Citizen Science Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) is a Facebook Group sponsored by the Save Our Old Forests Association. The purpose of the project is to provide a centralised platform to coordinate and promote Citizen Science workshops, events and presentations throughout Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia). Help identify areas of ecological diversity and maybe even find some hidden old growth forest.

Join Citizen Mi’kma’ki to share photos, learn about upcoming events and get involved!

Click the links below to learn more about the areas that have been proposed for protection by Citizen Scientists!

The government of Nova Scotia has made a legal commitment to protect 20% of Nova Scotia’s lands and waters by 2030. To do this they will need to add 300,000 hectares to protected areas in the next 6 years. Fortunately there is more than enough publicly owned land to do this and still have ample crown land available for forestry and other uses. 

In December 2023 the Collaborative Protected Areas Strategy: An Action Plan for Achieving 20 Percent (Collaborative Strategy) was published.  It does not in fact offer much in the way of actions, nor does it identify actual areas that are being considered for protection.

It does outline key criteria for selecting areas for protection include keeping “areas in a mostly natural state with relatively few human impacts compared to other lands in the surrounding landscape,” as well as providing ecological connectivity and watershed protection. “Larger areas are preferred,” as are “areas rich in biodiversity as well as rare or unique landscapes, such as old-growth forests, salt marshes, and habitats that support species at risk.” The strategy recognises that, in order to create larger protected areas, it will be necessary to include some areas that were altered from natural forest to plantations in the past.  

The Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (ECC) both signed the Collaborative Strategy. They are mandated to work together to meet the goal of protecting 20%. Unfortunately DNRR appears to be in a much greater hurry to identify potential sites for High Production Forestry (clearcutting and spraying) than they are to identify the areas that should be protected, even though HPF is supposed to be implemented very gradually over 35 years, at a rate of about 5,000 hectares a year. Compare that to the 300,000 ha that still need to be identified for protection in the next 7 years.

In fact, thanks to the Canada-Nova Scotia Nature Agreement signed with the federal government on October 10, 2023, Nova Scotia has an interim target to reach by March 2026. At that point we should have 15% protected. This requires identifying 82,500 ha for protection in the next 2 years. We really do need an action plan!