Conservancy group to protect one of last Acadian forests in Maritimes

A large stretch of land containing one of the last remaining Acadian forests in the Maritimes is getting special protections in southeastern New Brunswick.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada says it partnered with the Village of Riverside-Albert to buy and conserve 132 hectares of forest, with help from the federal and New Brunswick governments.

The group says the acquisition will also protect the water reservoirs and water supply for the 300 residents of Riverside-Albert.

The property between the Caledonia Gorge Provincial Protected Natural Area and the Village of Riverside-Albert features 32 species of trees, including red spruce, sugar maple, red maple and yellow birch, with the majority being more than 80 years old.

The group says it prioritized the property because less than five per cent of mature Acadian forest, the original type of forest in the Maritimes, remains intact due to centuries of settlement and harvesting.

Two species on or near the property, the chimney swift and the eastern wood-pewee, are listed under the Species at Risk Act.