We are concerned with recent reports of trail cutting and proposals to snowmobile in Terra Nova National Park. Terra Nova is one of the few places on the island set aside from snowmobiling, and focused primarily on protecting habitat for sensitive wildlife. It covers less than half a percent of the island, and provides critical habitat for the endangered Newfoundland pine marten and woodland caribou, which rely on intact forests to survive. Opening the park to snowmobiling could have a serious impact on these and other species. Cutting trails in the park would further disturb and fragment their forest habitat, making it even more difficult to sustain and recover these already fragile populations.
Snowmobiling is an enjoyable winter activity within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. However, we need to ensure there are some places in the province, including Terra Nova National Park, that are dedicated first to the needs of wildlife and where we don’t snowmobile. Snowmobiling has never been permitted within Terra Nova National Park, and we believe this is appropriate, particularly given the park’s importance in protecting undisturbed forest habitat for species like marten and caribou.
and Tanya Edwards
Co-Executive Directors, CPAWS-NL