News release

Province Protects More Wilderness Areas

NOTE: A social media version of this release with hi-res, downloadable photos is available at novascotia.ca/news/smr/2012-06-06-Protected-Areas/. Audio and video clips will be added later today.

The province is making the largest addition to its protected areas system since 1998 with the designation of Kelley River and Raven Head in Cumberland County as the newest wilderness areas.

Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar, on behalf of Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau and Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker, announced the new protected areas today, June 6, in Amherst.

"Kelley River and Raven Head wilderness areas are significant additions to protected areas in Nova Scotia," said Mr. Skabar. "This will preserve important forest, watersheds, fossil cliffs and habitat for a small population of endangered mainland moose and other species at risk."

Twenty-three additions are also being made to nine existing wilderness areas. The new protected lands bring the province to 9.4 per cent of its goal to legally protect 12 per cent of lands by 2015.

The province worked closely with local, provincial and regional environmental organizations, off-highway vehicle groups, and others to plan the new wilderness areas.

"The Kelley River and Raven Head wilderness areas will protect the living legacy of coastlines, forests, rivers and wetlands at the heart of Cumberland County, ensuring a vital future for the plant, animal and human communities who call this place home," said Harry Thurston of Cumberland Wilderness.

"We want to thank the many volunteers and environmental organizations whose dedication to conservation made this day possible, as well as the government itself for its commitment to the province’s natural heritage."

The new wilderness areas will provide opportunities for recreation, camping, sportfishing, hunting, canoeing, education, research, community stewardship and other activities. Some vehicle access will be permitted on existing forest access roads and trails.

"The government is doing a very good job on protected areas," said Raymond Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. "It is to be commended for designating these two magnificent wilderness areas and, in so doing, moving closer to meeting the important 12 per cent land protection goal by 2015. We are delighted and encourage government to keep up the good work."

"Chignecto is Nova Scotia's last big wilderness," said Chris Miller, national conservation biologist for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "By protecting this national treasure, with its vast Acadian forests and wild Bay of Fundy coastline, the province is demonstrating clear leadership in large landscape-level conservation planning and is taking a major step forward in protecting our natural areas."

For more information on the new wilderness areas, a list of the 23 additions and the province's goal of protecting 12 per cent of its lands by 2015, visit www.gov.ns.ca/nse/12percent

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is making the largest addition to its protected areas system since 1998 with the announcement of Kelley River and Raven Head in Cumberland County as the newest wilderness areas.

Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar, on behalf of Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau and Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker, announced the new protected areas today (June 6th) in Amherst.

The province is also making 23 additions to nine existing wilderness areas. The new protected lands bring the province to 9.4 per cent of its goal to legally protect 12 per cent of lands by 2015.

These areas will provide opportunities for wilderness recreation, camping, sportfishing, hunting, canoeing, education, research, community stewardship and other activities. Some vehicle access will be permitted on existing forest access roads and trails.

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Media Contacts:

Lori Errington
Department of Environment 902-424-7420 Cell-497-7324 E-mail:
Bruce Nunn
Natural Resources 902-424-5239 Cell: 902-476-6454 E-mail: