Visitation | Let's Talk Sable Island! | Let's Talk Sable Island!

IE10 and below are not supported.

Contact us for any help on browser support


4 months ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

A growing number of people are interested in visiting Sable Island National Park Reserve to conduct research, to connect with its history, or to experience this incredible place and its’ wildlife, including hundreds of wild horses. Visiting can also be a transformative experience capable of inspiring art, science, music, and literature.  Facilitating opportunities for people to experience the unique and fascinating features of Sable Island in-person can create lifelong supporters for the island, national parks and conservation in general.  At the same time, we must manage visitation carefully to protect those same valued features like the natural processes, wildlife, and ecology of the island.

What do you believe are the most important factors to consider when Parks Canada is making decisions about opportunities for visitors to experience Sable Island National Park Reserve?

Relates to Relates to survey_tool: Sable Island National Park Reserve
  • Debits 4 months ago
    Sable island is the stuff of dreams and should stay that way. Human intervention should be avoided. There should not be a walkway built or a visitors centre or daily ferry rides. It should stay as a secluded island devoid of tourists!
  • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
    Sable Island is one of the few places left on Earth where horses are free of human interference. It is also one of the largest seal breeding grounds in the world and includes species found nowhere else on the planet. This is a sensitive and extremely delicate ecosystem and must be ethically protected by Parks Canada. Introducing overnight camping and increased human visitation will destroy the very thing that makes Sable Island special. The truth is that increased visitation & camping does not further the motives of "culture", "art" or "Science" by reducing this pristine ecosystem to a floating Zoo in the Atlantic. In the long run, an increase in human visitation & camping will disturb this place for not only horses, but for the other mammals as well. Humans have never historically been very good stewarts of the environment. A report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has found that 52 per cent of the world's animals have been driven to extinction since 1970 because of human activity. This talk of having overnight camping/visitation, along with the pollution, ocean traffic, and unethical activity that will inevitably come with it, saddens me. It's shameful that Parks Canada have hired consultants to turn Sable Island into a business venture at the expense of it's long term survival. Parks Canada should find another way to make money and preserve Sable for the World because it's one of a kind. May the horses of Sable always be free and undisturbed by human activity, which will inevitably lead to their future demise.
    Hide Replies (9)
    • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
      I am not aware that PCA is making any kind of profit out of its operations on Sale Island, or that they ever could hope to.They do try and recover some of the cost incurred in assisting visitors and other operators in accessing the island, but it is a loosing venture for sure because of the huge cost in providing that service.
      Hide Replies (8)
      • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
        What do you mean PCA "try" and "hope" to recover "some" of the cost??? Parks Canada's public camping ventures are ALL designed to be financially sustainable from a business model perspective. These profit centers generate revenue to contribute to other Parks Canada initiatives. At the present moment, there is little or no profit from Sable and THAT is precisely what Parks Canada is now trying to change by expanding visitation and overnight camping at the expense of Sable's long term survival. Parks Canada should find another way to make money and preserve Sable for the World because it's one of a kind.
        Hide Replies (7)
        • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
          The current operation on Sable Island has zero in common with any other National Park.PCA's mandate covers a lot more than just tourism.The only charge to visit Sable today is a $500 "flight support" fee, which nowhere near covers the actual cost of what is involved in supporting any given flight.To say that that is precisely what PCA is trying to change is not accurate at all and there is no evidence to suggest that.They are obligated to consult the public in their opinion in the overall management plan for the future of the park and that is the focus of this forum and the surveys.They are also obligated to look at the science and draw conclusions.Everything they do is governed by the National Parks Act.Asking the question "what do you think about camping" does not translate directly into opening the place up to camping, it is a means of gauging the public's opinion on the subject which they have to do because some people ask about it and so it is a subject that has to be "considered". What would be wrong is for PCA to disregard the opinions expressed here and to go ahead and do something else anyway but that hasn't happened yet.What we don't see here yet are the results of the surveys being completed, but presumably those will eventually be made public as well.
          Hide Replies (6)
          • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
            Aaron Carpenter; We are not talking about the "current" operation on Sable...this is about the future expansion of Sable into a camping venture with increased human visitation. By the way, you should re-read the Parks Canada intro paragraph at the top of this page because you've minimized didn't say merely "what do you think of camping" as you've said. The intro to this page is a one-sided narrative listing excuses why camping and increased visitation should be allowed on Sable (ie. culture, art, science, a once in a lifetime experience, ect). Parks Canada have hired business consultants to conduct a feasibility study as to the profitability of a camping venture and increased visitation on Sable. There is no motivation other than to profit at the expense of Sable's future. There are abundant places to visit and camp across Canada without opening up Sable to increased human activity, which will lead to it's long term demise. Aaron Carpenter, do you work for Parks Canada or an organization that would benefit financially at the expense of Sable?
            Hide Replies (5)
            • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
              I worked for PCA for 4.5 years, on Sable Island, so I have a pretty good idea of the situation.I no longer work there or for PCA at all and the only interest I have in sable Island any more is simply personal.I do believe that PCA is the only government organization with a suitable mandate to properly protect and monitor the whole island comprehensively, and I couldn't think of another that could even come close - could you?I am not in favor or camping or increased visitation or any other kind of development on Sable Island, as I have said in my original posts on this forum.I am not even satisfied with the current level of visitation on the island or the way it is being implemented and I have listed some reasons.I would be very disappointed to see anything other than a much tighter grip on tourism just for the sake of tourism on sable.But PCA is a government organization, mandated to serve the people of Canada from whom it gets its funding and therefore is is obligated to "consider" all aspects of public opinion.Nothing in that opening paragraph is untrue, but it is all prefaced with the word "can" not the words "should" or "will" and that is the only argument I am making here - that this is a discussion and learning process to gauge public opinion.As to your belief that PCA is studying specifically the profitability of a camping venture on Sable Island, you would have to quote some specific sources on that because it simply isn't true otherwise and it is probably a misunderstanding.I am sure there are private companies out there looking at that idea and they may even be in discussion with PCA, but that is not the same thing.Having lived and worked on Sable Island from day one of the PCA operation there, I can safely say that no such thing is anywhere near on the horizon as far as I know, because it simply wouldn't work today, but if it WERE then I would join you in protest.Again, from what i see on this forum, so far the overwhelming response (at least from those willing to post) has been for a reduction in access and PCA will have to consider that heavily going forward because it is all public record. Some things to consider: -Overnight visits were allowed on the island by the previous administrations of the Coast Guard and the weather station and PCA put a stop to it in 2013 when they took over operations and "profit" never once was taken into consideration in that decision.-In my time out there, I saw at least on "illegal" landing by persons from a yacht, imagine what people might get up there if they knew there was nobody out there paying attention.
              Hide Replies (4)
              • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
                Aaron Carpenter; It's encouraging to see that you are not in favor of camping or increased visitation or any other kind of development on Sable Island. That's a major issue that we can both agree on here. There was a recent article by CBC titled; "Want to go camping on Sable Island? Parks Canada is considering it." Most of the public comments on this CBC article were strongly opposed to camping/visitation on Sable. Thank you for your discussion and long live Sable Island!
                Hide Replies (3)
                • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
                  That was a poorly written article that carried no substance at all. Sad to say that even the CBC can stoop to this kind of sensationalism in their headlines and then back it with nothing concrete.
                  Hide Replies (2)
                  • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
                    Here is the link for CBC's article about Sable Island camping/visitation for everyone to see and people can make up their own minds as to it's substance. It's titled; "Want to go camping on Sable Island? Parks Canada is considering it." The public reaction/comments are at the bottom of the CBC page and should be considered by Parks Canada if a fair & balanced discussion is welcome here.
