Nova Scotia protects 27 additional natural areas
Published on Sep 30 2019
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS) welcomes today’s announcement by the Nova Scotia government that it will establish 27 new protected areas in the province.
“These are really special places to protect”, says Chris Miller, Executive Director for CPAWS-NS and long-time advocate for protected areas in Nova Scotia. “St. Mary’s River, Mabou Highlands, and McGowan Lake are right at the very top of our priority list for conservation. This is very good news.”
With today’s announcement, the Nova Scotia government has taken another important step toward the full implementation of the ‘Nova Scotia Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan’. That plan was approved by the Nova Scotia government in 2013 and will see nearly 200 new protected areas established in the province, resulting in the permanent legal protection of an additional quarter million hectares of land. Today’s announcement adds approximately fourteen thousand hectares of land toward the provincial system of protected areas.
“These twenty seven new protected areas contain old-growth forests, species-at-risk habitat, significant wetlands and waterways, coastal frontage, large intact forests, and sites important for wilderness recreation”, says Caitlin Grady, a conservation specialist with CPAWS-NS. “We look forward to additional areas being protected in the near future”.
The Nova Scotia government indicated that 17 of these protected areas announced today have already received the required Orders-in-Council to make the legal designations official, while 10 are still awaiting that final step and will be protected before the end of this year.
“We will stay on top of this to ensure that all of the promised protected areas from the Nova Scotia Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan receive the required legal designations,” says Miller. “Natural ecosystems in our province face a tremendous amount of industrial pressure, so it’s crucial that there are places where nature conservation is prioritized.”
Cape Mabou: This new protected wilderness area will protect public lands within the Mabou Highlands, Cape Breton. It contains old-growth hardwood forests and is a crucial site for landscape representation.
St. Mary’s River: This new protected area will protect a long stretch of this ecologically significant river, including highly productive riparian ecosystems, some of the best remaining old-growth forests in Nova Scotia, and crucial habitat for several species at risk including the wood turtle and Atlantic salmon.
McGowan Lake: Located in southwestern Nova Scotia, this new protected wilderness area will help conserve a high concentration of rare and endangered species, including Blanding’s turtles and rare coastal plain flora.
St. Margaret’s Bay Islands Nature Reserve: This new protected area conserves a group of islands in St Margaret’s Bay that contain seabird colonies and a wide variety of coastal ecosystem types.
Holden Lake Wilderness Area: This new protected area in southwestern Nova Scotia contains large intact forests and fills a big gap in the existing system of protected areas.
High-resolution images of the new protected areas are available upon request.