Sanctuary Review Released

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Nova Scotians want more wildlife management areas and improved habitat protection in the currently designated areas, a report by the Department of Natural Resources shows.

Public input was sought as part of a review of the province's existing 26 sanctuaries and wildlife management areas to help determine which areas should be maintained, have boundary changes, be reviewed or eliminated.

"I was impressed by the genuine concern that people had in ensuring that our wildlife resources are properly protected," said Natural Resources Minister Richard Hurlburt. "As a result of these concerns, I can confirm my earlier statements that none of the existing areas would be de-listed. I can also confirm that the major prohibitions for hunting and trapping will also be maintained."

A total of 501 responses were received from individuals as part of the review. Several petitions were also received.

Mr. Hurlburt said the province will use the review input as it continues to work with forest industry representatives and provincial environmental groups to work toward a comprehensive system of protected areas.

The review showed there is broad public support for the creation of nine new wildlife management areas. Regulations will be developed and approved to establish the new areas while accommodating residents' concerns for continued traditional use of the areas.

Improved habitat protection for current sanctuaries and wildlife management areas was also identified as being important to many respondents. Department of Natural Resources wildlife staff will review existing regulations to ensure appropriate measures are in place.

More information on the report can be found on the website at