Consultation Will Help Choose Protected Lands

Environment

June 16, 2011 2:40 PM

A social media version of this release with hi-res, downloadable photos is available at http://gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2011-06-16-Protected-Lands . More photos, audio and video clips will be added after the event.

Nova Scotia has taken a major step forward toward meeting its goal to protect 12 per cent of Nova Scotia's lands by 2015.

Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau today, June 16, invited Nova Scotians to help choose which lands should be protected. Our Wild Spaces, a discussion document, was also released to support the consultation.

"As a father and grandfather, I know how important it is that we protect our environmentally significant lands now and for future generations," said Mr. Belliveau. "Seeking input this early will allow us to be flexible and to make the best decisions for Nova Scotians and the environment."

The province has identified nearly 220,000 hectares of land that may be selected for protection. Much of the land was identified by the 2009 Colin-Stewart Forest Forum, non-government organizations and forestry industry representatives that made recommendations to government based on nearly five years of scientific research.

"This process will ensure that key areas of our biodiversity can be preserved in our provincial parks and other protected areas," said Minister of Natural Resources Charlie Parker.
"Natural Resources leads government efforts to conserve biodiversity in our province, so we are pleased to work closely with Environment on this next step toward meeting Nova Scotia's land protection goal."

"The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia have a special relationship with the land and its resources since time immemorial," said Chief Leroy Denny. "We recognize that the 12 per cent protected lands goal is an important step in ensuring that the ecological integrity of Nova Scotia's lands and resources are here for all future generations."

Public feedback will be incorporated into a draft plan, which will be released for provincewide consultation next year before any final decisions are made on which lands will be protected.

"This is an important day for conservation in Nova Scotia," said Chris Miller, national conservation biologist for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "This announcement brings the government one step closer to expanding the system of protected areas in the province and achieving its land conservation targets."

Interested groups are encouraged to contact the Department of Environment by Aug. 1 to arrange an information meeting.

Written comments on the 12 per cent review lands will be accepted until Dec. 1 at Department of Environment, Protected Areas Branch, Box 442, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2P8 and by e-mail at protectedareas@gov.ns.ca .

If the postal service disruption continues, written comments can be submitted to any local Department of Environment office.

Our Wild Spaces and maps of the 12 per cent review lands can be viewed at www.gov.ns.ca/nse/12percent/ . More detail about land parcels will be available by the end of July.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia has taken a major step forward toward meeting

its goal to protect 12 per cent of Nova Scotia's lands by 2015.

     Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau invites Nova

Scotians to help choose which lands should be protected. He

announced consultations and the discussion document Our Wild

Spaces.

     Public feedback will be accepted until December 1st. A draft

plan on reaching the 12 per cent goal will be released in 2012.

     Our Wild Spaces and information on the lands being

considered for protection, can be found at the Department of

Environment website.

-30-

Media Contact: Lori Errington
              Department of Environment
              902-424-7420
              Cell 902-497-7324
              E-mail: erringla@gov.ns.ca