                    Hide reply (1)
                    • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
                      Thank you Aaron Carpenter for an open discussion of these sometimes sensitive policy issues, which is what this PCA site Letstalksableisland/forum is all about. Thank you Parks Canada for your willingness to listen to both sides of the issue on this page. I wanted to add that Parks Canada has, in the past, been an ethical organization that has preserved many national treasures including; The Fortress of Louisburg, Citadel Hill, and many others. I ask that Parks Canada save and protect Sable from increased human activity to preserve this special treasure of the Atlantic for future generations. Long Live Sable Island!
  • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
    Here is the link for CBC's article about Sable Island camping/visitation for everyone to see and people can make up their own minds. It's titled; "Want to go camping on Sable Island? Parks Canada is considering it." The public reaction/comments are at the bottom of the CBC page and should be considered by Parks Canada if a fair & balanced discussion is welcome here.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Freedom Horse 5 months ago
      These are the complete public comments/reactions as at Dec8 from the above CBC report; "WANT TO GO CAMPING ON SABLE ISLAND? PARKS CANADA IS CONSIDERING IT." (John Brown): up one of the few remaining protected and historical spots left on the eastern seaboard for what, so a few wealthy tourists can "camp" and brag they've been there. Lordy, what a bunch.(Diane Cuddy): Leave it alone please..(Dar Miller): No. Please leave it alone. Haven't we human ruined enough of this planet??(Nova Mann): Big mistake.(David Davies): Good Bye Sable Island. Why can't people and government leave things alone?(Chuck Henault): "species found nowhere else on the planet". We often try to eradicate invasive species without success. In this case, humans are the invasive species. Let's not go there and demonstrate to the world that Canada truly cares about conservation. One foot print leads to a thousand. Parks Canada should treat this ecological jewel like the Hope one gets to touch it.(Stephen Hannon): Day visit off shore visual tourist style boats would be what I would consider the only method of visit, no and I mean no person is to set foot on shore.(Bruce Arthur Zeemel): I hope we can learn for Thailand's mistake.(James Mack): Count me in! I think a small amount of people at a time, with Federal Govt guides, heavily vetted and educated before they go and there is no reason this couldn't work. A waiting list and a nominal fee to offset costs and it sounds feasible to me. Have areas that are could work.(owen adams): That will be the end of Sable Island.(Anders Jamers): Leave it alone. People cant be trusted to treat such a sensitive ecosystem with care.(Greg Starkey): @Anders Jamers my thoughts exactly(Clarence Hemeon): @Anders Jamers Especially the rich.(Stephen Dueck): This idea is a huge mistake. That ecosystem is fragile as it is. We don’t people coming in there and messing it up. They will have a huge impact...always do on nature. #nosa lecamping(Jim Donald): So our carbon taxing government wants people to spew carbon traveling 600k round trip to trample on a ecologically sensitive area? That makes sense.(Charles jr. thibodeau): These horses belonged to the deported Acadians, taken there by some of the ships that hauled their owners away. Cattle, sheep , goats, pigs all died but the horses. .....we just can't learn it seems.(Abigail Bryson): Why do humans have to intrude on, and despoil, every place on earth?. Let Sable Island remain the pristine home of the wild horses. No camping! No tourism!(Kathy Altenhofen): Is there some reason human beings can't leave wild spaces alone? Leave space for the other animals, just the other animals, and a few researchers. Other animals have a right to exist without the presence of people.(Gary McGarry): Cold, windy and damp is not my idea of a perfect camping spot. What it does have going for it is remoteness and novelty.(mo bennett):just remember who pays when y'all need rescuing, not the taxpayers!(johnsharpers): They should give more access to islands around NS. Why the islands in the Halifax Harbour are not open for at least visitors is beyond me? Many would take a short day trip there or even stay overnight.(Martin Clark): If Parks Canada does not know how to manage this unique place and needs to consult the general population, then, Parks Canada should not be managing it to begin with. Leave the island alone. Cripes there will soon be missionaries there trying to convert the wildlife with no concern for the health of those wildlife. Kind of like that guy who went to the very isolated Island to convert a tribe of people who have had little ,if any, contact with others. He didn't care about how his visit would... » more(Eva Endren):Parks Canada should really know better than to even suggest such an idea. The Sable Island horses and rare species who rely upon this island for their survival have a right to remain there undisturbed. Even 500 visitors a year sounds like too many to me. It only takes a few to mess things up.