A former chair of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board is fearful that one of the province’s two designated Canadian Heritage Rivers could lose that recognition thanks to the approved construction of an ATV trail on the province’s west coast.
Don Hustins says the provincial government recently approved the construction of an ATV trail on the remote headwaters of the Main River in western Newfoundland, posing a significant threat to the wilderness area.
Hustins says the Main River was nominated to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System back in 1991 for a number of special features unique to the area. He says the Main River is one of only 40 rivers across the entire country with that designation.
The Main River was nominated as one of the last, free-flowing wilderness rivers in the province. “It’s one of the few rivers that are left that has very healthy stocks of wild Atlantic salmon,” says Hustins, in addition to archeological evidence of early Beothuck and Inuit culture.
Hustins is accusing government of jeopardizing the status of the Main River by violating the spirit of the CHRS and the terms of the management plan.
Hustins says the Main River, which was featured on a stamp by Canada Post, is in the same category as Gros Morne National Park and the Cape St. Marys’ Ecological Reserve and he’s urging Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to speak out.