Too Many Unanswered Questions to Proceed with Changes to W.H.P.A.
Removing W.H.P.A. Crown lands from the Act and placing them in regulations is very disconcerting as it leaves the future of these important wildlife lands at the discretion of the Minister.
Lorne Scott, President of Nature Saskatchewan said, "important issues need to be resolved, about what and how much W.H.P.A. land would be sold; what lands would be sold without any protection; will non W.H.P.A. Crown lands be evaluated for protection, and will a 'No Net Loss' policy of W.H.P.A lands be retained. Clear and decisive answers to these and other questions were not available."
Scott said, "the conservation community's quarrel is not with farmers and ranchers, but rather with the provincial government for not consulting with us." A number of people have received letters from the Environment Minister where she clearly states W.H.P.A. lands are not eligible for sale. The Minister of Agriculture is also on record saying W.H.P.A lands are not for sale.
The creation of W.H.P.A. lands in 1984 was the most significant conservation initiative in the history of the province. Nature Saskatchewan and everyone concerned about the future of wildlife conservation can not in good conscience stand by and see the landmark legislation dismantled with few answers and no guarantees.
Scott concluded by saying, "Nature Saskatchewan urges the government to pull the legislation with amendments to the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act until meaningful and inclusive consultation is conducted and answers to our many questions are provided."
For further information please contact Nature Saskatchewan:
Lorne Scott, President