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February 2000 

The following is an open letter to all those concerned about the future of our forests:

from Kim Thompson, Forrest Watch
The Eastern Shore Forest Watch Association needs your help in a direct action where you can help save one of the great wildernesses of Nova Scotia.

Many of you have heard about the proposal before the province to create a Wilderness Corridor on the Eastern Shore ( a copy is included below). Some of you may have already sent in letters of support for this campaign, if so, many thanks and please ignore this request, unless it is to forward it on to anyone you know that can help.

We need letters from both individuals and groups. We have a target date of February 1 to get letters sent to the premierís office, either by FAX, email or post. The date is important as sites are under review at this time. Letters don't need to be long, it can be as simple a s copying the sample below. Thanks for your support!

There are important actions in the works right now around current forest practices. We can make a difference, if people can be ready to jump in at critical moments, like this.

Kim Thompson ESFWA Letters work.

The Province will save the Crown lands within the Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Corridor only if they receive LOTS of supportive letters.

Every letter makes a difference.

Please take a moment to write Premier John Hamm and ask him to protect the proposed Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Corrdior. His office will also send copies to the Minister of Natural Resources, Ernie Fage, and/or Don Chadaway, the Minister of the Environment.

If possible, please "cc" a copy to your local MLA and the Ecology Action Centre, 1568 Argyle St., Halifax, NS, B3J 2B3. The Premier's address is:

John Hamm,
PO Box 726,
Halifax, NS, B3J 2T3.
Fax: (902) 424-7648.
e mail: premier@gov.ns.ca.

A sample letter letter follows. Please copy it, if you wish. Don't worry about whether you sound like an expert or whether the letter is hand-written or typed just make sure it gets in the mail!. Explaining in your own words why you'd like to see these lands protected can be even more effective.

Remember to ask for three things: (1) Legal protection: anything less is open to abuse. Designation under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act is probably the best option, as it will leave the corridor available for recreation (e.g., camping, hunting, fishing), but keep it from being clearcut or carved up by more hauling roads. (2) A development moratorium until the lands are legally protected. (3) A response to your concerns, for your own records and to keep the issue active.

Sample Letter

Dr. John Hamm Premier, Nova Scotia
P.O. Box 726
Halifax, NS
B3J 2T3

Dear Dr. Hamm,

I am writing to request that your government immediately designate the proposed Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Corridor as a Protected Area under the Wilderness Act. This area includes most of the public lands between White Lake and Scraggy Lake on the Eastern Shore.

These lands need to be designated in order to protect them from the kind of clear cutting we see wiping out so many of Nova Scotiaís forests.

There are many documented health and environmental reasons for protecting them. It would also serve public interest to leave these lands in their natural state so that they might remain a desirable recreation destination. They have been used for generations to fish, camp, canoe and hunt. It is also my understanding, that, under a 1992 commitment by government, the Province is obliged to protect more forests in this region.

This commitment has not been met.

Please inform me as to what the government intends in this very serious matter. Until protection is legislated I would like to see a development moratorium issued to safe guard them in the interim.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this proposal.


A copy of the proposal, maps of the area and info on ESFWA work is available at our web site http://forestwatch.ca/

PROPOSED SHIP HARBOUR LONG LAKE WILDERNESS CORRIDOR Nova Scotiaís Eastern Shore has always ranked among the wildest regions in the Maritimes: vast forests of spruce and pine dotted with hardwood hills and pristine lakes, woven together by a web of wild rivers flowing to deep harbours on the Atlantic Ocean.

The fishing was always good, the forest never far away. This wild legacy is slipping away. Each year the Province of Nova Scotia approves cutting plans from Kimberly-Clark and a handful of sawmills that result in over a thousand acres of publicly-owned Eastern Shore wilderness being destroyed by new clearcuts and logging roads.

Time is running out for the few remaining large blocks of unprotected Crown forest. Location The proposed Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Corridor encompasses roughly 17,000 hectares (abt. 41,000 acres) of public land between White Lake Wilderness Area and Tangier-Grand Lake Wilderness Area.

It includes portions of the lower Musquodoboit River and Salmon River watersheds, a large roadless plateau between Salmon River Lake and Ship Harbour Long Lake, and the Fish River corridor from the head of Lake Charlotte east to Scraggy Lake. (map)

Landscape Description

The proposed Ship Harbour Long Lake Wilderness Corridor spans four natural landscapes, with roughly 85% of the site lying in the Central Quartzite Hills and Plains (Fish River) landscape. The rugged western portion, bordering White Lake Wilderness Area, is characterized by granite cliffs, thin rocky soils, numerous lakes, and softwood dominated forests.

Moving eastward, the site becomes underlain by 500 million year old Meguma Group rocks. Lakes are less common, giving way to bogs and other wetlands.

Miles from the nearest road, the vegetation is dominated by dense Acadian mixed forest. Old stands of red spruce, white pine, and yellow birch line the slopes of Ship Harbour Long Lake, and can be followed to the mouth of the Fish River at the head of Lake Charlotte.

More old forests line the erratic corners of the Fish River as it zig-zags upstream towards the jagged and windswept shores of Scraggy Lake.

Why the Corridor Needs Protection

Protecting this site would be a major step to retaining and restoring native forests on the Eastern Shore, a region where forests are quickly being destroyed by clearcutting.

The proposed Wilderness Area will link existing protected forests and keep de facto wilderness between them intact. Keeping industrial development out of the wilderness corridor will also save many popular backcountry recreation destinations for future generations to explore and enjoy.

Most of the corridor was leased to Scott Paper (now Kimberly Clark) in the 1960s, which means it will likely be clearcut if not protected.

Outstanding Features

  • excellent representation of the Central Quartzite Hills and Plains (Fish River) natural landscape; partial representation of three other landscapes

  • * wilderness corridor between Whites Lake Wilderness Area, Lake Charlottte North Provincial Park Reserve and Tangier-Grand Lake Wilderness Area

  • * includes one of the largest remaining roadless areas in Halifax County

  • * over fifty interconnected and undeveloped lakes; ten kilometres of undeveloped shoreline on Ship Harbour Long Lake; added protection for the Musquodoboit River, one of the last strongholds for Atlantic Salmon on the Eastern Shore

  • * numerous old forests, including several concentrations of old red spruce, white pine and yellow birch along Ship Harbour Long Lake and Fish River; many old forest dependent bird species

  • wilderness corridor between Whites Lake Wilderness Area and the Atlantic Ocean would form one of Nova Scotia's first protected interior-coastal transition zones

  • only Crown land access on west side of Lake Charlotte

  • many excellent backcountry canoeing and camping opportunities, including at Scraggy Lake and Ship Harbour Long Lake; added protection for traditional Salmon River canoe route between interior lakes in Whites Lake Wilderness Area and the Atlantic coast at Jeddore Harbour

  • traditional hunting and fishing destinations on Fish River system

  • accessible from the Trans Canada Trail along the abandoned Musquodoboit Railway

  • numerous cart tracks and footpaths associated with the region's early settlers and prospectors; other cultural features include old dam and mine sites

 Related Features

Horse Assisted Logging in Nova Scotia
This is a listing of names, phone numbers and locations of people that use horse assisted logging practices in Nova Scotia.

Proposed Wilderness Area
on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia (map)

Eastern Old Growth Clearinghouse
This is an organization dedicated to preserving old growth forests in Eastern North America.

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All contents © 1995 - 2017 Highway7.com unless otherwise attributed
Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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