(Daniel Rawlins): Who could afford to go there? 300 km out to sea, requires you are delivered there by a charter ocean going vessel or a helicopter. The cost of an expedition to Sable Island is out of the financial reach of most Canadians but it would give the wealthy a place to go where they could mingle with their own class. As far as research and scientific study go that is as they say, 'A horse of a different colour.'(Penny Catt): What could possibly go wrong?(Greg Williams): "Draft Management"! Sounds more like "Daft" Management to me!(Chantal LeBouthi): Parks Canada should start by cleaning all the crap campers leave in others parks, before wanting to destroy the fragile ecosystem of sable island(Gary McGarry): @Chantal LeBouthi People should clean up their own mess when leaving or risk losing camping rights permanently. Just because their mother picked up after them when they were 5 doesn't mean that they can continue to act like children when they are 25 or 35 or...(Philip Lucas): Sable Island is not a place to leave footprints, candy bar wrappers or anything else. If you allow tourists you lose control of protecting the environment. Even Parks Canada has build, and left invasive and foreign materials on the Island and I doubt they will fund the cost of remediation to remove equipment or waste from the environment. Decades of weather station support and research, a Sable Island research station on wildlife, flora and pollution has been going with minimal human... » more(Chantal LeBouthi): Who got that stupid ideas in the first place at PC He or she should be fired(Gary McGarry): @Chantal LeBouthi They need to create revenue after Harpers budget cuts.(Essay Smith): Diving off the coast of Sable would be neat and professionals would pay quite a bit to visit the hundreds of wrecks.(Chantal LeBouthi): Are they nuts Absolutely not, leave that place clean and keep camper out(Monica Franz): Another pristine jewel of the natural world trashed.(Alex Scott): Gee...Parks Canada has really sold out..... Let's just open a Tim's on the island and get it over with!(Sebastian Leblanc): For God's sake, leave Sable Island alone! There are plenty of places in Canada were people can go camping, and most people have already destroyed those with litter, etc.(Artie Gibson): Yep Another delicate ecosystem that will be destroyed. Maybe Parks Canada can get KPGM to conduct another $250,000? and recommend selling it for 5 cents on the $$$$$?(Jon Stone): Any form of human visitation to Sable Island should be forbidden or at best minimized to necessary scientific research and monitoring. It is such a sensitive environment that any human visitation will affect it.(Gord Lehmann): Much as I'd love to it shouldn't happen and it shouldn't be allowed to be a rich man's getaway either. Leave it to the horses and scientists.(Lon Chaney): I would love to go to Sable Island. I use to know several of the Upper Air (Environment Canada) staff that would tell me stories of the island. No it should not be allowed...we destroy everything.(John Thomas): That's a hard no.(Roy Kirk): Discount prices during hurricane season?(Zahava Goldfinkel): It doesn't matter. Soon it will vanish beneath the rising waters.(deborah gallant): please do not let this be overrun by humans....those horses and the island is so pristine and natural.....and beautiful(Barry Odonnell): @deborah gallant Relax. It will cost anyone that wants to go a kings ransom just to get there. I doubt it will be overrun.(Abigail Bryson): @David Frank Humans may have brought horses there long, long ago, but the horses now living there were born on the island. We should leave them be!(John Coldrick): It doesn't matter how much you frame it, but forbidding access does less damage than allowing it. Period. So why do you allow people in? Money. On the assumption the money is for conservation efforts, then just fund it from the taxpayer pool. The amount of money you make from 500 people a year is a drop in the bucket, and I'm happy for my tax dollars to be supporting the protection of such a rare gift. It sickens me with the technology advancing so quickly to provide profound multimedia... » more(David Frank): i doubt very much Mi'kmaq groups spent a whole lot of time on the island(Stanley DeWalt): @David Frank - Well David, besides the fact that traditionally First Nations have had a spiritual and protective tie to the land, (stewardship), I found the following information from the Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative website: " 2004 and 