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Casey pushing for wildlife designation for Isle Haute

Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey wants Isle Haute, off Cape Chignecto in the Bay of Fundy, designated as a National Wildlife Area.
Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey wants Isle Haute, off Cape Chignecto in the Bay of Fundy, designated as a National Wildlife Area.

AMHERST – Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey has petitioned the federal environment minister to have Isle Haute designated as a National Wildlife Area under the Canada Wildlife Act.

Once designated, the pristine island, located eight kilometres from the shores of Cape Chignecto in Cumberland County, will be preserved as habitat for several species including the great cormorant, the great blue heron and the leach's storm petrel.

Once designated, the pristine island, located eight kilometres from the shores of Cape Chignecto in Cumberland County, will be preserved as habitat for several species including the great cormorant, the great blue heron and the leach's storm petrel.

“Isle Haute is about three kilometres long and half a kilometre wide. Its soaring cliffs are 328 feet high, and it seems to contain a world of geography in just 20 hectares,” Casey said in a news release.

Peregrine falcons are also known to nest at Isle Haute. Evidence of tool-making by Mi’kmaw ancestors has been discovered there.

The island was referenced by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604.

A manned lighthouse was stationed there until it was destroyed by fire in the 1950s. An unmanned beacon remains.

After being declared surplus by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the 1990s, the island was nearly sold, but the intervention of Casey and former David Anderson, former minister of the environment, helped to ensure it would stay out of private hands.

“Isle Haute’s elevation to a National Wildlife Area will be the ultimate step to ensure its preservation for generations to come,” he said.

Casey believes Isle Haute meets the Canadian Wildlife Service’s criteria and will continue to push for the designation.

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