Thurston hopeful province will announce added protection
© Darrell Cole - The Amherst News
Harry Thurston look over a piece of land in the Isthmus of Chigecto near Amherst. Cumberland Wilderness is hoping added protection will be announced on Thursday.
AMHERST – Harry Thurston is hoping for a little good news Thursday.
The naturalist and author is expecting the province to announce it’s moving ahead with protecting portions of the Isthmus of Chignecto around the Town of Amherst’s Tyndal Wellfield – which already has wilderness protection.
“All the lands that are available for protection it’s really important that they are preserved,” said Thurston, who has been lobbying the province along with Cumberland Wilderness to bring added protection to the isthmus. “This is the most important conservation corridor in Nova Scotia.”
Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker and Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau are expected to announce progress on the province’s commitment to protect 12 per cent of its landmass by 2015 during a press conference in Halifax.
Thurston said he’s optimistic the news will be good.
Thurston said county residents have a special responsibility when it comes to stewardship because the isthmus is such an important piece of land in that it’s the only connection to the rest of the continent.
“Without this link Nova Scotia would be an island,” he said. “It’s really important to keep it protected and I think the province understand that.”
Thurston said the effort to protect lands in the isthmus north and east of Amherst builds on what was done over the past few years to bring added protection to lands in and around the Chignecto Game Sanctuary. That resulted in the new Kelley River and Ravenhead wilderness areas.
“In order for the moose population there to be viable we need moose to be moving in and out of the province and they have to come through here. It’s a stepping stone for Cumberland County and the whole province,” Thurston said.
Thurston said all the animals and plants that have come into the province and are part of its bio-diversity have had to come through the Isthmus of Chignecto.
“It was true 10,000 years ago and it’s still true today,” Thurston added.