(Fredericton) – On February 16, CPAWS New Brunswick Chapter Executive Director, Roberta Clowater, 

delivered a list of names to Premier Alward at the Centennial Building of over 10,000 Canadians who are asking him to protect at least 10% of the province’s largest remaining wild watershed.  

CPAWS’ delivery of the message is timed to occur shortly before the expected completion of a new plan for Crown forests by New Brunswick’s Department of Natural Resources.

“We’re inspired to see so many people, mainly New Brunswickers and Quebecers, but thousands of visitors too, who care about protecting this extraordinary wilderness area in the Restigouche, and want to see those values protected,” said Clowater.

CPAWS reached out to people about the opportunity to protect the Restigouche – famed for its wild salmon rivers, forested misty mountains and wildlife -- through social media such as Facebook and in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op.

“The number of people responding really underscores our message to Premier Alward that the province needs to take action now to protect more of our wilderness, especially the Restigouche. We’ve tapped a vein of public concern about the future of our province’s great wild places – and now we’re calling on the government to take action,” said Clowater.

“It’s inexcusable that New Brunswick ranks second from the bottom in the percentage of protected areas in all of Canada, compared to other provinces and territories. We’re not doing our fair share to protect wilderness and wildlife, or the important recreation and tourism jobs they support in New Brunswick,” added Clowater.

“To move New Brunswick towards the Canadian average, the government needs to commit to protecting at least 17% of the province’s Crown land by 2015, which amounts to 8.5% of the province. This would allow more of the wildest parts of Restigouche and the province to be permanently protected from development and industrial activity.”

Currently, only 3% of New Brunswick is permanently protected, compared to nearly 9% of land in other provinces. Nova Scotia has set a target of protecting 12% of the entire province by 2015 and is well ahead of New Brunswick in reaching its goal.

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Contact:

Roberta Clowater, 506-452-9902; cpawsnb@nb.sympatico.ca">cpawsnb@nb.sympatico.ca

For more information on CPAWS and our work in New Brunswick, please visit www.cpawsnb.org

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB