Province buys more forest land

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - A large piece of coastal property near Apple River has been purchased by the province for possible inclusion in a wilderness area in Cumberland County.

"We are absolutely thrilled with this announcement because it includes features that are not available in any other part of Nova Scotia, such as a raised salt marsh near the point," Blake Daley of Cumberland Wilderness said upon hearing of the decision to purchase 3,929 hectares of land from Wagner Forest Nova Scotia Ltd.
"It's a beautiful piece of property that needs to be protected. It wasn't part of our strategy but we were aware that discussions were taking place."
Daley's group is propsing the creation of a wilderness area for lands in and around the Chignecto Game Sanctuary. The province is in consultations that could lead to the creation of such an area, though there's opposition from some private landowners as well as recreational users of trails within the sanctuary.
The land purchase includes 22 kilometres of continuous coastline on the Bay of Fundy from Apple River to Sand River. The province is also buying a 384-hectare parcel of land near the Eigg Mountain-James River Wilderness Area in Antigonish County and a 95-hectare parcel of old growth forest near Panuke Lake in Halifax County.
"This purchase is a unique opportunity for the province," Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell said in making the announcement.
"Coastal property is generally the most highly sought after and expensive land. This is a smart investment that will benefit the environment and provide tourism and recreational opportunities."
Most of the $9-million purchase has been acquired to help the province reach its conservation goals. The province is committed to protecting 12 per cent of its land mass by 2015. Currently, only 8.6 per cent is protected. Detailed protection decisions will be made over the next few years.
Raymond Plourde, wilderness co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre, is thrilled with the lastest acquistion.
"We are especially pleased to see the large coastal area along the Bay of Fundy included," said Plourde.
"This province owns only about five per cent of Nova Scotia's coastline, so acquisitions like this are rare and very important from a social, ecological and a tourism perspective."
Under the plan, and to keep the sale within the province's budget, Wagner will be allowed to harvest about one-quarter of the Apple Head area over the next two years. A 200-metre buffer zone has been established along the coastline and in ravines, where the harvest will be limited or excluded.
Special wildlife areas will also be protected from harvest.
This sale comes a few weeks after 3,600 hectares of land, in 21 parcels, was purchased from the J.D. Irving Forestry Company Ltd., including land along the Bay of Fundy and within the Isthmus of Chignecto.

Organizations: Wagner Forest Nova Scotia, Ecology Action Centre, J.D. Irving Forestry Company

Geographic location: Apple River, Nova Scotia, Bay of Fundy AMHERST Cumberland County Sand River Antigonish County Panuke Lake Halifax County

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Recent comments

  • Chillwill
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    An absolute waste of money!!! Wagner bought this land in 2006 for $260 an acre and WE just paid $978 an acre and allow them to harvest 2500 acres. This government continues to amaze me with its' total lack of vision or knowledge. I am all for protecting sensitive(sp) areas, but not at this price. This could have easily been done through tougher rules for forest harvesting. Most of the area they bought is already protected by the federal government. All of the at risk speicies (sp) are protected under federal and provincial laws. Our county and province are in a financial mess already, so do we save PEOPLE or TREES. I am quite sure there is no big development plans for Apple River on anyones mind right now. And where are Dexter (the traveller ) and Skabar ( the Mute ). If they are so happy about this purchase why are they not up here having photo opps. Because they know that it is an absolute waste. 9 million was a new jail, survival of the CAT and a worthwhile investment. The 40 million already gone to the Irvings could have solved the ER problems across the province and built 2 to 3 new schools for our youth. I AM FED UP. Will any NDIPPERS please cross the floor now and force a minority government so our kids might have a future. PLEASE

  • Jamie Hicks Concerned
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Isn't this just something now ...I bet Blake Daily has a whole load of fuzzy feelings over this move by Nova Scotia But in all honesty why is he so happy ???They are going to slash it to pieces over the next 2 years . HUMMMMMM......200 meter buffer zones eh ,,well there now I bet there will be alot of wildlife live in that small area ,,,just another reason for citizens to laugh at Cumbelrand Wildernesses strategy . Shulie ,Sand River ,Apple River ,Cranberry Head,Tomkin plains ....with the highest population of mainland moose being in those areas ,,,they are going to permit Foster Wagner to harvest everything that is any good off of it and be left with NOTHING . Now there is a great move on behalf of Nova Scotia's part .

    Just to let you know for those who have not had a chanced to take a drive from Joggins to Apple River lately ,,it is beautifull in places and many roads give access to certain parts of interest such as beach banks , fishing spots and scenery lookouts .

    They mention about tourism ,,,yeah right not a chance ,,,,who will walk that far to see these points of interest unless they have access ,,Thats right NO ONE !!!! What is the average age of your tourist ,,,there are more elderly tourist than younger so oh yes they will stroll right out there and see that . This is some of the most absurd moves the province of NS has ever came up with in my opinion . The Joggins Fossil cliffs better look out or even the Wharf for that matter ,, pretty soon you will not be able to access it either one unless it is by foot .

    The Citizens of Joggins ,Apple River ,Advocate and surrounding communities should have some say in this as they must be very dissapointed to hear this !!!!

    Just out of curiousity ,,why is it always Cumberland Wilderness side Darrel Cole seems to write up??? Why would he not get imput from all users and groups , to me it seems he is being encouraged to do so on behalf of CW. Lets hear what the taxpayers have to say about these moves Darrel !!!!!Not just CW !!

    From one concerned citizen to another .......we as people of this community and surrounding communities also have to get a grip on this and be heard or we are going to lose everything that makes our little communities so wonderfull to live in !!!

    If you would like to add imput or concerns about these Wilderness Areas including the Chignecto Game Sanctuary becoming one please be sure to check out and express your feelings on how this will effect you and your community or view the petition I have started in regards to the Chignecto Game Sanctuary becoming a Wilderness Area at

    We have to stand together and fight for our land and freedom to access it and enjoy it as we have done for so many years . Thanks Jamie Hicks

  • Baffled
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    I just keep wondering where all this money is coming from? I thought we were in debt up to our ears. Do we have a private stash somewhere? or will the money come from reduced MLA expenses?

  • Mad Mac
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Ever see the show Life After People? Thats what is starting to happen in this Province. Won't be long and all the tree huggers and MLA's are going to drive human life out of here. No wonder all the young people clear out after school.

  • Jack on the rocks
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I'll bet ya that Mr.Daley wouldn't be so happy if they proposed the creation of a wilderness area around his camp.Not in my backyard eh??