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) handed down three landmark decisions that found the Crown (provincial and federal) has a duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples regarding decisions or taking actions that might adversely affect their established or... » more(Stanley DeWalt): @David Frank - Additionally, the whole reason for the meeting is for the potential opening of an extremely ecologically sensitive and unique natural area to significantly higher human activity. Why would you NOT want to have as many stakeholders involved? Including the Mi'kmaq in a meeting that was already planned would not cost taxpayers any more money, as you mentioned a concern about. And while I didn't have members of my family working on Sable Island 60 plus years ago, I was lucky enough... » more(Gilles Desautels): I think the island should be left as it is. Canadians have one of the largest country in the world for camping.(Michael G. L. Geraldson): @Gilles Desautels And Nova Scotia already has dozens of campsites to choose from, most far less environmentally sensitive as Sable Island.(Carl Gustaf): What a BAD, BAD, BAD idea.(Stanley DeWalt): Nope. This is a terrible idea. This will be the beginning of the end of Sable Island as we currently know it. Leave it as it is.(D Smith): I agree with Ann, love to go there but would rather see it remain as is. you need only look at McNabs island and the mountains of rubbish taken from there each year. Some comes from the sea but some by humans while there. this place is the stuff of legend and allowing us to trample all over it is wrong (IMHO)(Ann Walker): I’m mortified that they are considering this. Sable Island is unique and pristine. Personally, I’d love to go - but I never would, as It should be kept protected and preserved. Opening this up, even in small, controlled numbers, is a huge mistake.(Laurie Clark): Leave Sable Island alone!(Ben Hague): It would be awesome to open the Island up for camping. Have a cap on the number of people allowed to camp every season.Have some sort of employee to make sure everything is up to snuff and that no individual abuses the Island.In my opinion it should be available for camping.Most people respect their surroundings.(Michael G. L. Geraldson): @Ben Hague In case you haven't, you should research the impact ecotourism has had on the Galapagos, it isn't pretty!(Laurie Clark): @Ben Hague No, most people do not respect their surroundings! Everywhere you go you see coffee cups and food bags! It is a joke!(Michael G. L. Geraldson): I've camped in National, Provincial and private parks across the country for over fifty years. During that time I've seen pristine wilderness full of litter, trees carved up for firewood or with initials, undergrowth virtually destroyed and wildlife negatively affected. Any camping managed or not will impact this special place negatively. In my opinion, leave it as it has been for hundreds of years.
  • abhiker 5 months ago
    As much as I would personally like to go and visit Sable Island, there should be places in Canada that are left truly wild and undisturbed. If visitation is to continue then I think the day trips are best with limitations on the timing and number of visitors each year. Yes, it will cost money to go there so only the wealthy can afford to go. Overnight stays should be prohibited. While I would volunteer as a way to go that means volunteers would probably have to stay overnight so that too should not be a priority. There should be no special access for photographers (we're all photographers) or artists. Scientific researchers from accredited universities should have access.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
      At present, all visitation is limited to day trips and there are limitations on the timing.As for the number per year, so far that has only been limited but what is logistically possible within the time of year allotted.
  • H2O 5 months ago
    There should be some places on this planet where humans are not allowed to go. In this day and age is it really necessary to travel halfway around the world to visit Machu Pichu, the Galpogas Islands, South Georgia Island or Sable Island just to claim "I was there"? Extinction tourism has no place on Sable Island and it should never have been made a National Park but remained a restricted access region of Canada.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
      Being a National Park does not mean it has to be a free-for-all for tourism.That is basically the point of this process, to try and figure out what is best.I don't know of any other means of protection of federal land in Canada that would be better suited to manage the complex nature of Sable Island and it certainly was not well managed comprehensively before becoming a National Park.As a National Park, it does "remain and restricted access region".
