News Release Archive

The Shelburne River, which flows for 53 kilometres through remote
wilderness in Digby and Queens counties in southwestern Nova
Scotia, has been officially designated as Nova Scotia's first
heritage river under the Canadian Heritage Rivers program.

At a riverside ceremony today in Queens County, Natural Resources
Minister Ken MacAskill said he is proud the Shelburne River is
part of a program that promotes national recognition of
outstanding rivers in this country.

"Most important, this program ensures long-term conservation of
the natural, cultural and recreational values of heritage rivers
for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations,"
said Mr. MacAskill. "Participation in the program is a clear
demonstration of our government's commitment to conservation and
protection of outstanding natural and wilderness areas in Nova

More than 67 per cent of the land bordering on the Shelburne
River is provincial Crown land, most of it in the Tobeatic
candidate protected area. The lower third of the river passes
through lands owned mainly by Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd.

"We are proud to be partners in this initiative which continues
our tradition of recognizing special areas of our woodlands under
Bowater's Unique Areas Program," said Jon Porter, vice-president,
forest products division, Bowater Mersey. "We have owned and
managed these lands along the Shelburne River since the late
1920s. In the Shelburne River management plan, we have committed
to maintaining a special management corridor comprising about
1,300 acres of our lands to ensure that the integrity and
wilderness value of the river are protected."

About six per cent of the land along the river belongs to Nova
Scotia Power Inc.'s Mersey Hydro System. The company has had a
presence on the river since 1929 and the Mersey facility is its
second-largest hydro-generating system.

"Environmental stewardship is very much a part of our day-to-day
business," said Roger Munroe, superintendent of Nova Scotia
Power's Western Hydro System. "We are proud to be a partner in
and a supporter of this initiative."

About five per cent of the watershed for the Shelburne River
falls within Kejimkujik National Park in north Queens County. The
river flows close to the southern boundary of the park and
interconnects with two canoe routes into the park.

"The Shelburne is the 20th river to be commemorated as a proud
addition to the Canadian heritage river system," said Mart
Johanson, who represented Parks Canada at today's ceremony.
Mr. Johanson is field unit superintendent for mainland Nova

A management plan for the Shelburne River has been developed in
consultation with the public and in co-operation with Bowater
Mersey, Nova Scotia Power and Parks Canada. The plan proposes
several key actions, including: formal protection of the Tobeatic
candidate protected area; establishment of a management corridor
by Bowater where the river flows on company lands; implementation
of a wilderness recreation management strategy; and preparation
of an interpretive plan.

"Local people have known and respected the value, beauty and
significance of the Shelburne River for many generations," said
Mr. MacAskill. "Now, through this management plan, the qualities
that make it special will be protected for generations to come."

A plaque unveiled today commemorating the Shelburne's designation
as a Canadian heritage river will be permanently set in place at
a later date.


Contact: Blain Henshaw
         Department of Natural Resources, Halifax

         Robyn Anthony or Mary Kingston
         Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd., Liverpool

         Margaret Cassidy
         Nova Scotia Power Inc., Halifax

         Michel Latremouille
         Parks Canada, Halifax

ngr                   September 19, 1997                1:45 pm