East Coast Trail attack misinformed

Published on August 30, 2014

The misinformed attack on the integrity of the esteemed registered charity, East Coast Trail Association, by a disgruntled spokesperson for the developer of land at Ragged Beach is deserving of retort. (“East Coast Trail Association has lost its way,” Aug. 21).

Vladimir Putin has a better claim to land in the Ukraine than the developer has to land where the East Coast Trail meanders through at Ragged Beach, Witless Bay.

The trail referred to by the developer has been a public trail widely used by residents of the area for more than 100 years. There are additional trails in the vicinity of land claimed by the developer that are also public trails, and not trails to their land as previously claimed by encroaching developers.

It appears that in the developer’s world, repeated simple repetition of a claim will attach credibility to it.

The developer seems to have forgotten the law of the land we witless inhabitants accept as the norm. The developer’s claim to land at Ragged Beach, through which the East Coast Trail meanders, is grounded in a small patch of land used for occasional trespass potato growing.

It is more than likely that Crown Lands has a claim based in documented history.

We are now led to believe that potato gardens grow along with the potatoes. I used that trick once with a fish I caught and kept in my freezer, and that grew as I continued to tell my great fish-catch story.

I notice that the developers were recently down on the public trail talking to hikers and attempting to cement their claim to the magic potato growing garden.

In local parlance, “oh me nerves.”

The developers may have a claim to a small potato patch.

However, claiming land that is a conservation area along a stream held as sacred ground by residents, is absurd.

Purchasing land from someone who does not have title, with no history of title, and where only occasional trespass occurred is not prudent.

It is not wise to blame a community, a town council and an esteemed charity for title shortcomings.

Criticizing a charity dedicated to protecting public shoreline from encroaching developers is sure to gain popularity with the residents — how is that going?

The East Coast Trail Association (ECTA) has never acquired private land, nor does the ECTA have any obligation to consult developers on publicly owned Crown land that has had publicly owned trails for over a hundred years.

ECTA jurisdiction and maintenance of the publicly owned trail is a matter of legislation, and not subject to the whims of private developers.

The developers had previously accused the town council of Witless Bay with unsubstantiated charges of conflict of interest.

This attack on the integrity of town council members was unwarranted and unjustified.

Edward Vickers

Gallows Cove, Witless Bay