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A piece of Crown land that had been controversially removed from a list of territory awaiting protection is now being designated as Nova Scotia’s next provincial park.

Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton says that 266 hectares of Owls Head in Little Harbour, N.S., will be protected, although he says some survey work and administrative steps are necessary before the designation is complete.

The area of coastal barrens and wetlands was quietly removed by the former Liberal government in March 2019 from a list of lands awaiting legal protection.

That decision was revealed in documents obtained under an access-to-information request by the CBC. The documents indicated the government was considering a proposal from a private developer that wanted to build as many as three golf courses on the land.

The developer eventually abandoned those plans in November 2021, citing a lack of government support.

Rushton’s department is to manage Owls Head as a natural park reserve, meaning the public will have access, but there will be no services offered such as washrooms and parking areas.

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