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New protected areas in New Brunswick encouraging step in right direction - more work needed

  • Published on Oct 28 2008 |
  • This article is tagged as: new brunswick

Fredericton – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, New Brunswick Chapter (CPAWS NB) welcomes today’s announcement by the New Brunswick government of 30 new Protected Natural Areas, while also calling for speedier and larger-scale action in the future to safeguard New Brunswick’s remaining unprotected wilderness.

“These new public land protected areas are relatively small but they’re important for conserving the province’s diverse habitats,” says Roberta Clowater, Executive Director of CPAWS NB.

The newly-named protected areas include ecologically sensitive seabird nesting habitat on the Bay of Fundy’s Whitehorse Island, and important wildlife habitat in the middle of an old forest area that is still road-free at Upsalquitch Forks, in the Restigouche watershed.  

“We’re calling on the government to move now to larger-scale wilderness conservation planning. There is convincing scientific research from the international Two Countries, One Forest organization that shows wildlife depend on critical corridors ranging throughout New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia, Maine and Quebec.  This is especially important given the potential wide-ranging impacts of climate change on forests, rivers and wildlife,” says Clowater.

“The recent announcements are a result of implementing New Brunswick’s protected areas plan, but that was adopted in the 1990s and our understanding of the scale of protection that’s needed to protect biodiversity has improved since then,” adds Clowater. 

“We know now, for example, that several large natural areas in the Restigouche River watershed are important to the continued ecological health of the region. By protecting the habitat of Canada lynx, American marten and Atlantic salmon populations, we’ll ensure the health of this region, and protect an important economic sector. 

“The payoff will be the protection of wilderness areas that tourists and local entrepreneurs will derive value from for generations to come,” says Clowater.

New Brunswick still has the lowest proportion of its public land in permanent protected areas of any jurisdiction in Canada. The new protected areas add up to approximately 5,400 hectares of public land. The total of protected lands, including national parks, now stands at 237,500 hectares, or 3.29% of the province. 

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Contact:

Roberta Clowater, 506-452-9902

About CPAWS:
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada\'s voice for wilderness.  For 45 years, CPAWS has worked to ensure that nature comes first in parks management and that protected areas maintain and enhance Canada\'s biodiversity and wilderness.  The New Brunswick chapter, CPAWS NB, was established in 2004, evolving out of the former NB Protected Natural Areas Coalition (NBPNAC). For more information, please visit our web site: www.cpawsnb.org