soon find out. The trails where also cut and cleaned and surveyed by local crews from Oxford, Westchester, Springhill and Amherst. I know because I hired them.

  • sparky00
    January 18, 2010 - 10:31

    There has to be a compromise that can be reached that will make everyone happy. With drilling technology today, a rig could be on the edge of the snctuary and drill horizontally to the reserves in the snactuary if the pay zone is within a few thousand meters. Even do a certain amount of multi-well pads branching out to limit the area used by the rigs.
    The provincial revenue has been stagnant since 2004, and unless we want our taxes even higher than they are now, we have to start utilizing the resources that we have available in a sensible and environmentally friendly way.
    I posted yesterday, and i do work in the industry. The short term that the equipment would be there and the minimal footprint they leave should be acceptable for everyones long term gain.