Nova Scotia protects 17 new areas, including wilderness and parks

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Nova Scotia has announced the protection of 17 new tracts of land including four wilderness areas, 10 nature reserves and three provincial parks.

In a statement Monday, Environment Minister Gordon Wilson thanked private landowners and other groups for helping the government take a step toward its goal of protecting 13 per cent of the province's land.

Cape Mabou Wilderness Area in Cape Breton, the Tusket River Wilderness Area expansion in Yarmouth County, the Ragged Harbour Nature Reserve in Queens County and Cape Split Provincial Park in Kings County are among the lands now protected.

Wilson says another 10 sites will be designated soon, brining the total percentage of protected land in Nova Scotia to 12.73 per cent.

Consultation and survey work is still required for some of the newer sites before they can be officially designated.

They include six wilderness areas, two nature reserves and two provincial parks.