Sixteen new parcels of land across Prince Edward Island are being newly protected under the provincial Natural Areas Protection Act, says Minister of Communities, Land and Environment Robert Mitchell.
“Today we are celebrating the Natural Areas Protection Act designation of more than 900 acres of public land on P.E.I.,” said Minister Mitchell. “Protecting our land is a fundamental responsibility of government, and of all Islanders. We are proud to now provide the highest form of legislated preservation of ecologically significant areas to 16 new parcels of land.”
Prince Edward Island’s Natural Areas Protection Act allows legal protection for ecologically significant sites. These sites may include sand dunes, marshes, rivers, ponds, bogs, forests, offshore islands, cliffs or marine areas. To date, 49,104 acres across P.E.I. have been protected – including 21,983 acres under the Natural Areas Protection Act. This represents just over 3.5 per cent of the province, putting P.E.I. at the halfway mark towards its goal of protecting 7 per cent of the Island.
The 16 parcels of land are spread out across the Island. There are nine parcels in Bonshaw being designated (total of 445 acres), three parcels in Trout River (total of 104 acres), and two parcels in both Townshend (total of 198 acres) and Percival River (a total of 176 acres). Some of these parcels of land will be available for recreational purposes for Islanders such as hiking, snowshoeing and bird watching. Other parcels will be preserved strictly for the natural habitat including plants and wildlife. The lands include properties in the Bonshaw area that were acquired as part of the Trans-Canada Highway Realignment Project and through the Bonshaw Public Lands Committee. These lands will form an expanded provincial park that will connect the Strathgartney and Bonshaw Provincial Parks.
“The provincial government is committed to working with the public and interested groups to ensure the Bonshaw Hills Lands are managed in ways that reflect the wishes of the public and preserve the lands as a valuable natural area and a place for outdoor recreation,” said Minister Paula Biggar, Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. “Designation of these properties under NAPA further demonstrates government’s commitment towards appropriate land management and protection in this most ecologically significant area of the Island.”
Islanders are encouraged to learn more about how they can have privately-owned land preserved under the Natural Areas Protection Act. Islanders can participate in the program by engaging in the public consultation process for designation or to become land donors. To learn more about land protection, please visitwww.gov.pe.ca/forestry/NAPA.
To learn more about today’s NAPA designation please visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8cqwcNaTds&feature=youtu.be.