Baddeck River Lands Adds to Our Historic Land Campaign

01 Mar 2019
Photo credit: Scott Leslie

Today we are celebrating the gift of 130 acres of land protecting old growth forests, habitat for endangered wildlife, and ensuring the future of a major provincial Wilderness Area in Cape Breton.

Many Nova Scotian families have strong, multi-generational connections to their land, and worry about what will happen to their special place after they’re gone. Will it be sold, subdivided or cleared? Will the beautiful woods or pristine lakeshores be destroyed, and opportunities to enjoy these wild places lost?

Irene Forbes knew that her late husband Ernest did not want that to happen to his treasured lands on the Baddeck River. The lovely old hardwood forests and wild river had been perfect for him, a hunter and angler. Irene would occasionally join Ernest for an afternoon of fishing, but she says it was Ernest who truly cherished the lands. He had loved the woods since childhood and would walk the property for hours on end.

“Ernest loved that piece of land,” said Irene of her husband, who passed away in 2015. “It was good for his soul. It made him happy. He wanted other people to enjoy it as much as he did. That’s why we have donated the land to the Nature Trust. They can ensure the property remains in its natural state, forever.”

The Baddeck River land protects ecologically rich and important old growth hardwood forests, pristine river shoreline and habitat for endangered wildlife such as Canada Lynx and Pine Marten. The conservation benefits extend beyond the property as well – as an inholding of private land within the 6,800 acre Baddeck River Wilderness Area, the property is like a missing piece in a puzzle. Without protection, the property could have been developed opening the wilderness to roads, invasive species, clearcutting, and other threats.

Its protection eliminates these threats, and ensures an intact corridor for wildlife between the highlands and the river valley. This vast, unbroken wilderness with old growth forests is essential for wildlife like lynx, bears, owls and woodpeckers.

The Honorable Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for the Sydney-Victoria riding where the lands are located, welcomed the news of the new protected lands. “Being from a rural community, I recognize the importance of maintaining our forests and wildlife. I commend the Forbes family for setting aside the 130 acre inholding to be protected, and I commend the Nova Scotia Nature Trust as the caretakers of this property and others across the province,” noted Mr. Eyking.

This conservation achievement is part of national efforts to address the growing crisis of biodiversity loss across Canada and beyond. The government of Canada has recently committed to protecting 17% of Canada by 2020, and made a historic $1.3 billion investment to ensure that goal is reached.

To build momentum for this national effort, the Government chose key conservation leaders across the country, including us, to deliver quick wins for biodiversity—significant, immediate land conservation gains. We launched an ambitious, landmark conservation drive, the Lasting Landscapes Campaign that aims to protect as many as 15 new conservation sites encompassing over 3,000 acres of Nova Scotia’s natural areas, in just a few months. That’s as much land as the organization conserved in its first 13 years of conservation!

To meet matching fund requirements, and leverage over three million dollars for conservation, we must not only secure a record number of conservation sites by March 31, but must also raise another $750,000 in public support. To date Nova Scotians have stepped up with $600,000 in donations to the campaign.

By supporting Lasting Landscapes, you can be a part of protecting Canada’s biodiversity too. Through matching funds from the Nature Fund and the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, every dollar donated by March 31, 2019 leverages another four dollars to save land.

Donations can be made here or by phone at (902) 425-LAND. Every dollar donated by March 31, 2019, will leverage four more dollars in biodiversity conservation.

For more about the campaign click here.

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