New Brunswick Adds 30 New Protected Natural Areas

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Natural Resources recently designated 30 new protected natural areas (PNA) on Crown land, adding 5,400 hectares to the existing system of Crown PNAs.

"These new sites were selected for their contribution to protecting the biodiversity of the province," said Natural Resources Minister Donald Arseneault. "New Brunswick now has about 158,000 hectares of Crown land protected under the Protected Natural Areas Act. These lands serve as important reserves for our biodiversity, and can help us further understand the plant and animal life in the province."

The new sites vary in size from 20 hectares to 334 hectares. With one exception, the new sites have been classified as Class II PNAs, which allow for continued low-impact recreational use - including hunting, fishing and trapping - but prevent forestry, mining and other industrial or commercial activity. The new sites are widely distributed around the province, from Glazier Lake in the northwest, to Miscou Grande Plaine in the northeast, to Dowdall Lake in the south, and Williamstown Lake in Carleton County, near the Maine border.

The Department of Natural Resources has also reclassified many of the existing PNAs from Class I to Class II status to allow for more recreational use and public enjoyment. As a result, only four Class I PNAs remain: Whitehorse Island (important seabird nesting area) in the Bay of Fundy; Hovey Hill (sensitive plant communities) in Carleton County; Wilson Brook (sensitive plant communities and land forms on gypsum bluffs) in Albert County; and Bull Pasture Bog (rare plants and insects) in Sunbury County.

In addition to the new PNAs, the province and the Nature Conservancy of Canada have agreed to establish the first private land PNA in New Brunswick, on seven parcels in the Musquash Harbour area. A formal announcement on this project is forthcoming.

For a complete list of the new PNAs, visit the Department of Natural Resources website, http://www.gnb.ca/0078/index-e.asp.