Nova Scotia has more than doubled its nature reserve lands withthe designation of four new reserves and the expansion ofanother. The new reserves feature bogs, a mature Red Oak forest, an old-growth Acadian mixed forest, the endangered thread-leaved sundewplant, coastal headlands and barrens. “These reserves are peaceful places where we just let nature be,untouched,” said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash.”We’re protecting these places so Nova Scotians will always enjoythe beauty of our natural environment and the knowledge gained bystudying it.” The province now has 11 nature reserves totalling 3,140 hectares,up from 1,360 hectares. They preserve and protect typical andspecial ecosystems, plants and animals. They also offer researchand education opportunities. The new reserves total about 1,700 hectares. Two are in YarmouthCounty — the Great Barren and Quinan Lakes Nature Reserve nearQuinan, and Spinneys Heath Nature Reserve near Argyle. The othersinclude Quinns Meadow Nature Reserve near Clyde River, ShelburneCo., and Duncans Cove Nature Reserve in Halifax RegionalMunicipality. MacFarlane Woods Nature Reserve, near Mabou, Inverness Co., wasdesignated in 1988 with 52.5 hectares. It is now 132 hectares –more than double its original size. About 58 per cent of thisland is owned by area resident Jim St. Clair who is allowing itto be used as part of the nature reserve. “From the time my ancestors arrived here in 1820, these woodshave provided clean air, protection against the wind, and aglorious site in all seasons,” said Mr. St. Clair. “Our familymade a good decision to set this area aside, and the partnershipwith the provincial government is helpful to preserve it forfuture generations to treasure.” The new and expanded nature reserves help meet commitments in the government’s green plan, Toward a Sustainable Environment, to protectmore of Nova Scotia’s natural environment. About 8.2 per cent of land in Nova Scotia is protected throughthe combined efforts of the provincial and federal governments,and organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and theNova Scotia Nature Trust. All of Nova Scotia’s nature reserves are described on thedepartment’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/pareas .