Wentworth Valley Wilderness Area will help create year-round tourism and business opportunities for Nova Scotians while protecting forest and habitat for wildlife.
Environment Minister Margaret Miller announced the designation of the new 1,954-hectare wilderness area in Colchester and Cumberland counties today, Nov. 26.
“Wilderness areas protect nature, of course. But they also offer opportunities for recreation, education, research, and economic development,” said Ms. Miller. “They can support local economies through nature tourism which provides jobs and attracts visitors to nearby communities and local businesses.
“We are pleased to extend protection to the Wentworth Valley and expect to announce other new and expanded protected areas over the coming months.”
A report prepared by Gardner Pinfold shows many commercial benefits of Nova Scotia’s protected areas. It notes that some businesses in the province are built primarily on revenue from people seeking wilderness area experiences. It also notes that the long-term protection of these areas gives businesses certainty to invest and grow.
“Ski Wentworth has been exploring opportunities to expand into four season operation. With the Wentworth Valley Wilderness Area protected, it will further enhance this region as a destination for four season eco-tourism,” said Leslie Wilson, president of Ski Wentworth. “The Wentworth Valley Wilderness Area will help ensure wildlife sanctuary and recreational opportunities for a healthier Nova Scotia population.”
Ms. Miller also announced the designation of two other protected areas near Oxford, Cumberland Co. Chase Lake Wilderness Area covers 874 hectares and Steepbank Brook Nature Reserve covers 202 hectares.
With these designations, Nova Scotia’s protected land now totals about 689,000 hectares. More information, including the report on commercial benefits, is available at http://novascotia.ca/nse/protectedareas.