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News Release

Government of Canada and Nature Conservancy of Canada conserve valuable habitat in Westmorland County, New Brunswick, and Cumberland County, Nova Scotia  

HALLS HILL, N.B. -- November 9, 2011 -- Canada’s Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, today announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of three Chignecto Isthmus properties in New Brunswick totalling 166 hectares, all located near the community of Halls Hill, New Brunswick, as well as 137 hectares of land near Amherst, Nova Scotia. These properties were secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program.

“This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program,” said Minister Kent. “With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations. Your actions today will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that will constitute an integral part of our natural heritage tomorrow.”

These properties are located in the Northern Appalachian–Acadian Ecoregion. They all form part of the Chignecto Isthmus, a narrow land bridge that connects Nova Scotia to New Brunswick and beyond. This bridge serves as the only route for terrestrial wildlife to move in and out of Nova Scotia. The conservation of these properties will help ensure the continued natural movement of plants and wildlife across this important land bridge.

Species found in this natural area include the provincially endangered Mainland Moose and Canada Lynx. Habitat is also provided for a variety of bird and mammal species such as the Bobcat and the Northern Goshawk, and the area is a potential nesting site for the American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal and Wood Duck. Two rare plants were found on the Nova Scotia property: the Halberd-leaved Tearthumb and Lesser Wintergreen.

“Through conservation planning and habitat restoration, future generations of Canadians will be able to enjoy this important area,” said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Member of Parliament for Fredericton. “The diversity of the habitat in this area helps species that call this land home thrive and survive.’’

“All Atlantic Canadians feel a special connection to our unique environment and we know that we all play a part in ensuring that future generations get to enjoy the splendour and beauty of the Atlantic playground,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Central-Nova. “Our government's relationship with the Nature Conservancy of Canada is one step towards restoring, conserving and enhancing our region’s natural treasures.’’

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada recognizes the critical importance of the Chignecto Isthmus for interconnectivity and the long term viability of wildlife populations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” said Linda Stephenson, Regional Vice President for the Atlantic Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “We are committed to cross-border work in partnership with Environment Canada in an effort to ensure the Chignecto Isthmus remains an active corridor for wildlife movement.”

“The Government of Canada is committed to the long-term conservation of biological diversity and to working with partners, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, to protect Canada’s natural treasures,” said Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

The Government of Canada's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada’s environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that the protection of natural areas in Canada can be ensured. As of March 2011, the Natural Areas Conservation Program has protected 160,796 hectares of habitat, which includes habitat for 101 species at risk.

Related document:

Natural Areas Conservation Program [Backgrounder 2011-09-26]

For more information, please see the attached backgrounder or contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada

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