Monday, August 10, 2009

Is new Fundy highway the wrong step?

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Published in Telegraph Journal LETTERS, Saturday August 8th, 2009

As provinces and states across North America take steps to protect unique and sensitive eco regions, New Brunswick has decided to destroy and deface the last remaining stretch of wilderness coastline between Mexico and Nfld. with the construction of the Fundy Trail.
The region commonly known as 'shore country' has been enjoyed by generations of NBers whether hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, ATVing or snowmobiling; none needing a $40 million highway to do so.

The Fundy footpath is also losing its attractiveness to hikers. Construction is being carried out within feet of the path. The footpath is a low-impact and fiscally responsible way to promote tourism between St. Martins and Alma.

There is little doubt that the status quo is not working for the region. An absurd amount of clear cutting and lack of protected land threaten this unique landscape. Standing on the beautiful remote beaches and watching bulldozers and excavators at work would be disheartening for most people.

The government has been very secretive about their plans for the land in shore country. Will the coast be closed to those who do not wish to pay to support their trail? Will recreation activities continue around the highway? Will the area be given more protection?
There are many unanswered questions.

As an outdoorsman who has a true love for shore country, I am deeply concerned for its future. I am convinced the Fundy Trail will be viewed as a mistake in the years to come.


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