Nova Scotia Residents Can Help Shape New Wilderness Area

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Nova Scotians will have an opportunity to help develop a new protected wilderness area in the province.

Public consultations are beginning on the Ship Harbour Long Lake Candidate Wilderness Area on Nova Scotia's eastern shore.

Early consultations are the first step in a process to determine the final boundaries of the new 14,000-hectare wilderness area.

"One of the government's five priorities is protection of the environment and this is an exceptional opportunity for Nova Scotians to help preserve our wilderness heritage," said Bill Dooks, acting Minister of Environment. "I encourage Eastern Shore residents, and anyone with an interest in this candidate wilderness area, to stay informed and come out to share your views."

The province announced its intention to establish a large wilderness area on Crown lands near Ship Harbour Long Lake in Halifax County in November's Speech from the Throne.

The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act commits the province to legally protecting at least 12 per cent of its land mass.

Nova Scotians can provide comment on the Ship Harbour Long Lake candidate wilderness area in writing or by attending two public information forums in May.

The first will be Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Eastern Shore Recreation Centre in Musquodoboit Harbour. The second forum will be Wednesday, May 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Fairbanks Centre in Dartmouth.

Written comment will be accepted until May 31 by mail at: Department of Environment, Protected Areas, P.O. Box 442, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2P8, and by e-mail at: protectedareas@gov.ns.ca .

A consultation newsletter and more information about protected areas are available at all Department of Environment offices, online at www.gov.ns.ca/nse/protectedareas , and by calling 902-424-2117.