A re-elected Liberal Government will create two new provincial parks, as well as increase protected natural areas and conservation areas in New Brunswick.
New Brunswick currently has 24 provincial parks. Gallant specified that, in addition to creating two new provincial parks, a re-elected Liberal Government will:
- Increase the amount of land in New Brunswick that is designated as protected natural area, going to 10 percent by 2020;
- Increase conservation areas on Crown lands by 150,000 hectares over the next five years, thereby increasing the ratio to 28 percent from 23 percent;
Protected natural areas are nature reserves that are legally protected under the Protected Natural Areas Act. They host a diverse array of wildlife and plants across a range of forests, lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Forests in protected natural areas are allowed to grow old and maintain primeval characteristics such as standing dead trees, or large decaying trunks on the forest floor. These are important to many wildlife species. There are two classes of protected natural areas where different restrictions apply. The majority of new protected natural areas are typically designated as Class II sites, thus allowing low-impact recreational activities.
Over the next five years, a re-elected Liberal Government will designate an additional 150,000 hectares of conservation forest where a rich range of Acadian forest species exist. These new conservation areas will be located near existing parks and protected areas where possible, or near other large patches of old forest habitat in order to increase the benefit of the existing areas and to support greater connectivity among areas.
The process to select the new parks will involve consultations with relevant stakeholders, First Nations, local governments and local service districts.
“By increasing protected natural areas and conservation lands in New Brunswick, we are helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of these ecosystems which, as we know, are important contributors to the economic vibrancy of our province,” added Gallant.