April 22, 2021 , K’JIPUKTUK/HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS) welcomes today’s announcement by the Nova Scotia government that it will establish 61 new protected areas in the province.
“This is the largest number of new protected areas that has been announced since 2015,” says Chris Miller, Executive Director of CPAWS-NS. “It significantly closes the gap on the total number of sites remaining from the Nova Scotia Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan that are still awaiting legal protection.”
Prior to today’s announcement, there were approximately 175 promised sites from that plan still in need of official designation.
Included in today’s announcement is a much-needed expansion to the Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. The Nova Scotia government will expand the protected area boundary for this near-urban wilderness park in Halifax to include additional public lands in the Charlies Lake and Kearney Lake area.
“I’m particularly excited about the expansion to Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area,” says Miller. “This announcement means that a proper access point can now be established, which will allow for key improvements to the wilderness hiking trail system in this park.”
The full list of new protected areas includes 6 wilderness areas, 6 nature reserves, and 49 provincial parks. Some of these new sites are expansions to existing parks and protected areas.
In addition to the 61 new protected areas announced today, 12 additional sites have recently completed public consultation and will soon be designated by the Nova Scotia government as well. This includes Sackville River Wilderness Area.
“The planet is facing the dual crises of a climate emergency and the collapse of biodiversity,” says Miller. “We must be ambitious in our environmental actions as we are very quickly running out of time.”
Premier Iain Rankin has committed to fully implementing the Nova Scotia Our Parks and Protected Areas Plan. Today’s announcement of 61 new protected areas is the first step in completing this task.
“With the 61 new protected areas, this closes the gap by about a third, which is great news,” says Miller. “We look forward to the next batch of protected areas being announced soon, so that all of the promised protected areas can be officially established by the end of this year.”
CPAWS-NS is a grassroots, science-based, non-government organization that works to protect public lands in Nova Scotia.
High resolution photographs available.
Chris Miller, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Nova Scotia Chapter