Friday, July 18, 2008

This is worrisome

The interim ban on exploration and development of the reserves surrounding the Nahanni National Park Reserve ends on October 31st, unless the federal government permanently grants the reserve protected status.

The Nahanni National Park Reserve, set up in 1972 by Trudeau and designated a world heritage site by the UN in 1978 is permanently protected.

The reserve has grown with a temporary protection of an additional of 23 thousand square km in 2003 in a land deal with the First Nations and Harper announced last summer that an additional 5,000 square km would be barred from further development.

Although the park is permanently off-limits to development, it’s the resource rich reserves surrounding it that are temporarily covered and at risk.

And here's the worrisome part.

Our Environment Minister John Baird cites lengthy consultations and assessments as reasons for the delay.
"We've established all these processes to stop bad things from happening to the environment.

And when you want something good to happen, you still have to go through all these processes, which can be time-consuming and can be frustrating," he said.

"But we're committed to a massive expansion of the Nahanni National Park."
It seems like the Environment Ministry has put a lot of decisions off until the fall, right in the middle of an expected election.

This decision on the Nahanni National Park Reserve, the reclassification of the Polar Bear to an endangered species or even a threatened species.

Decisions that would either expand protections to our wildlife or expand the development of their natural resources.

Somehow I think they are waiting to see how the election turns out before choosing.

Reference: CNEWS here.

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