Have you visited any of Nova Scotia’s wonderful provincial parks lately? Nova Scotia has about 300 of them, including camping parks and park reserves, administered by the province’s Department of Natural Resources. 1.5 million people visit Nova Scotia’s parks annually.
Managing the provincial parks is a complex balancing of the diverse roles parks play. Parks are pivotal for many reasons, including tourism, recreation, education, environmental protection and preservation of the parks for plants, animals and future generations.
One way to try to balance these diverse roles is through legislation. Various laws apply in provincial parks – including the Provincial Parks Act, Trails Act, and the Beaches Act. These three laws have similar rules. For example, in a park or on a beach or trail it is against the law to:
- deliberately remove, damage or destroy property, natural objects or plants
- fail to clean up after your companion animal
- be impaired by drugs or alcohol
- create a disturbance
- do anything that is a safety risk or makes it hard for others to enjoy the area
Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources, Parks division, is responsible for enforcing these laws. Fines for various offences under these laws start at $180, and in some cases could include having to pay for restoration of any damaged property. Click here to see current fine amounts. If you have a question about activities allowed on a beach, trail or in a provincial park you can contact your local Department of Natural Resources field office to speak with a Conservation Officer.
The province recently reviewed the management plan for provincial parks, including looking at updating existing laws and policies. You can have a look at the Parks and Protected Areas Plan for Nova Scotia, Plan Progress, and the Public Opinion report regarding the future of our parks online at novascotia.ca/natr/strategy/parks/public-opinion-report.asp
For more information visit: