News release

Nature Reserve Lands More Than Doubled

Nova Scotia has more than doubled its nature reserve lands with the designation of four new reserves and the expansion of another.

The new reserves feature bogs, a mature Red Oak forest, an old- growth Acadian mixed forest, the endangered thread-leaved sundew plant, coastal headlands and barrens.

"These reserves are peaceful places where we just let nature be, untouched," said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. "We're protecting these places so Nova Scotians will always enjoy the beauty of our natural environment and the knowledge gained by studying it."

The province now has 11 nature reserves totalling 3,140 hectares, up from 1,360 hectares. They preserve and protect typical and special ecosystems, plants and animals. They also offer research and education opportunities.

The new reserves total about 1,700 hectares. Two are in Yarmouth County -- the Great Barren and Quinan Lakes Nature Reserve near Quinan, and Spinneys Heath Nature Reserve near Argyle. The others include Quinns Meadow Nature Reserve near Clyde River, Shelburne Co., and Duncans Cove Nature Reserve in Halifax Regional Municipality.

MacFarlane Woods Nature Reserve, near Mabou, Inverness Co., was designated in 1988 with 52.5 hectares. It is now 132 hectares -- more than double its original size. About 58 per cent of this land is owned by area resident Jim St. Clair who is allowing it to be used as part of the nature reserve.

"From the time my ancestors arrived here in 1820, these woods have provided clean air, protection against the wind, and a glorious site in all seasons," said Mr. St. Clair. "Our family made a good decision to set this area aside, and the partnership with the provincial government is helpful to preserve it for future generations to treasure."

The new and expanded nature reserves help meet commitments in the government's green plan, Toward a Sustainable Environment, to protect more of Nova Scotia's natural environment.

About 8.2 per cent of land in Nova Scotia is protected through the combined efforts of the provincial and federal governments, and organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

All of Nova Scotia's nature reserves are described on the department's website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/pareas .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia has more than doubled its nature reserve lands.

The province has designated four new reserves and expanded another.

The four new reserves are in Yarmouth and Shelburne counties, and Halifax Regional Municipality.

The expanded reserve is in Mabou, Inverness County.

The province now has 11 nature reserves totalling more than 31-hundred hectares, up from more than 13-hundred.

Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash says these reserves are peaceful places where nature is left untouched.

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Contact:

Adèle Poirier
Nova Scotia Environment and Labour 902-424-6427 E-mail:
jal            December 8, 2004         9:13 A.M.