The provincial government has agreed to purchase three parcels of land in Hants County from Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd., of Liverpool.
The land purchase, worth more than $950 per acre, was part of a $23.7 million project that is being promoted as a move that will help the government meet its goal of conserving 12 per cent of Nova Scotia’s land mass, while protecting jobs at Bowater Mersey.
Land with high ecological value in Annapolis, Hants, Lunenburg, Queens and Shelburne counties was recommended by the Colin Stewart Forest Forum.
Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Dan Davis said the parcels in Hants County are “located in the southwest corner of the county.”
A map detailing the location of the wilderness parcels indicates that 225 hectares have been set aside in an area defined as 25 Bog Lake, 110 hectares at 55 Eagle Nest and 150 hectares at 16 Panuke Reserve.
“These parcels of lands contain wetlands and stream habitats,” Davis said.
Premier Darrell Dexter said the province will endeavour to improve public access to walking trails in a Jan. 6 press release announcing the conservation project.
“We will soon see highly valuable land back in the hands of Nova Scotians,” said Dexter. “The purchase of these lands enriches our environment, provides us with more land to enjoy, and helps keep a major employer on the South Shore.”
Ray Plourde, a wilderness co-ordinator with the Ecology Action Centre, called the 25,000-acre land purchase a wise investment in the same press release.
“Government has done a very good job as part of this package of acquiring provincially significant and irreplaceable high conservation value lands for protection,” said Plourde.
“Buying land is always a good investment, and securing high value conservation lands like these is (an) especially good investment for biodiversity and future generations.”