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McNabs and Lawlor Islands

prepared by Nova Scotia Natural Resources and Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada
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A Cooperative Public Consultation Process

The objective of the recently announced public consultation process for McNabs and Lawlor islands is to prepare a land use strategy that will provide a framework for the future management and development of the islands as parkland. An important requirement of the strategy is that it reflect, as nearly as possible, a vision for the future of McNabs and Lawlor islands that is shared by the interested public. Public input, through a series of open houses and public hearings, is therefore a crucial element in this planning process.

The process encompasses a number of elements ranging from the preparation of background materials in newsletter format for public review and comment to the final decision regarding the future ownership, management and use of the islands as parkland (see flow chart). The end result will be based on public comments and suggestions regarding the protection of the islands' important heritage features and the provision of compatible visitor services and facilities for outdoor recreation and tourism. It should be recognized that the end results can be accomplished in different ways. Some possible future management scenarios include the following:

  • management of the islands as a provincial park (with the exception of Fort McNab National Historic Site which is to be managed by Parks Canada);
  • a combination of federal and provincial management of the islands;
  • some combination of federal and/or provincial management in partnership with others (e.g. community groups, heritage groups, private sector, etc.).

Park Planning and Consultation Process

  1. Presentation of background information in newsletter format. [This Document]
  2. Hold open houses for informational purposes.
  3. Hold public hearings to solicit comment
  4. Review public comments and prepare draft land use strategy
  5. Final decision by federal and provincial governments regarding future management and use of the islands as parkland

Proposed Land Use Objectives

The islands' rich diversity of natural and cultural heritage resources, together with the mandates of the Provincial Parks Program and the Department of Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada and the existing protective land use designation under the Halifax-Dartmouth Regional Development Plan, establish a sound basis for proposing land use objectives. These objectives provide a broad framework for future protection, development, use, interpretation and management of McNabs and Lawlor islands as parkland.

To protect and maintain the islands' important natural, cultural and recreational resources and features, as a significant open space environment within the Halifax-Dartmouth metropolitan area.
To encourage the exploration, appreciation, and understanding of the islands' natural and historic resources, through interpretive and outdoor educational programs.
To provide opportunities for a variety of healthful and enjoyable outdoor recreational activities in an attractive open space setting.
To encourage the development of visitor attractions and facilities that are consistent with the natural and historical heritage of the islands, that are supportive of an ecotourism or nature tourism approach, and that foster sustainable development.
To provide park users with high quality, safe and dependable water access to the islands, and to promote the experience of water travel as an essential component of the visitor's experience.
To establish a framework within which the islands can be managed as parkland, with partnership arrangements involving government agencies, community-based groups and the private sector being encouraged.

McNabs and Lawlor Islands
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The tabloid McNabs and Lawlor Islands prepared by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resouces and Parks Canada of Canadian Heritage in support of their Fall 1995 public consultation process.

This Internet version was prepared with permission by the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists (FNSN) and the Friends of McNabs Island Society (FOMIS).