Locals upset Buffaloland will be run by non-profit
Tourism minister calls deal 'great opportunity' for community, buffalo
The province announced Tuesday evening that Buffaloland Provincial Park will be taken over by a non-profit group, and this — as well as the fact members of the group did not attend the announcement — has local residents upset.
Residents voiced concerns at Tuesday's public meeting about the province entering into a conveyance agreement with the Moonlight International Foundation to run the park, a deal that cost the group $1.
Antonin Seror said the government is backing away from running provincial parks, such as Buffaloland, which is located in Milltown Cross, south of Montague.
"As much as they don't believe it, people want to see this part of the Island. They want the calmness, they want to see the green spaces, and nothing is being done," said Seror.
Buffaloland Provincial Park will continue to run much like it has in the past, only the non-profit foundation will carry all costs of running the park, said Tourism Minister Robert Henderson.
"It's a great opportunity for the community, for the buffalo to remain at this particular property. And it's also an opportunity to make sure that they're looked after in a proper manner."
Members of the Moonlight International Foundation were not in attendance at the public meeting, nor have they responded to interview requests from the media.
The foundation stated in a press release that its mission is to rescue and protect animals.
"I think if you're going to turn the operation over of a park over to an outside group that's a private group, they certainly have to be here to answer questions by the public and community," said NDP Leader Mike Redmond.
If Moonlight International doesn't uphold the conditions, ownership will revert back to the province, said the government.