New Brunswick

Nature Conservancy acquires more Acadian forest, including trees close to a century old

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has bought more land in southern New Brunswick as part of its ongoing efforts to conserve wildlife habitats.

Newly acquired land brings total area owned by not-for-profit up to 191 hectares near Caledonia Gorge

The Nature Conservancy of Canada announced Friday it acquired 69.5 hectares of Acadian forest near Riverside-Albert. (Nature Conservancy of Canada)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has bought more land in southern New Brunswick as part of its ongoing efforts to conserve wildlife habitats.

The not-for-profit group purchased 69.5 hectares of rare and mature Acadian forest near Caledonia Gorge by Riverside-Albert.

The old-growth woodlands are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including bird species like the eastern wood-pewee. Around two-thirds of the newly acquired land contains trees that are more than 80 years old.

Denise Roy, a conservation representative with the Atlantic region for the conservancy, said protecting the land is important for the diverse range of birds that live there and other animals that depend on the ecosystem. 

"They depend on them through various parts of their life either to make a home or to find food," Roy said in an interview with Information Morning Moncton.  

The move to acquire more land also helps protect water reservoirs for the small community of Riverside-Albert, which has around 400 residents.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada established the Caledonia Gorge Nature Reserve in 2018. It now owns a total of 191 hectares in the region. 

Less than five per cent of New Brunswick's old growth Acadian Forest remains intact, as it has been heavily harvested over the years. 

"By conserving these priority or eco-sensitive habitats we are providing Canadians with the opportunity to go visit these natural spaces," Roy said.

No trails are present on the property yet, but the nature conservancy said people are allowed passive access to the land.

"We encourage people coming on our properties enjoying nature photography, hiking, and just enjoying nature for what it is," she said.

The conservancy has other projects in various stages of negotiations as well, Roy said.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada bought the land with funds provided by the federal government's Natural Heritage Conservation program, New Brunswick's Regional Development Corporation, the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, the Shepody Fish and Game Association, the Hewitt Foundation, the Lockhart Foundation, American Friends of Canadian Nature and private donors. 

With files from Information Morning Moncton

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