Protected Lands

Fall vista in the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area

Under EGSPA (the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, passed in 2007) Nova Scotia committed to protect at least 12 per cent of its land area by 2015. By the end of 2015, 12.26% was protected. With new designations in March of 2017, that figure rose to about 12.39%.

What’s Included? From Designation Types on the Parks and Protected Areas website:

Provincial protected areas that count toward the 12 per cent goal fall under three different designations:
Wilderness areas protect nature and support wilderness recreation, hunting, sport fishing, trapping, and other uses.
Nature reserves offer the highest level of protection for unique or rare species or features; they are used mainly for education and research.
Provincial parks and reserves protect a wide range of heritage values and opportunities for outdoor recreation, nature-based education, and tourism.

Parks represent a special case, as only those with a primary focus on protecting nature count toward the 12 per cent goal; other parks are most important for protecting cultural and recreational features and may also have biodiversity conservation value.

Other lands that count toward the 12 per cent goal are those primarily dedicated to the protection of nature, including national parks and wildlife areas, lands owned by land-trust organizations, and conservation easement lands.

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas (a section of Nova Scotia Environment) is responsible for designating and managing protected lands owned by the Crown, except for those established under federal jusrisdiction by Parks Canada.

The two largest privately funded land protection organizations functioning in Nova Scotia are the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

View Wilderness Areas: A Brief History (NSE website).
View Interactive Maps of Parks and Protected Areas (NSE website).

View Nova Scotia protects significant older forest stands and an important corridor
(Post on this website, Apr 4, 2017)

View The legacy of Nova Scotia’s Tobeatic wilderness
Post on this website, oct 22, 2017: Essay by Elaine Belliveau

Do you own land in Nova Scotia that you would like to see protected from development? There are several options.
See:

Protecting Nature onYour Property: An introduction to nature conservation on private land in Nova Scotia
NS Environment brochure. “To be considered for a conservation easement, a property must provide habitat for species at risk; contain unique, rare, or exceptional features; be a haven for large populations of animals; or have intact natural areas.”

Conservation Property Tax Exemption
NS Environment document. Q&A: What is the conservation property tax exemption? Why is it needed? How does it work? What is a conservation property? How can I determine if my land qualifies as a “conservation property”? Who is eligible for this tax exemption? Do I need to apply for the tax exemption? It provides a list of contacts.

Community Easements Act
“In the spring of 2012, Government passed the Community Easements Act, which provides governments, non-profit groups, and the Mi’kmaq with a new tool for protecting land use and land access. In 2013, the government approved regulations under the Community Easements Act. A community easement is a legal mechanism to maintain community or cultural interests in land, including such things as community access to special places, agricultural or forestry land use, view planes, wetlands, and archaeological sites. The land owner would receive financial compensation from those seeking the community easement for agreeing to place the restriction on the land. To place a community easement on land, a group must be designated under the Act. A community easement is a permanent interest in land that allows a group, the Mikmaq or government to retain the land’s traditional use, even if the land is sold.”

Nova Scotia Nature Trust
“An incorporated charitable organization designated as a conservation organization under the Conservation Easement Act of Nova Scotia… The Nova Scotia Nature Trust works with private landowners and other partners to protect significant natural areas throughout the province. We protect these lands primarily through acquisition and conservation easements.”

Nature Conservancy of Canada
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading national land conservation organization. A private, non-profit organization, we partner with individuals, corporations, other non-profit organizations and governments at all levels to protect our most important natural treasures — the natural areas that sustain Canada’s plants and wildlife. We secure properties (through donation, purchase, conservation agreement and the relinquishment of other legal interests in land) and manage them for the long term.”

Questions about easements on private woodlots in Nova Scotia
Post, July 28, 2017