WENTWORTH VALLEY, N.S.
A large swath of land in Wentworth Valley has been designated as a wilderness protection area by the provincial government.
And that could provide future business and eco-tourism opportunities, a local business owner says.
"Ski Wentworth has been exploring opportunities to expand into four-season operation,” said Leslie Wilson, president of Ski Wentworth.
“With the Wentworth Valley Wilderness Area protected, it will further enhance this region as a destination for four-season eco-tourism.”
Environment Minister Margaret Miller on Monday announced the designation of the new 1,954-hectare wilderness area in Wentworth Valley, which takes in parts of Colchester and Cumberland counties.
Besides the potential for increased business and tourism opportunities, the designation is intended to help protect forest and habitat for wildlife.
“Wilderness areas protect nature, of course,” Miller said, in a news release. “But they also offer opportunities for recreation, education, research, and economic development. They can support local economies through nature tourism which provides jobs and attracts visitors to nearby communities and local businesses.
A report prepared by Gardner Pinfold shows many commercial benefits of Nova Scotia's protected areas. The report says that some businesses in the province are built primarily on revenue from people seeking wilderness area experiences. It also notes that the long-term protection of these areas gives businesses certainty to invest and grow.
Miller said further announcements on other new and expanded protected areas are expected in near future.
Miller also announced the designation of two other protected areas near Oxford, Cumberland County, including the Chase Lake Wilderness Area (874 hectares) and Steepbank Brook Nature Reserve (202 hectares).
With these designations, Nova Scotia's protected land now totals about 689,000 hectares.
More information is available online at: novascotia.ca/nse/protectedareas .