  • Group - QueensU - YA - 7 5 months ago
    • The most important point our group discussed was making sure the safety, health and distance is maintained between the population of the seals, the horses and the vegetation. Less human contact, the better. • Being able to monitor how close visitors get to the animals. We are worried that given the largeness of the island this might be difficult to control • There needs to be strict regulations when people visit and if those rules are broken, heavy fines should exist to deter these actions. • Check before building any sort of walkways for visitors that it will not disturb the vegetation and not limit the horse on their movement from each side of the Island.
  • mountainartist 5 months ago
    If Parks Canada is going to establish a quota system for visitors to Sable, do not let the quota "slip" (increase) as has happened with Yoho's Lake O'Hara. Above all, protect this unique place!
  • Ottawa Let's Talk 5 months ago
    - There’s a balance between preservation of the island and sharing it with visitors so people want it to be preserved. We’d hate to see the health of the system of the island be negatively impacted by visitor experience.- Camping on Sable Island would be a once in a lifetime experience for visitors. It would be important to consider how these visitors would be supervised, and how to keep the ecosystem and the visitors safe- Garbage that washes up on the island serves as a reminder of what happens to plastics that enter the oceans. This could be a learning experience for visitors to the island. Maybe people could keep space in their luggage to go back to the mainland with a couple pieces of plastic to throw away properly.- A visitor centre would be important to educate visitors before visiting the island. Having this centre on the mainland would allow those who can’t visit to learn about the island and its’ history. A virtual reality experience would be a great way for people to visit without leaving the mainland. Visitors could feel sand underneath their feet while (virtually) walking around the island.- While discussing infrastructure on the island we’re wondering what’s necessary to support visitation. Bathrooms, first aid stations and other emergency supplies might be necessary. Visitors with certain health concerns may be at risk!- A way to ensure that visitors respect the island and its unique ecosystem is to invite visitors to come visit and learn about the island, rather than a vacation. Before coming they could be educated on the importance of the site. Volunteering on the island could be made part of the visit. The visit could focus on leave no trace principles. Could this be done through tour operators? Another way to ensure visitors respect the island is to talk about the mental health benefits of nature and visiting the island. By preserving this island, your mental health can also benefit!- Since Sable Island often inspires art, an artist in residency program could be a tool to share the beauty of the island.- We believe a limited number of visitors is important to respect the fragile ecosystem of the island. Maybe visitors could apply to visit by lottery!- While on the island, supervision is important so that visitors follow rules put in place to keep the ecosystem, horses and other animals, and visitors safe!  “No horsing around!!!”
  • Janmer 6 months ago
    Protecting the health of the ecosystem is the key priority. This should include protocols to ensure visitors are not inadvertently bringing new invasive species to the island. Any visitation should include an interpretive element so visitors understand the unique features of the island, why they are important and how they can help protect these features while on the island and after they leave.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Sealiz 5 months ago
      This is actually already done. Visitors to Sable either in a tour or by private boat are briefed as to what they can do and where they can go. Parks can clarify this .
