Bartholomew River, Miramichi, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bartholomew River, Miramichi, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Miramichi Salmon Project

Bartholomew River, Miramichi, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bartholomew River, Miramichi, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has a rare opportunity to protect more than 2,100 acres (850 hectares) of ecologically significant habitat, including five kilometres of waterfront on the Bartholomew River — a tributary of the Southwest Miramichi River.

The Miramichi Watershed is world-renowned as the site of North America's largest run of Atlantic salmon, which occurs between mid-June and early October. The Bartholomew River is considered an important fish nursery within the watershed.

We don't often have the chance to conserve such large and important tracts of forest in New Brunswick. This project will add significantly to the adjacent provincial Dungarvon Whooper Spring Woodlot Protected Natural Area, creating a continuous wilderness corridor between the Dungarvon and Bartholomew Rivers that exceeds 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares).

The current owners have generously agreed to donate a portion of the land that makes up this project.

A landmark project, this will be the first land acquisition by NCC in the Miramichi Watershed as well as the largest private land conservation project in New Brunswick's history.

Conservation values

The forested banks of the Bartholomew River are best enjoyed while drifting slowly downstream by canoe. The five kilometres of river encompassed by this project contain eight salmon pools, including the only two cold-water holding pools along the entire river. These deep holding pools are important for regulating the temperature and health of the fish as they move upstream to spawn

The river is sheltered and shaded by the old-growth Acadian forest along the banks. Sugar maple, yellow birch, white pine and eastern white cedar are mixed with white ash, eastern hemlock trees and even a rare, pure stand of black ash. This wilderness area is also home to large mammals like moose and black bear, which need big, wild spaces to roam.

Natural wetlands on the property have been expanded by beavers. Nature's engineers, beavers actually create homes for other animals. These wetlands provide breeding habitat for numerous waterfowl such as black ducks, teals and mallards. The forests, wetlands and riverbank contain excellent habitat for a variety of rare or at-risk species, including wood turtle, Canada warbler and olive-sided fly-catcher.

Our vision for the Miramichi Watershed

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is actively working to complete a conservation plan for the entire Miramichi Watershed, from the coast of the Northumberland Strait to more than 145 kilometres inland. The Acadian forest within the watershed is one of the most diverse in the world. The completed plan will steer future land protection in the Miramichi Watershed for years to come.

To support our important work on the Miramichi Salmon Project or learn how you can help other projects we are doing in New Brunswick , please contact Faith Flemming at 1-877-231-4400 or faith.flemming@natureconservancy.ca.

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