Upper Ohio, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Upper Ohio, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Rare forest and over 25 kilometres of lake shoreline now protected

February 15, 2022
Upper Ohio, Nova Scotia


Nature Conservancy of Canada protects large area in southwestern Nova Scotia

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has announced a significant private land conservation area in Nova Scotia.

The not-for-profit conservation organization has purchased 950 hectares of mature Wabanaki (Acadian) forest, over 25 kilometres of undisturbed lakefront shoreline and 130 hectares of freshwater wetlands in Upper Ohio. This project is the third largest acquisition in NCC’s 50-year history in Nova Scotia.

The property features large eastern hemlock, sugar maple, red maple, red spruce, white birch, balsam fir, white pine, white birch and aspen trees, which are characteristic of the original Acadian forest of the Maritimes. Due to centuries of harvesting, only one to five per cent of mature Acadian forest remains intact in the region.

The wetlands provide habitat for eastern painted turtle and snapping turtle, both listed as species of special concern, as well as migratory waterfowl, such as Canada goose, mallard, wood duck, ring-necked duck and American black duck. The area is also home to rare plants, such as Virginia meadow beauty, swamp loosestrife and long-leaved panic grass.

The Upper Ohio conservation area is mostly surrounded by conserved lands that are within the Indian Fields Provincial Park and Tobeatic Wilderness Area. This project also falls within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — one of only 18 such reserves in Canada.

This important land conservation project was made possible thanks to the generosity of private donors, including area residents and businesses. The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada's Target 1 Challenge Fund through the Government of Canada, the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.


“I would like to thank all project supporters along with our government partners for helping the Nature Conservancy of Canada assemble this large area of intact wetlands and forest. For the benefit of people and wildlife, it is vital to conserve and protect the remaining important natural landscapes we have. All donors have made a long-term difference to wildlife in this province.”

– Jaimee Morozoff, NCC Program Director in Nova Scotia

“A special thanks to the generous Canadians who are helping us protect more natural spaces and species at risk with help from valued partners such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This project is an example of how we can all work together to help protect important wildlife habitat, conserve and restore wetlands, and expand protected areas. These collaborations are helping us progress toward our goal of conserving 25% of the land and oceans in Canada by 2025, building a healthy future and environment for generations to come.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

“Land conservation is essential for Nova Scotia’s environmental health, economic growth and prosperity, and ensuring a sustainable future for our province. That is why our Government has made a commitment to protect 20% of our land and water by 2030.  The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s leadership in our province will provide climate resiliency and benefits for generations of Nova Scotians. I want to congratulate them on their third-largest acquisition in Nova Scotia, and thank them for their commitment to protecting our province’s important natural areas.”

– The Honourable Timothy Halman, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

People can learn more about NCC’s work in Nova Scotia by visiting our website.


  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s next step is to develop a property management plan, which will identify conservation priorities and explore how people can be welcomed to this property for passive recreational uses.
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada now protects approximately 9,300 hectares in southwestern Nova Scotia through the creation of various nature reserves.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country's unifying force for nature. We seek solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. NCC is a registered charity. With nature, we build a thriving world.

In Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada’s Target 1 Challenge funding flows through the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change to conservation organizations and other partners to protect natural areas in the province. The partners include the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq, Sespite'tmnej Kmitkinu Conservancy, Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission, Town of Amherst and the Municipality of the County of Cumberland. The Province can also use this federal funding for its land protection work.

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Andrew Herygers
Communications Manager

Andrew Holland
National Media Relations Director
Nature Conservancy of Canada
C: (506) 260-0469

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