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. In addition, we carry out many campaigns and projects to identify and protect places of unique environmental value and to educate Nova Scotians on how to be responsible stewards of our natural heritage.
We have indeed made important progress. Through generous donations by landowners province-wide, we have acquired properties ranging from woodlands and islands to coastal and lakeshore sites. These holdings preserve unique and significant natural features including old forests, wetlands, and rare plant communities.
When acquisition isn't an option, the Nature Trust has advanced the use of conservation easements as a tool for protecting private lands. Easements protect the natural values of the the property in perpetuity, while allowing the owner to retain title to the land. In 1997 the Nature Trust signed its first conservation easement on the Bras d'Or Lakes in Cape Breton and has since acquired many others throughout the province.
After a property has been secured, or an easement placed on it, our work is far from done. The Nature Trust is then the permanent steward of that land and must ensure that its ecological integrity is forever protected. Towards that end, we maintain an extensive stewardship program that involves Nature Trust staff, professional biologists, neighbouring landowners and many volunteers. This work includes property clean ups, boundary protection, removal of invasive vegetation and reintroduction of native species, site monitoring, and property tax maintenance. Sustainability is more than a goal for the Trust, it is the very heart of our work.