Burnt Cape NL GuidesTEXT OF LETTER TO PREMIER OF NEWFOUNDLAND, 26 July, 2013
Dear Madame Premier:
I am writing to you on behalf of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society re: the recent budget decisions which cut the Burnt Cape Guide program. Has any thought been given to the establishment of this reserve and the struggles made to preserve it's rare and endangered plant life? This would seem to have been be lost in the fog of budgeting. The Burnt Cape Guide program has been an invaluable resource to tourism in that area which is already economically depressed. What is the value of your efforts to promote tourism? This action will discourage visitation to the area. It appears that the right hand of your government does not know what the left hand is doing. I was introduced to the unique botany of the area by a small group of NSWFS members many years ago. This is truly one of the best kept botanical secrets of eastern North America. As such it is a magnet for interested botanists and others curious to see it's hidden gems. I have been back to the area multiple times in the past 7 years and plan to return again next year. I would love to take the tour again.
The landscape appears barren to the uninitiated and this may further endanger the rare species if tourists do no where to park their cars ,where to walk ,without damaging delicate plantlife . Signage is no substitute for the knowledge and skills of these well trained guides. All of our members who have visited that site over the past 7 years have taken the tour offered by the guides, at least once. Several of us have done the tour more often, each time learning something new about the area. The educational value of this program is enormous. Tourists will come back many times to the area once they learn of the many rarities to be found.
This area must be preserved for future generations. There is much more to be learned. The knowledge and skills of the original Burnt Cape Guides should not be lost in your budgetary fog. After all, you have already paid for at least some of their training, now is when this will show it's value to you and this should not be discouraged. We the members of the NSWFS wish to voice our disgust with the cancellation of the Burnt Cape Guide program and join with the Raleigh Historical Society and many others in support for this program .Please reconsider this decision and reinstate this important program.
Bsc.MD. FRCS(C) President Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society.