More detail on protected areas from EAC

As you are now aware, the Nova Scotia Government has passed legislation that commits to protecting 12 percent of Nova Scotia’s landmass by 2015. The purpose is to preserve important remaining natural areas and habitat for species. To meet this target, an additional 3.4 percent (188,961 hectares) of the province will need to be protected.

As a result of the Colin Stewart Forest Forum, a collaborative, science-based process by major environmental groups, forestry companies and the Nova Scotia government, a preliminary map has been produced which identifies lands with high ecological value that are to be considered for inclusion in the province’s protected areas network. The map is available online at: . Some, but not all of these sites will be protected. Which areas get protected and which ones don’t will likely come down to which ones have strong public support.

The provincial government is currently calling for groups and individuals to come forward and provide feedback on the sites that have been identified for possible protection. The Ecology Action Center is reaching out to community organizations and encouraging them to become “local champions” for important land patches in and around their region. It would like to offer support and encouragement that yourself, or someone within your group, take the lead in ensuring that the government is made aware that members of your community are supportive of the creation of a protected area. This is an important step in the production of a draft protected areas plan, which will take into account public interest (and opposition) for each area under consideration.

They ask that you take a look at the information related to the 12 percent process at; in particular the “Our Wild Spaces” booklet and the map. Then get in touch with the Protected Areas Branch of the Department of the Environment, by calling (902) 424-2117 or emailing and identifying yourselves as interested in being a part of their public consultation and land review process which begins in September.

The Ecology Action Center is willing to assist you or answer any questions you or your group may have regarding the 12 percent by 2015 initiative. Theye would like to thank you for your commitment to nature conservation and look forward to working together to improve the protected areas network in Nova Scotia.

The EAC contact is Pat Nussey

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