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Over 3,900 hectares of land now protected in the St. Margarets Bay Area

By Caitlin Snow Dec 20, 2023 | 3:07 PM

Another section of Nova Scotia is now protected forever.

The Island Lake Wildnerness Area will protect over 3,900 hectares of land, wetlands and water in the St. Margarets Bay area.

It’s one of the 23 new designations in the province that protect an additional 14,000 hectares.

“Protecting nature benefits all of us today and ensures future generations of Nova Scotians can also enjoy these special places, as they will remain parts of our communities for perpetuity,” said Minister Halman. “Our government is protecting more of Nova Scotia’s land, wetlands and water for the many benefits they give us – helping us stay physically and mentally healthy, giving us clean air and drinking water, helping us fight climate change, strengthening biodiversity and preventing further biodiversity loss, providing habitat for wildlife and much more. Today is a great day for our province and our planet.”

It has old-growth and conifer forest, lakes, wetlands, watercourses and includes part of the lower Ingram River as well as Island Lake, a large lake with islands that is sheltered by coves and surrounding hills, making it a great place for canoeing, boating, hiking and camping.

The Mi’kmaq also use Island Lake for fishing and other traditional activities. The new wilderness area is habitat for many species, such as the endangered mainland moose and other species at risk.

Minister Halman also released the Collaborative Protected Areas Strategy, which will guide the Province’s work in achieving the goal to protect 20 per cent of Nova Scotia’s land and water mass. More than 600 Nova Scotians provided input to inform the strategy, which includes guiding principles and 24 actions grouped under four solutions to protect more land, water and wetlands.

New wilderness areas:
— Island Lake Wilderness Area, 3,937 hectares; it includes the Ingram River area of Halifax Regional Municipality and a small amount of land in Hants County
— Guysborough Headlands Wilderness Area, 3,012 hectares, Guysborough County
— Big Plains Wilderness Area, 2,112 hectares, Guysborough County
— Nine Mile Woods Wilderness Area, 1,031 hectares, Guysborough County
— Douglas Meadow Brook Wilderness Area, 637 hectares, Cumberland and Colchester counties

Expanded wilderness areas:
— South Panuke Wilderness Area, an additional 349 hectares, Halifax Regional Municipality
— Fourchu Coast Wilderness Area, 191 hectares, Richmond and Cape Breton counties
— Gully Lake Wilderness Area, 175 hectares, Pictou and Colchester counties
— Liscomb River Wilderness Area, 144 hectares, Guysborough County
— Ogden Round Lake Wilderness Area, 134 hectares, Guysborough County
— Devils Jaw Wilderness Area, 40 hectares, Hants County
— Trout Brook Wilderness Area, 38 hectares, Inverness County
— Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area, 15 hectares, Halifax Regional Municipality