Reject the Beaver Dam Gold Mine

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I would like to add my voice of concern regarding Beaver Dam. I agree wholeheartedly with Lindsay Lee's comments below. Please reject the Beaver Dam gold mine.

" In light of the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, it would be unduly reckless to permit the proposed Beaver Dam open-pit gold mine to proceed. The potential benefits would be negligible and short-lived, whereas the adverse environmental (and community) impacts would be significant and long-lasting.
The sixth mass extinction is an ongoing extinction event, the likes of which has never before been seen in human history. The Center for Biological Diversity reports, “The current rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates.” The UN warns, “Around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.”
We have lost 60% of the planet’s wildlife in less than 50 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s 2020 Living Planet Report. Populations of Canadian species that are of global conservation concern have declined (in Canada) by an average of 42% between 1970 and 2016. Populations of Canadian species that are of national conservation concern have declined by an average of 59% between 1970 and 2016.
Given that our current conservation efforts are failing to adequately protect threatened species and their habitats, it would be ludicrous to permit the Beaver Dam gold mine—an ecologically devastating project—to further imperil endangered species, such as mainland moose, Atlantic salmon, snapping turtles, Canada warblers, chimney swifts, barn swallows, olive-sided flycatchers, rusty blackbirds, blue felt lichen, frosted glass whiskers, and boreal felt lichen.
A holistic view of land-use planning and conservation science is vital to accurately predict (and prevent) adverse impacts to wildlife, such as reduced habitat integrity and connectivity, direct mortality, and sensory disturbances. Atlantic Gold wrote the revised EIS as if environmental harms would cooperatively stay within a neat little block (the 208-hectare “mine footprint”). As a result—or by design—the company has underestimated the cumulative effects on nearby watersheds, wetlands, and wildlife.
The observations of mainland moose within these ecosystems are highly significant given the state of the species in Nova Scotia.
Scientist Thomas Millette, commissioned by the Department of Lands and Forestry, undertook aerial surveys using special thermal-imaging equipment to search for the endangered mainland moose in 2017 and 2018. His estimates showed that there could be fewer than 100 mainland moose in Nova Scotia.
The 2021 Recovery Plan for the mainland moose (a report prepared for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables) states:
Threats to the Mainland Moose are well known but complex, and may be interrelated and/or cumulative, which makes addressing them challenging. Generally, threats can be categorized as habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, and disease. Residential and commercial developments, and industrial activities such as mining and quarrying, result in a permanent conversion of habitat to that which is unsuitable for the use of Mainland Moose.
For the mainland moose, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation lead to an increase in disease, parasites, and poaching. Therefore, habitat changes as a result of development affect all of the factors of highest concern for mainland moose abundance and distribution.
The Proponent noted that 92 bird species have been recorded in the area, yet disregards the impact the project would have on avian diversity. Given that there are 2.9 billion fewer birds in North America today than there were in 1970, it’s not appropriate or justifiable to exacerbate the ongoing decline of the North American avifauna by permitting the Beaver Dam open-pit gold mine to proceed. But according to the revised environmental impact statement, “The predicted residual environmental effects of the Project on birds and bird habitat are assessed to be adverse, but not significant.”
Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, dust, noise, lighting, loss of breeding sites, and vehicular collisions will indeed be “significant” to the birds (and other species) affected. But all-too-conveniently, Atlantic Gold has classified habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and anthropogenic disturbances (such as noise, light, vibration, and traffic) as “not significant” for terrestrial fauna and avifauna.
But that’s not all.
According to Atlantic Gold, the significance of the “residual effects” of the following adverse outcomes can all be discounted as “not significant:”
Air quality
Greenhouse gas emissions
Night-time light levels
Sediment quality
Surface water quality
Surface water quantity
Groundwater quality at Beaver Dam
Groundwater quality at Touquoy
Groundwater recharge/discharge
Wetland habitat
Wetland hydrology
Fish habitat
Habitat and flora
Terrestrial fauna habitat
Terrestrial fauna mortality
Bird habitat
Priority fish species
Priority vascular flora and lichens
Priority terrestrial fauna
Priority birds
And more…
While I don’t have the time to delve into each of those claims during the relatively short comment period, I remain very concerned about each of the underlying issues (to say nothing of the veracity of the statements). Given that Atlantic Gold has distorted the irrefutable environmental risks to suit the company’s narrative, how can we have any confidence in the rest of the revised EIS?
How can we trust a company facing federal charges (3) and provincial charges (32) for violating environmental legislation? And perhaps the better question is… why should we entrust Atlantic Gold with the well-being of this and future generations?
We are still living with the toxic legacy of historic gold mining here in Nova Scotia. But we can at least choose not to compound the problem by approving more open-pit gold mines.
Habitat destruction and fragmentation, the destruction of wetlands, biodiversity loss, and increased greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the proposed Beaver Dam open-pit gold mine are unacceptable. But we don’t have to choose extinction, inequity, or an unlivable planet. So why would we?
In this time of unprecedented climate change and biodiversity loss, we are at a historic moment to choose differently, about what we value, and how we’ll accomplish it.
A wonderful example is the encouraging work that the Acid Rain Mitigation Committee has been doing since it was formed back in 2001. Composed in part by the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and the provincial and federal governments, this coalition has been working to rectify anthropogenic harm to salmon habitat, including the Killag River. Their 17-year flagship restoration and research project on the West River Watershed is science-based, collaborative, and forward-thinking. According to the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, the project has become “one of the largest, most innovative, and most successful aquatic ecosystem restoration initiatives in Canada.” But now it’s at unwarranted risk as a result of the proposed Beaver Dam gold mine.
Please, please reject the Beaver Dam gold mine. This land—and all who depend on it—are too important to risk.
We can no longer afford to continue business as usual. But by choosing to support the right projects, together, we can not only survive, but also thrive.
Lindsay Lee"
Thank you,
Beth Cranston
Hammonds Plains, NS
Beth Cranston, B.A. (Music, French & Drama) -  \Mount Allison University (
Diploma in Performance & Communications Media -  \Memorial University (
Musician. Educator. Creator. Activist.
"Nature is meant to be stewarded. People are meant to be loved. Government is meant to be held accountable. Music and laughter are essential."
Submitted by
Administrator on behalf of Beth Cranston
Public Notice
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