Bridgewater Watershed Protection Alliance - Actions! Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

How to help the Bridgewater Watershed and the endangered Atlantic Whitefish

  • Help spread the word by inviting your facebook friends to join the Bridgewater Watershed Protection Alliance Group – on the top right of the page click on the blue, rectangular “+ invite” button and select people to invite.
  • Write or call your politicians about your concerns, and ask that this area is designated a wilderness area. Details below.
  • Print and post our pdf Protect Bridgewater Watershed mini-sign

Politicians to contact:

  • Premier Tim Houston:
    twitter: @TimHoustonNS
  • Minister Tory Rushton:
    (Dept of Natural Resources & Renewables)
    twitter: @ToryRushton and @NS_DNRR

For residents of the Bridgewater area, also contact:

  • MLA Becky Druhan:
    Phone: 902-530-5449
    twitter: @BeckyDruhan
  • MP Rick Perkins:
    twitter: @RickPerkinsMP
  • MODL Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson:
  • Mayor David Mitchell
    twitter: @MayorMitchellNS

Mature Forest, on the shores of Atlantic Whitefish habitat, Bridgewater Watershed: 

Simon Burbidge photo

Concerns you may want to note in your letter / phonecall:

  • Logging in the watershed could affect the water supply
  • It could affect the planet’s last remaining Atlantic whitefish, a risk that should not be taken no matter how small they think the risk is. An extinction event is a catastrophe that cannot be undone.
  • This area needs to be off limits to any harvesting, ie. placed under protection. We are advocating for the designation of a wilderness area. There needs to be a process to decide what areas are available for any kind of cutting and what areas should be off limits. William Lahey recommended a process for this: landscape level planning. (DNRR has ignored this and treated all crown land as if it is available for harvesting. But that is not consistent with following Lahey’s recommendations.)
  • The harvest proposal conflicts with the goals of protecting the designated watershed that MODL, the Town of Bridgewater, and the Public Services Commission of Bridgewater have been working on. Many residents support this since the area is part of their water supply.
  • This forest needs to be part of the 330,000 hectares that would need to be protected to meet the Premier’s 2030 commitment to protect 20% of lands and seas.

Or write a letter

Please note: Letters through email are best sent as a document attached to the email.

Dear [insert name of politician],

I am writing to request that action is taken to protect the Bridgewater Watershed area. This is the town’s water supply, and needs to be protected in perpetuity. It is also home to the world’s last Atlantic Whitefish, the first species in Canada to be designated endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

The Atlantic Whitefish Recovery Strategy was developed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (DNRR) and Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (NSDAF) as well as others. The Species at Risk act (SARA) requires protection against the destruction of a species’ critical habitat once it has been identified in a recovery strategy or action plan. The Action Plan document calls for support of the Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) Protected Areas Branch in establishing the lands around the Petite lakes as a “Wilderness Area.”

Endangered Blue Felt lichen, on the shores of Atlantic Whitefish habitat: Simon Burbidge photo

Some of the public lands at Minamkeak Lake were purchased by the Nova Scotia government in 2012 specifically for conservation purposes. Allowing forestry at this location is an unacceptable departure from previous commitments to protect these lands.

I am calling on government to implement the recommendations of those reports and to follow-through with previous protection efforts. Halt all harvest activity on crown land in the watershed and begin the process of designating this land a wilderness area. That action will also help the Premier fulfill his commitment to protect 20% of lands and sea by 2030. Further, the protection of the watershed may well help prevent the extinction of the Atlantic Whitefish.

We trust you to take the leadership necessary to protect the watershed, which is the responsibility and jurisdiction of the multiple departments that engaged in creating the recommendations of the Atlantic Whitefish Whitefish Recovery Strategy document.


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