The province continues to protect the environment and strengthen the economy with strategic land investments.
Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell, announced today, Feb. 17, that the province has purchased 9,710 acres of land from Wagner Forest Nova Scotia Ltd. The most significant parcels include:
The land will support wilderness protection, heritage conservation, tourism, recreation, community use, fishing, hunting, and potential eco-tourism Mi'kmaq uses.
"This purchase is a unique opportunity for the province," said Mr. MacDonell. "Coastal property is generally the most highly sought after and expensive land. This is a smart investment that will benefit the environment and provide tourism and recreation opportunities."
Almost all of the $9-million purchase has been acquired to help the province reach its conservation goals.
"We are thrilled with the opportunity to protect a significant piece of Nova Scotia's coast and other wilderness," said Sterling Belliveau, Minister of Environment. "We will be consulting with key organizations and Nova Scotians on these lands as part of the broader land protection process."
The province's goal is to protect 12 per cent of its land mass by 2015. Currently, 8.6 per cent of the province's land mass is protected. Detailed protection decisions will be made over the next few years.
Raymond Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre, said his organization is delighted with the land acquisition.
"We are especially pleased to see the large coastal area along the Bay of Fundy included," said Mr. Plourde. "The province owns only about five per cent of Nova Scotia's coastline, so acquisitions like this are rare and very important from a social, ecological and a tourism perspective. We applaud the government's efforts in this regard."
The province has now invested $54 million of the $75 million budgeted for large land purchases and expects to make further announcements soon.
To negotiate a price within the province's budget, Wagner will be allowed to harvest about one quarter of the Apple Head area over the next two years. A 200-metre buffer zone has been established along the coastline and in ravines, where the harvest will be limited or excluded. Special wildlife areas will also be protected from harvest.
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