One of Nova Scotia’s few old-growth forests — on the shoreline of a renowned salmon river — received the promise of protection just in time for Earth Day.
The Nova Scotia Nature Trust announced the 90-hectare Hemlock Falls Conservation Area, including three kilometers of the St. Mary’s River, yesterday.
“It’s one more piece of a natural legacy that’s going to remain intact and future generations will be able to enjoy,” executive director Bonnie Sutherland said, noting that only .01 per cent of the province’s old-growth forests remain.
“To have been successful in getting one of those forests set aside for conservation is very important, and it’s irreplaceable,” she said.
The conservation area is the result of a one-year campaign and a partnership with the provincial government and corporate sponsors. It’s the third protected property on the river the Trust has acquired in the past few years.
Sutherland says the protected properties are helping residents realize that their habits directly affect the decreasing salmon population and water quality.
“This is exciting that people are starting to take action to reverse those trends, get the shoreline protected again so the river can come back to life,” she said.
Yesterday’s announcement, she says, is part of a long-term conservation campaign to secure all the unique properties along the St. Mary’s. It’s also a step toward to province’s commitment last year to set aside 12 per cent of Nova Scotia’s protected areas by 2015.

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