SPRINGHILL – The Nova Scotia government announced this morning announced it plans to increase its Crown land base.
The $6.3 million dollar investment, which includes $800 thousand from the Forestry Transition Land Acquisition Program, will be included in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
"It's good sense to make purchases that increase our Crown land base, and that are valuable for their resources and outdoor recreation opportunities," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "Although the size of Nova Scotia cannot be changed, we can change the amount of land that is owned by the province and ensure that it works to enhance our economy and the environment."
Lands purchase will be used to increase coastal access, protect Mi'kmaq values, enhance wildlife conservation, and help the province meet its 12 per cent land protection goal. Where those ands will be, however, is still undecided.
“The funding announcement today is to announce there will be money available… there’s not any specific lands yet but the focus will be protection,” Jodi Sibley with the Department of Natural Resources.
"This is an important investment in conservation," said Chris Miller, national conservation biologist, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. "Some of the most ecologically-significant ecosystems in Nova Scotia occur on private land, including old-growth forest and species-at-risk habitat, so allocating resources to acquire these properties is an important step to make and will help protect biodiversity in this province."
This is the third year the province will release the capital plan before the spring budget.
About 30 per cent of the province's land base is provincial Crown land and protected areas.