  • Group - Friends of Sable Island - 322 5 months ago
    1. Recognize that Sable Island has a maximum visitor capacity that fluctuates throughout the year. Firstly the capacity is based on protecting its natural environment such as: the freshwater supply; the ability to monitor visitor behaviour; and, the timing of important natural activities like Roseate Tern nesting and hatching. Also for its optimal infrastructure requirements including waste management, and human safety such as the ability to evacuate in an emergency. Don’t let it be loved to death – see a cautionary tale at 2. There are different types of visitors. Researchers should be given priority over those who visit for personal pleasure. So too should museums, universities, historians, artists, and others who demonstrate a desire to benefit the Island in some way. Make the Island more accessible to these groups by incenting them to go and bring back their learnings and stories to share with others. Example incentives would be discounting fees, covering travel costs, and providing insurance coverage or helping to reduce insurance costs.3. Set a limit on the number of visitors permitted on the Island based on the capacity of the Island and Parks Canada staff to handle them. This should be set each year after determining the other priority activities (e.g. infrastructure maintenance and research). Consider a maximum number of visitors at any one time, and total number over the year. Minimize the number of visitors staying overnight on the Island as they will have a higher impact on the Island’s resources. Standardize and enforce appropriate biosecurity measures.4. Tourism should be zero-impact, with visitors leaving only footprints. Encourage same-day and boat-based tourism with educated and knowledgeable tour companies who have been trained and certified by Parks Canada. Establish visitation zones like the beaches, main station, certain ponds, and other areas where supervision can be provided. Carefully vet those who wish to travel without a certified guide to understand what they intend to do on Sable Island and how it will benefit the Island and others.5. Develop and promote off-island activities, like an interpretation centre and virtual tours. There will always be those who wish to visit but can’t because of the cost, mobility challenges, or other factors. Find creative ways to manage the demand for visitation and make it accessible to those who aren’t able to travel there.
  • aduncan 5 months ago
    Not every park under Parks Canada management needs to be a park for the people. We should try to manage some wild spaces without the need for people to be able to go there. Respect and care for the wildlife in this instance is what's important. Because it's such a complex and delicate environment can there really be any safe number of visitors? Personally, I would like to go to Sable, but do I think just because it's a park I should be allowed to visit? No.
  • University of Calgary Parks Canada Club - 6 5 months ago
    1. Limited access for the general public. Visitation could be managed by an application system that has a screening process and asks equitable questions. Visits should have a purpose: whether its for an educational experience or for an opportunity to provide an artistic representation of the island (ex. to film or paint the island). 2. Only allow visitors who aren't researchers to places where there is already human infrastructure.i) Limit access to the island during breeding season to prevent ecological disruptions3. No permanent infrastructure for tourism (like hotels or gift ships) built on the island.4. Let the natural world be itself. The rawness of the landscape is part of what makes Sable Island as spectacular as it is. 5. Devise a method to provide sustainable transportation to island (can renewables be used for the ships or helicopters?)
  • UPEI Campus Club - 10 5 months ago
    1. Protecting the Ecosystem , 2. “Have enough people to manage the people” 3. Smaller groups are better for visitors (if they allow visitors).How do we enforce people to follow the rules for Parks Canada at Sable Island?: The package you pay for visitation could include a “Sable Suit” which would be the clothes that they would give you once you reach the island to put on as “sanitary” clothes to not spread disease but would also be a cool souvenir. Every year do a pool system, which would limit the amount of visitation each year. Have people apply to visit Sable and pick from this pool. Find ways to decrease the cost of transportation to Sable, don't make people pay extraordinary transportation costs to go. If Sable is open to visitation it needs to be accessible financially to all. Outreach: Have a virtual reality where people can experience Sable Island without physically being there.Question: Would boat traffic affect the seal/other marine population?
  • Slowboatin 5 months ago
    Not to be rude, but the most important factor for staff to be reminded of is that they don’t know what’s best. Just because one or ten people say “let’s build a floating dock and welcome campers” doesn’t mean it’s a good idea on Sable Island. The hardest thing for staff to say and do is nothing and in the case of Sable Island, that’s the right response. Given that limited scientific research is hopefully not harmful (and I’m not so sure about that), the Island should be protected from visitors and Parks Canada mandarins. I’m a fan of National Parks and use one frequently but Sable isn’t like the rest.
