NEWS RELEASE

September 10, 2015


Parks groups concerned about potential harm

to Mount Carleton by proposed snowmobile trail


Fredericton – A plan to widen a walking trail up the Maritimes’ highest peak and open it for snowmobile use within New Brunswick’s only designated Wilderness Park has the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) and the Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park deeply concerned.

“We’ve recently learned about this trail proposal for Mount Carleton, which is part of a plan for increasing snowmobile trails in northern New Brunswick. The government appears to be ready to agree to this proposal without an environmental analysis or any public consultation. It would see a walking trail up Mount Carleton cleared to double its width to 12 feet wide, and the canopy over it removed to a height of 12 feet,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS NB.

“This type of development will fragment the habitat of wildlife species including moose, flying squirrels, and American marten. Sustained motorized access on this trail is also likely to compact the soil, causing fast rain runoff and erosion. Grooming the trail will encourage increased motorized vehicle access that could lead to them continuing up to the fragile mountain top. This is completely inappropriate within a designated wilderness park,” adds Clowater.

“For over eight years, the Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park Inc. has worked diligently to promote, preserve and protect the Park’s natural wilderness setting and its ecosystems. We have worked to develop, what we thought, was a good working relationship with the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. The snowmobile hub infrastructure announcement came without any forewarning or consultation with our group,” says Susan Mulherin, President of Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park Inc.

“The Friends are committed to working cooperatively with the Department, while also ensuring that stewardship of the Park is maintained, and the protection of the environment, animal habitat and heritage is reflected in all policies and programs. We are concerned that in this case, that is not happening. Surely a compromise can be found that respects our protected areas and meets snowmobilers interests,” adds Mulherin.

No Public Discussion Whether Snowmobile Trail is Compatible with Wildest Parts of Wilderness Park

Mount Carleton park is New Brunswick’s only “Wilderness Provincial Park”, having been classified as such in revisions to the Parks Act in 2014. Those same revisions mandated the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture to develop Resource Management Plans for the provincial parks, outlining the recreational uses that would be compatible with conservation of the park natural areas.

“We are very concerned that the Department would consider making an irreversible decision such as this before the Resource Management Plan and the associated zoning are discussed publicly and approved. The Department is poised to, by default, decide that motorized vehicles are allowed in conservation zones in a wilderness park, setting a precedent from which it will be hard to back away.

“Allowing motorized recreation in one of the wildest parts of a wilderness park is inconsistent with how wilderness zones are generally managed in this level of park across Canada and the US. If the trail that goes up Mount Carleton is groomed for use by snowmobiles, it will prevent its use by people who want a wilderness experience of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in that part of the park,” says Clowater.

“It’s important to tourists who are attracted to wilderness that the marketing of Mount Carleton Provincial Park as a wilderness destination be backed up with management that is consistent with a wilderness experience,” adds Clowater.

“This is one of the first tests of the revised Parks Act, which our organization has been applauding as a good step forward for the modernization of New Brunswick’s approach to parks management. If this trail is approved with no public engagement process or environmental analysis, in our view the government will have failed this first test of our new legislation,”adds Clowater.

CPAWS is recommending that the provincial government take the time to assess the potential impacts of this proposal, undertake public and stakeholder consultations, and then determine whether Mount Carleton is an appropriate location for such a development.

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For interviews, contact: Roberta Clowater, rclowater@cpaws.org; phone: 506-452-9902

Founded in 1963, CPAWS is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to protecting our public land and water, and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within.Learn more at www.cpawsnb.org.

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Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.
Les groupes d'amis des parcs sont inquiets des dommages potentiels que pourrait causer le sentier de motoneige proposé au Mont Carleton