The Rankin government intends to designate 61 more wilderness areas, nature reserves and provincial parks across the province to protect Nova Scotia’s unique biodiversity and habitats for mainland moose, Atlantic salmon, migratory birds and other species.
In celebration of Earth Day – today, April 22 – Premier Iain Rankin and Environment and Climate Change Minister Keith Irving joined Brendan Maguire, MLA for Halifax Atlantic, and Rafah DiCostanzo, MLA for Clayton Park West, for a walk at two of the proposed sites: Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area and Herring Cove Provincial Park.
“I promised to put more emphasis on conservation and this announcement is another step in fulfilling that promise,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “Nova Scotia has protected more provincial Crown land than other jurisdictions in Canada, and I am committed to continuing this practice. I know how important our parks and protected areas are for enjoyment, quality of life and the wellbeing of Nova Scotians.”
The province will be consulting with Nova Scotians on these proposed sites. A 60-day, online consultation will launch soon, and Nova Scotians will be notified.
“In this list of 61 new protected areas there is an important mix of natural environments that Nova Scotians want protected: coastline, mature forests, waterways, corridors for wildlife, and parks that are accessible," said Environment and Climate Change Minister Keith Irving. "The diversity of these parks and protected areas is an impressive representation of the extraordinary beauty of our province.”
We have seen record visitors to our provincial parks year over year. These new areas will be welcome additions to our provincial park network for the public to enjoy for generations to come. Lands and Forestry Minister Chuck Porter
With the intended creation of 61 new protected areas in Nova Scotia, this is an important milestone for the protection of nature. The proposed expansion to Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area is particularly exciting, as it provides a key public access point to enjoy this near-urban wilderness. Chris Miller, executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Nova Scotia Chapter
- in February, the government announced it will achieve its 13 per cent land protection goal. The consultation has now ended on sites announced earlier, and government will release more information about formal designations soon
- these additional 61 sites will support government’s new 14 per cent land protection goal
- since 2013, more than 150 sites have been protected
- these areas will protect habitat for mainland moose, migratory birds and Atlantic salmon, and help efforts to conserve species at risk, old and mature forests and coastal ecosystems