03 May Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia, Canada
Within the eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the Eastern Shore is a largely rural region of the mainland, northeast of Halifax along the Atlantic Ocean coast. The Eastern Shore is home to the Acadian forest, a unique woodland comprised of a mixture of uneven-aged hardwood and softwood trees that extends across eastern Canadian and the northeastern United States. Access to this wilderness is valuable for economic, recreational, aesthetic and spiritual reasons. Much of the Acadian forest along the Eastern Shore has been logged extensively. This has impacted the Eastern Shore, as did the stunning collapse of groundfish stocks in the early 1990s, which not only resulted in significant ecological loss, but also decreased economic resiliency, driving rural depopulation. Many have speculated that there was an accompanying collapse in the sense of rural coastal identity. Various community groups have been key local actors in the Eastern Shore forestry and wilderness conversation. Local actors or ‘local champions’ within the above groups were crucial drivers of change in this story, facilitating collaborations amongst diverse stakeholders to achieve transformative outcomes.