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Nova Scotia government designates Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area

  • Published on Apr 28 2009 |
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HALIFAX – The public lands of the Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes wilderness, near Halifax, are now officially designated as a protected wilderness area.

The provincial government made the announcement on April 21st, one day ahead of Earth Day.  This follows through on a promise made by the Province in October 2007 to designate these lands as a legally-protected wilderness area.

“This is great news for conservation in Nova Scotia”, says Chris Miller, National Manager of Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).  “Hundreds of people came to the defense of this area so it’s great to see such a successful outcome for this important wilderness.”

The wilderness area designation will save the lands from the type of sprawling development that has claimed so much forest and wild space near Halifax.

“Protecting Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes is a great thing for Halifax”, says Miller.  “It will conserve green space on the edge of the city and will help protect a network of a dozen inter-connected lakes, only a few kilometres from downtown Halifax”.

The wilderness area designation will also put a stop to clearcutting and open-pit mining in the area.  In the past, several attempts were made to remove the top of Blue Mountain Hill for aggregate.  The wilderness area designation will put a stop to that, once-and-for-all.

Nova Scotia now has 35 wilderness areas.  Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area contains forests, lakes, wetlands, rivers, and barrens, only a short distance from downtown Halifax.  It covers an area approximately 20 times larger than Point Pleasant Park, Halifax’s best known park, or an area approximately three times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver.  It also contains over 200 species of birds and habitat for species-at-risk, including the endangered mainland moose.

In addition to the wilderness area designation on public lands, the Halifax Regional Municipality has also committed to establishing a regional park on adjoining lands.

A coalition of groups has worked to protect Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes, including CPAWS, Halifax Field Naturalists, Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia, Halifax North West Trails Association, and Ecology Action Centre.

For more information about the Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area, check out the CPAWS Nova Scotia website:
http://cpawsns.org/campaigns/protect-our-land/bmbcl/

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Contact:

Chris Miller, Ph.D.
National Manager,
Wilderness Conservation and Climate Change
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
cmiller@cpaws.org
(902)446-4155