NS Nature Trust

Background

The Nova Scotia Nature Trust, a charity dedicated to the protection of Nova Scotia’s natural legacy through land conservation, signed a purchase and sale agreement in October, 2019 with the owners of a 560 acre parcel of land– Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector (map-yellow block). The block joins two disjunct sections of the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area.

 

This block represents a critically vulnerable gap where forestry operations and housing development would have had significant negative impacts on the existing terrestrial and aquatic habitats. To acquire and save this block, the Nature Trust launched its Save the Wild Blue campaign in 2019.  That campaign was successful and the block is now one of the properties under the stewardship of the 'Trust.

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What You'll Find in the Connector Block

(And throughout most of the BMBCL!)

Why the Connector Block is so Important

>  The block is located at the centre of a priority area for conservation: The Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes  Wilderness Area. This is the only piece of land that connects the west side of BMBCL to the main, eastern section.

>  It is an essential wildlife corridor that also preserves the overall ecological balance of the BMBCL. Wildlife common to the BMBCL include otters, beavers, bobcat, coyote, snowshoe hare, porcupine and more.

>  Local communities, along with all of HRM, will be well served and able to enjoy superb recreational opportunities via an established canoe route and hiking trails for generations to come through an uninterrupted network of land and water connections.

>  The connector block is only 2.4 km from the former Barrett Lands, acquired by HRM in 2019 to form part of the BMBCL Regional Park - presenting a real opportunity for back country trail connections.

>  The Halifax Green Network Plan shows the BMBCL at the centre of a priority area for the “preservation and creation of natural connections to the Chebucto Peninsula" (Section 4.3.3  Actions 32 &  33)

>  The Halifax Urban Master Forest Plan outlines the many values of the urban forest including benefits to air quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, economy, energy use, health (of residents), hydrology, and noise-reduction.

 

>  The Halifax Economic Growth Plan makes specific reference to increasing...  "people's access to the outdoors by leveraging the municipality's natural assets" (Goal 3. Item 39).  The connector block enhances, expands and amplifys that objective.

>  The lakes and streams included in the connector block are an essential component of the Nine Mile River Watershed, deemed worthy of protection by HRM as per "...provides an opportunity to protect headwaters of both the Birch Cove Lakes and Nine Mile River watersheds. This assures better water quality for communities downstream, and the natural environment." (HRM Website: Proposed Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park)

Stewardship of the property is now addressed by the Nature Trust as is their policy for the 80+ other properties under their care.

The Big Picture