Docherty's Brook, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Docherty's Brook, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

At-risk eastern white cedar and black ash trees protected

April 22, 2016
Pugwash, NS


To celebrate Earth Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is announcing it has received a generous donation of forest land in northern Nova Scotia containing Eastern White Cedar and Black Ash trees, two species at risk in the province.

This cedar forest is one of the largest stands in the province and one of only a handful in northern Nova Scotia. 

Bonnyman & Byers Ltd, a family-owned Nova Scotian forest management company, has donated 167 hectares (412 acres) near the Pugwash River in Cumberland County. A stand of over 600 Eastern White Cedar trees is found on this property.

Cedar is a naturally rare species in Nova Scotia that has been made even more rare due to human activities.  The Eastern White Cedar is listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the province’s Endangered Species Act. 

The property also features a small stand of Black Ash trees, a species listed as ‘threatened’ under the Nova Scotia’s Endangered Species Act.  The property may be added to the Docherty’s Brook Nature Reserve, newly designated under the Province’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan.

The donation was completed through the federal government’s Ecological Gifts Program. This program provides enhanced tax incentives for donations of ecologically significant land.

In addition to the generous donation of land, this conservation project was supported by funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program, TD Forests, Nova Scotia Fisherman and the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust.


“As Bonnyman and Byers Ltd enters its 65th year and begins the transition from 2nd to 3rd generation, we felt it was an excellent time to celebrate responsible forest management. Beginning with its co-founder Carl Bonnyman, one of Bonnyman and Byers’ primary goals has been to manage its woodland in a healthy and sustainable manner.  We believe that we can encourage both species diversification and wildlife habitat while at the same time maintaining harvestable and commercially viable woodland. We believe the Nature Conservancy of Canada can assist our family in preserving this special site for future generations”.

Land donor Allan C. Bonnyman

“I wish to thank Bonnyman and Byers Ltd. who stewarded this land and have now entrusted to us for permanent conservation. “This is a strategic land acquisition that adds to the 1,200 acres of land we’ve protected nearby on the Pugwash Estuary,” said Craig Smith, Program Director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  

Craig Smith, Nova Scotia Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Our Government is proud to support the environmental efforts of local communities through the Natural Areas Conserveration Program and the Ecological Gifts program. This investment will ensure the diverse forest habitat and species at risk in northern Nova Scotia are protected and given a chance to thrive.”

Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“I want to thank Bonnyman and Byers Ltd and congratulate the Nature Conservancy of Canada on this initative.  Together with the support of the Government of Canada, we are working to protect this important forest land and conserve the natural beauty of Cumberland County for generations to come.”

Bill Casey, MP Cumberland — Colchester

“More than 90 percent of Canadians have said forests are important to them, and for good reason. Forests form the backdrop of our communities, where we live, work and play –  and they perform an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That’s why we made protecting critical forest habitat a key pillar of the TD Forests program.”

Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group


• Other trees on the property include red spruce, eastern hemlock and white pine, some scattered yellow birch, sugar maple and red maple along with balsam fir trees
• The propery is next to the Docherty's Brook Nature Reserve, recently designated by the provincial government.
• In addition being in close proximity to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Pugwash Estuary Nature Reserve, this donated land is just four kilometres northeast of the 1,444 acre (585 ha) Wallace Bay National Wildlife Area.
• Lands were donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program ensuring the protection of these lands for future generations. This program provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals who donate ecologically significant land.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect over 1.1 million hectares (more than 2.8 million acres) coast to coast.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved over 33,000 acres in Nova Scotia. For more information visit:

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership led by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. To date, $345 million has been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada to secure our natural heritage. Additionally, more than $400 million in matching contributions has been raised by NCC and its partners.

To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit

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Media Contact:

Kathryn Morse
Director of Communications - Atlantic Provinces

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