Left to right: NCC Program Manager Paula Noel, MRA President Steve Wilson, Tobique-Mactaquac MP Mike Allen and MRA board member Carl Faulkner (Photo by NCC)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has partnered with the Meduxnekeag River Association to help protect more than 400 acres (167 hectares) of forested land for endangered and rare species along the shores of the Meduxnekeag River near Woodstock, New Brunswick.
The groups began working together in 2004 to protect a 135-acre (55-hectare) site.
Named Bell Forest, the property is open for guided walks in spring and early summer. It is considered to be the most important Appalachian hardwood forest in Atlantic Canada and contains many different species of rare plants.
Since 2004, the groups have partnered on eight joint land securement projects to expand the Meduxnekeag Nature Preserve successfully working with private land owners who have agreed to sell their properties.
These eight projects also received support from the Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program funded by Environment Canada.
Meduxnekeag Nature Preserve at a glance
The lands acquired by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Meduxnekeag River Association involve riverfront and significant Appalachian hardwood forest — a rare type of forest that was once much more widespread.
The properties provide habitat for endangered butternut trees along with several provincially rare plants such as Canada violet and showy orchis.
The banks of the Meduxnekeag River are one of the most significant forest areas in the Maritimes, containing 45 percent of the province’s remaining Appalachian hardwood forest sites. The area also contains the highest concentration of rare Appalachian hardwood species in New Brunswick.
The Meduxnekeag River Association has protected more than 750 acres (303 hectares) of land within the watershed. NCC is pleased to collaborate with a committed group of volunteers who have stewarded this corridor since 1998. The group also plays an important role in educating local youth about the importance of nature.
- The properties are located in the Meduxnekeag Valley Nature Preserve.
- NCC has identified this area's riparian/floodplain habitat as an important corridor.
- The watershed features 30 provincially rare plant species, including lopseed, nodding fescue, spikenard, goldie’s fern and Seneca snakeroot.
- Appalachian hardwood forest is characterized by the presence of four indicator tree species: white ash, basswood, ironwood and butternut.
- Butternut trees, listed as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, occur on the lands that have been secured.
- 27 species of fish have been identified in the Meduxnekeag system, including brook trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon.