Lawsuit against the Dept. of Lands & Forestry for alleged failure to meet obligations of endangered species act

Wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft and nature organizations launch legal action for Nova Scotia’s species at risk

Mr. Bob Bancroft and three of Nova Scotia’s naturalists’ societies say it is time to ask the courts to intervene on behalf of Nova Scotia’s most at-risk wildlife and plants.

“The Department of Lands and Forestry has mandatory legal obligations under the Endangered Species Act that have not been fulfilled,” explains retired Acadia University biology professor Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, president of Blomidon Naturalists Society, one of the parties to the legal proceedings. “We’re simply asking the Court to tell our government to do what it is already required to do by law.”

In court documents filed today, the applicants allege that the Department of Lands and Forestry (formerly the Department of Natural Resources) has failed to meet its legal obligations with respect to 34 species, including mainland moose, wood turtle, bank swallow, and a host of other species designated at risk in Nova Scotia.

“The Department has not yet identified core habitat for our mainland moose, a requirement that is now over-due by more than a decade,” says wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft, president of the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists (also known as Nature Nova Scotia).

The legal documents allege that the Department of Lands and Forestry has not yet identified a single acre of core habitat of threatened and endangered species, despite the legal requirement to do so under the Endangered Species Act.

Other short-comings noted in the documents include failures to appoint recovery teams and create recovery plans within the time-frames required under the Act.

“This is a rule of law case,” notes Jamie Simpson, lawyer for the applicants. “The Act requires the Minister of Lands and Forestry to do certain things towards the recovery of species at risk in Nova Scotia. We are asking the Court to uphold the rule of law and require the Department to abide by the Act.”

The Department’s short-comings with respect to species at risk has been reported several times. In 2015, the East Coast Environmental Law Association published a report calling on the Department to address the alleged violations of the Species at Risk Act. In 2016, the Office of the Auditor General of Nova Scotia published a review of the Department’s track-record on species at risk, noting the alleged failure to fulfil mandatory requirements under the Act.

Public Consultation Sessions for Dollar Lake Provincial Park

Public Consultation Sessions for Dollar Lake Provincial Park

Come share your ideas for future planning of Dollar Lake Provincial Park

Monday, October 15th, 2018

2:00pm – 4:00pm and 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Brief Presentations Will Occur at 2:30pm and 6:30pm

Location: Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Services

720 Highway #2, Elmsdale, NS, B2S 1E9

For more information on how to get involved: https://novascotia.ca/natr/parks/management/

Contact: Parks, Outreach & Service Delivery Division

1-866-230-1586 or parkplanning@novascotia.ca

If you know someone who is interested in this Park but may not have been contacted, please request them to email parkplanning@novascotia.ca to be added to the list and/or pass the information of the session on to them.

Class 1 Environmental Assessment- Goldboro Gold Project

This is to advise that on August 1st, Anaconda Mining Incorporated registered the Goldboro Gold Project for environmental assessment, in accordance with Part IV of the Environment Act. Public comments must be provided by August 31st, 2018, to be considered in this environmental assessment.

The purpose of the proposed undertaking is the development and operation of a 575 tonne per day, 24 hour/day, 7 day/week, surface and underground gold mine along with a concentrator and accompanying tailings facility. This would occur on Goldbrook Road, Goldboro, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia with a disturbed footprint of ~125.9 hectares. Site construction and preliminary production would begin in 2020, with a currently projected completion in 2029, pending approval.

All project information including the Registration Document will be available on Nova Scotia Environment website at http://www.novascotia.ca/nse/ea/.

Please note that comments must be provided by August 31st, 2018, to be considered in this environmental assessment. Comments are requested to be provided via e-mail if possible.

On or before September 20th, 2018, the Minister of Environment will decide if the project can be granted conditional environmental assessment approval. All submissions received, including personal information, will be made available for public review upon request.

If you have any questions, contact:

Harrison Moore, Environmental Assessment Officer

Environmental Assessment Branch

Nova Scotia Environment

1903 Barrington Street

Suite 2085

PO Box 442

Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2P8

Phone: (902) 497-4119

Fax: (902) 424-6925

E-mail: Harrison.moore@novascotia.ca