A nature reserve to make us proud

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Upton Farm site plan

Editor: I would like the opportunity to thank the president of Upton Farm Trust for the quick reply and directions to the website (Re July 9 and 11, 2014) “Upton is a nature reserve first and foremost.” It is a reassuring and welcome statement.

To live up to this, the board will have to find the spine to curb temptations, created by good deeds from governments, to not sell out and allow signs and other things that don’t belong in a nature reserve.

To comply with the goal of creating a nature reserve, and asking for designation under the Natural Area Protection Act (NAPA), the Ekistics Plan seems to have missed the target completely. And, at a cost of as much as $50,000 I am told.

Giving 37 acres for an off-leash dog park (unfenced), plus 86 acres for on-leash use (133 acres total), means there is no wildlife sanctuary space anywhere. This should make serious environmentalists and others question the title “nature reserve” (numbers stated on page 91 of the master plan at www.uptonfarmlands.com).

Creating a nature reserve is a large responsibility and entails more than just saying the words. Before going for NAPA designation perhaps the board should hire an unbiased, uninfluenced expert to guide them. The name Gary Schneider comes to mind.

Cabinet needs full understanding of the request before considering its merit. I would think consideration of general public use and access to all the beautiful areas, along with a reasonable size and location of an off-leash fenced dog park, would be one of their tasks, as well as looking at the least expensive implementation and operation.

They should consider to what extent all Island taxpayers should subsidize dog welfare in Charlottetown and especially in competition with the Humane Society.

I wish to thank the president and board for serving us all in this important job of creating a nature reserve that all can use and be proud of. If I may, perhaps a name like “The Upton Farmlands Nature Reserve” would help in the general public’s understanding of what the intentions are there.

Reg Walsh,

Cornwall

Organizations: Upton Farm Trust

Geographic location: NAPA, Iceland, Charlottetown

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