Five more pieces of land along the Isthmus of Chignecto have been protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada
AMHERST – The Nature Conservancy of Canada has joined with the federal and provincial governments and other stakeholders to acquire five more pieces of valuable moose habitat along the Isthmus of Chignecto.
The most recent purchase includes three pieces of land in Nova Scotia and two in New Brunswick, totaling 198 hectares. It brings the total land in the isthmus protected by the NCC to 1,012 hectares.
“It’s three parcels of land along the border on the Nova Scotia. It’s what we used to call the bog are,” contributor Hollis Cole said following Thursday’s press conference. “It’s in the area around Goose Lake, it’s about 47 acres.”
Cole said his father bought the land a long time ago and after he died he left it to him. He said he hasn’t used the land and wants to see it protected and used properly.
Paula Noel of the Nature Conservancy of Canada said the isthmus remains a priority for the organization because it’s an important habitat for moose, lynx, bobcat and various other species. It’s also an important stopover for migrating waterbirds and is home to large wetlands containing uncommon plant communities.
“This is an area we have been working on for several years to protect a corridor and a habitat for a variety of species, most notably the Mainland moose,” Noel said. “It provides a link between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to make sure wildlife can continue to move back and forth between the two areas.”
Noel said that without this corridor, Nova Scotia would become an ecological island and protecting the isthmus is imperative to the long-term health of wildlife populations in Nova Scotia.
She said there are only about 1,000 moose in Nova Scotia, compared to 29,000 in New Brunswick.
“There are plenty of moose just across the border in New Brunswick, so it’s our hope as a land conservation agency is to ensure that the connectivity is there - that there is a corridor they can use to travel from an area where there’s a good healthy population to an area where there isn’t,” she said.
She said the Moose Sex Project, that garnered international attention, made the acquisitions possible as well as support from the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, the TD Bank Group, the provincial Environment Department, the federal government, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Open Space Institute, the Crabtree Foundation, the Lockhart Foundation, the Edward Young Reid II and Lester Bartson III Foundation and many other private donors.
The federal portion includes $213,000 through Environment Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, while the TD Forests Program provided $49,000 toward the two New Brunswick land purchases. The province of Nova Scotia contributed $60,000 from the legacy trust.
Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong said conserving vital habitat is important to all Canadians.
“This investment in the conservation of our natural heritage reinforces the recently announced National Conservation Plan and demonstrates the government’s commitment to Canada’s long-term prosperity by conserving and restoring our lands and waters, and connecting Canadian families to their natural spaces,” Armstrong said.
Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell said the NCC is to be congratulated for its work protecting a vital wildlife corridor across the isthmus.
“Our moose numbers in Nova Scotia are very low and we certainly appreciate the work the NCC has done in this area as well as the generosity of people such as Mr. Cole in helping us preserve and protect this corridor,” Farrell said. “Congratulations also has to go to the government of New Brunswick for being part of this project to protect this land corridor.”
He said Nova Scotia is very fortunate to have protected areas such as those already designated as wilderness areas by the province and by organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada that has also been active in the Pugwash area.