Nova Scotia invests $6.5 million in strategic land purchases

HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia government has just announced it will invest $6.5 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year for purchasing and protecting ecologically-significant properties.

“This is welcome news,” says Chris Miller, National Conservation Biologist, for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), based in Halifax. “Nova Scotia doesn’t have very much public land, so the types of strategic land purchases that will result from this new funding is significant for conservation.”

Only about 30% of Nova Scotia is public land, one of the lowest percentages of any province in Canada. The lack of public land makes it harder for the provincial government to protect large tracts of wilderness and ecologically-significant properties.

CPAWS encourages the Nova Scotia government to acquire the most ecologically-significant properties possible, particularly sites with old-growth Acadian forest, coastal ecosystems, and habitat for rare and endangered species. Properties adjacent to existing protected areas are also significant for conservation.

Today’s announcement by the Nova Scotia government indicates that the lands will purchased for the creation of new protected areas. The province has a legal commitment to protect at least 12% of the Nova Scotia landmass by 2015.

“Many of the most ecologically-significant properties in Nova Scotia occur on private lands,” adds Miller, “So, a comprehensive strategy to protect wilderness must include funding to purchase and protect these sites”.

Chris Miller, Ph.D.
National Conservation Biologist
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society