News Release: New Brunswick’s National Parks facing growing threats to their ecological health

  • Published on Jul 12 2012 |
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Fredericton - In the run-up to Canada Parks Day on the 3rd Saturday in July, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is releasing a sobering report about the growing threats our parks are facing. The report highlights the dangers to our parks due to funding cuts; the loss of science and ecological monitoring capacity; and the growth of inappropriate developments within and adjacent to many current and proposed parks.
“In New Brunswick, budget cuts may be putting at risk important wildlife and habitat research in Fundy National Park.  Fundy ecologists have been working for years on projects to conserve flying squirrels, black bears, Inner Bay of Fundy salmon and critical river habitats.  We are concerned that recent cuts to research and staff may mean the Park is unable to continue some of this research, which is so important to nature conservation in the park and the region,” said Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS New Brunswick.
“Across the country, the trend is extremely discouraging this year.  Parks Canada has been hit hard by funding cuts, leading to the elimination of 638 positions across the country.  In turn this means that nearly 30% of the scientists and technicians restoring and monitoring the ecological health of our parks have been fired or reassigned.   The cuts also mean many parks are cutting their seasons shorter, opening the door to inappropriate use of them with no supervision,” says CPAWS National Executive Director Eric Hebert-Daly.
“Not only are our parks facing growing threats to their ecological health from the funding cuts, the tourism community and nearby communities are also facing economic harm.  The government’s own research shows that for every $1 spent on parks, $5 is contributed to Canada’s gross domestic product. Why isn’t the government recognizing the important benefits that result from investing in our parks?” adds Hebert-Daly.
Challenges facing New Brunswick’s parks
“Parks researchers at both Fundy and Kouchibouguac National Parks are first class experts at figuring out how to protect the natural values of the parks.   Abundant wildlife, healthy forests, lakes and rivers, and pristine coastlines provide the underpinnings to the parks’ tourism appeal.  Park staff does important work to ensure these national treasures and tourism assets continue to support nature, wildlife and quality outdoor recreation.  Cuts to park ecologists and the ecological research budget for Fundy National Park may put at risk the park’s ability to attract tourists and contribute to the local economy,” added Roberta Clowater.

 

In New Brunswick, contact: Roberta Clowater, Executive Director, CPAWS New Brunswick - cpawsnb@nb.sympatico.ca; (Roberta is out of province, so please email to arrange a phone call)

Download the report: http://www.cpaws.org/uploads/pubs/parks/cpaws_parksreport_2012.pdf