Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

La Protects 3937 hectares near St. Margaret's Bay

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The St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association works to protect forests on land that is now part of the Island Lake Wilderness Area.

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An area west of Halifax popular for hiking, fishing, camping and the tranquility of nature is now protected.

The new Island Lake Wilderness Area protects 3,937 hectares of land, wetlands and water in the St. Margaret's Bay region .

I spent countless hours, thousands of hours, growing up in the area and then doing scientific research there. A lot of my life has been dedicated to this, says Mike Lancaster, executive director of the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association, who finds it hard to believe that this area is finally protected.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This is a victory for all Nova Scotians, as this designation will protect habitat for species at risk and some of the province's oldest forests. It will also help fight climate change and reduce the risk of forest fires.

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Mike Lancaster is the director of the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association.

The Island Lake Wilderness area includes old-growth and coniferous forests, lakes, wetlands, and streams, including a portion of the lower Ingram River.

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It also includes the picturesque Island Lake, a large lake with islands sheltered by creeks and hills, making it a great place for boating, boating, hiking and camping.

The Mikmaq also use this lake for fishing and other traditional activities. The new wilderness area is also home to many species such as the endangered continental moose.

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The waterways dotted with small islands are perfect places for canoeing.

It's a great day for our province and for our planet , says the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Timothy Halman. Protecting nature benefits us all today and ensures that future generations of Nova Scotians will also be able to enjoy these special places, as they will be part of our communities in perpetuity.

The new protected area is one of 23 new designations that together protect 14,000 hectares of nature in Nova Scotia. This new territory includes 115 kilometers of coastline, 3,680 hectares of coastal ecosystems and 528 wetlands of particular importance.

However, Nova Scotia has set a goal of protecting 20% ​​of the province's land and water areas by 2030. And since only about a third of the province is Crown land, the Minister Halman is aware that more private land will need to be included.

We know that to reach this 20%, we must work with private landowners .

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Iain Rankin is the Liberal critic for environment.

Liberal environment critic Iain Rankin believes private landowners are interested in the project but are waiting to see how much money the government is willing to offer.

Despite all the announcements, Ian Rankin is not convinced that the Progressive Conservatives will achieve the goal set by 2030.

Time is running out, he says, adding that each percentage point of protected land represents about 50,000 hectares.

I just don't see how they will get to 20% unless we see tangible progress over the next couple of years.

With information fromMichael Gorman,ofCBC

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