  • RichardL 5 months ago
    Maintaining fragile ecosystem
  • Halifax Support group for People Who Stutter - 4 5 months ago
    Visitation should be minimal. Please find alternative ways to connect with the Island – an example was given by a member of our group from years ago, where members of the public could own something that connected with the Island; this would be like "adopting a horse" or somthing similar; or having professional daily/weekly feed of video/photography made available to all; but we shouldn't all be invited to visit!. Maintaining the health of the ecosystem should be the main priority. This should be properly studied. Our group strongly felt that Sable Island should not be "developed" such that it became akin to a zoo! It's such a small place, and needs treating with respect.It should not be posible to visit the island just because one has money! Access should be fair (and minimal) to everyone.
  • wcrobart 6 months ago
    As someone born and raised in Nova Scotia, I want to go see the island. I don't think it should be such a big deal to do so. It should not cost a gazillion dollars. Don't tell me how great a place is, show me wonderful pictures of the place and then say, "BTW you can't go there, unless you're rich, won some sort of a lottery, or a scientist or are in some way "special"." Open it up to everyone - at least a piece of it - I don't need the run of the entire island, but I want to go see the seals, horses, dunes - the highlights. Let's have a semi-regular ferry service over to it in the summer months.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
      To try and be clear on the cost of visitation: everybody today is pretty much aware that it is high but I think there are misconceptions on where that cost is coming from. Right now, the ~$6000 cost of the air charter is over 90% of the total cost of the visit by air 9that is just how much it costs to rent the airplane for the day) and yet there is no cost to a visit by private vessel (beyond the personal investment). Cruise ships also (I believe) are still not paying a user fee for bringing in high numbers of people in concentrated visits. The entire fee structure, beyond what the carriers are charging, needs examination and to be made to account for total impact, risk, and effort on the part of PCA to support.There is no dock at sable, no harbour at all, and so vessel landings are very precarious and unpredictable at best.Same with travel by air, there is no airport and no proper "runway".There is no simple way to get to the island and wont be until technology changes.
  • Aaron Carpenter 5 months ago
    There has been no real study done on the total impacts of visitation. The true impact of visitation goes far beyond looking at what plants and dunes get stepped on or what wildlife gets disturbed by the actual visitor. There is a further and greater impact created by the background efforts that go into supporting these visits. Visitation is only part of the PCA mandate and I’d like to see more emphasis placed on other aspects of their mandate, such as ecological and cultural preservation, and the cost of visitation increased to better reflect the actual cost of supporting it. Access to Sable Island is challenging at best and the public are aware of most of the basic reasons why this is so but so far the reaction to the problem has always been to work harder and be more innovative in finding ways to work with and around the challenges and outdated methods, rather than to take a step back and establish priorities.Sable Island is not an inherently dangerous place, but I believe most people take for granted the risks they take in traveling to such an isolated place where conventional emergency services are not available. People also take for granted their means of transportation but there are great risks involved when the airplane breaks down, the zodiac capsizes, or the pilot or yacht captain becomes ill or injured.It has been my experience that PCA is has been absorbing at least most of the responsibility for these risks and impacts, which to a certain extent is fair enough, but I believe there is a point at which the “operator” of the visit should be taking a greater responsibility for their actual or potential situations and their impact.It has been my experience that the term “visitor” is used very loosely and is become misleading. Even among tourists there are distinctions, such as those who try and market their experiences for profit and those with historical connections.I do not believe PCA is or ever will/should be in a position to offer overnight experiences on the island any more, nor do I believe there is value to them when compared to the costs, impacts, and implications. PCA has a lot of work to do on infrastructure before this can even be considered. It may seem simple enough to just let people camp there in the mean time, but there would still be many aspects to consider in terms of access, emergency response, waste management, communications, etc.
  • Youth Panel_16 6 months ago
    -A trip to Sable should be a reward to environmental people who have earned the honor, and the trips should be documented and shared. -Big corporations should be prevented from being a part of the experience-Visitors should complete a course before going. -Value Intimacy- smaller groups are better than large ones-Have off grid accommodations for school trips (who are well informed and prepared)-Limit overnight visitors as it will have environmental impact-Don’t make it too easy to visit (financially and physically)-Create a waitlist for visitors