Can common ground be found?

Staff ~ The Amherst Citizen
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Kudos to Cumberland Wilderness for putting pen to paper and coming up with a proposal for further protection of the Chignecto Game Sanctuary, but their communication strategy still needs some work.
As noble as their cause may be, the organization set up for the specific purpose of gaining enhanced protection for the sanctuary, has become demonized by many of those who love and use the area most - the off-highway vehicle users around the county that have enjoyed the sanctuary for years.
This should not be the case. Both of these organizations feel passionately about this issue because they have a love for the nature and beauty the sanctuary provides. Rather than plead their cases separately, these two groups should be working together to make sure this land is protected from large-scale industrial invasion.
The problem is with the Wilderness Area Protection status that is being lobbied for by Cumberland Wilderness, a status that would protect the land from activities such as drilling and clearcutting, but could also place limits on off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, causing concern for those who have used it responsibly.
Communication is the key here. Cumberland Wilderness needs to explain not just what they want to do, but why it needs to be done. If ATV use has damaged the sanctuary's rare plant life and wildlife habitat, then they need to prove that. Meanwhile, the OHV users need to explain the benefits of their activities. If it has not been harmful, then prove that.
More importantly, both sides need to listen.
Common ground can be found here, and wilderness area protection may not be the only answer. Perhaps it will take an independent mediator to bring both sides together.

Organizations: Wilderness Area Protection

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