News release

Land Purchase Helps 12 Per Cent Target, Protects Jobs

NOTE: A social-media version of this release, with hi-res downloadable photos is available at http://gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2012-01-06-Land-Purchase/ . Downloadable audio and video clips will be added after the event.

The province has reached an agreement with Bowater Mersey to purchase 25,000 acres of land that will help Nova Scotia meet its goal to protect 12 per cent of its land mass, provide more recreational opportunities and save thousands of jobs along the South Shore and in southwestern Nova Scotia.

The land includes productive forests, old-growth timber stands, ocean and lake frontage, wetlands and some land of cultural significance to the Mi'kmaq.

"We will soon see highly valuable land back in the hands of Nova Scotians," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "The purchase of these lands enriches our environment, provides us with more land to enjoy, and helps keep a major employer on the South Shore."

As committed by Premier Dexter in December, the province will now work to increase public access to trails as part of the agreement with Bowater. This will ensure more Nova Scotians have a chance to experience the areas' natural beauty.

Most of the land, located in Annapolis, Hants, Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne counties, was identified by the Colin Stewart Forest Forum as having high conservation values and will be included in the protected land process.

"We have been working jointly with the Nova Scotia government to select lands for today's purchase," said Chief Gerard Julian, co-chair of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs. "We are pleased that land with cultural significance for the Mi'kmaq people was among the final parcels selected."

The purchase is part of the province's plan to protect jobs at the Bowater Mersey pulp and paper mill. The total price of the land purchase is $23.7 million.

"Government has done a very good job as part of this package of acquiring provincially significant and irreplaceable high conservation value lands for protection," said Ray Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator, Ecology Action Centre.

"Buying land is always a good investment, and securing high value conservation lands like these is especially good investment for biodiversity and future generations."

"These land purchases are a strategic investment in Nova Scotia's future," said Chris Miller, national conservation biologist with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "The properties are of high conservation value, and support old growth forests, species-at-risk habitat, frontage on significant waterways, and large intact forests."

The land purchases are consistent with the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement.

A map and descriptions of the land are available at http://gov.ns.ca/natr .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province has reached an agreement with Bowater Mersey to buy 25-thousand acres of land that will help Nova Scotia reach its goal to protect 12 per cent of land mass, provide more recreational opportunities and save thousands of jobs along the South Shore and in southwestern Nova Scotia.

The land includes productive forests, old-growth timber stands, ocean and lake frontage, wetlands, and some land of cultural significance to the Mi'kmaq.

Premier Darrell Dexter says the purchase of these lands enriches the environment, provides more land for Nova Scotians to enjoy, and helps keep a major employer on the South Shore.

The land is located in Annapolis, Hants, Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne counties, and is included in the 12 per cent land protection process.

The purchase is part of the province's plan to protect jobs at the Bowater Mersey pulp and paper mill.

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Media Contact:

Dan Davis
Natural Resources 902-424-2354 Cell: 902-225-2501 E-mail: