592 acres parallel to, and west of, Panuke Lake, Halifax Co., from Atlantic Star for $1,039,552 90 acres near Welton Lake, Cumberland Co., from Atlantic Star for $108,000 677 acres within the Cobequid Mountain-South Cobequid Foothills, from Atlantic Star for $505,019 231 acres along the St. Mary’s River, from the Dehaan family for $225,225 115 acres near Seashore lands in Cape Breton County and adjacent to three patches of land that are proposed to become Fourchu Wilderness Area, from the Kiefner family for $225,000 76 acres in Cape Breton County, adjacent to three patches of land that are proposed to be protected as Fourchu Wilderness Area, from K. MacDougall and K. Gillis $160,000 147.5 acres along the Cabot Trail, within lands that are proposed to be protected, from the Niendorf family for $122,000 298 acres adjacent to a provincial park reserve and near the Ship Harbour-Long Lake Wilderness Area, from the Prest family for $273,000 Investing in important lands will benefit wildlife and their habitats and help Nova Scotia reach, and surpass, its goal of protecting at least 12 per cent of its lands. Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau released details today, March 28, on land purchases made as part of the plan for parks and protected areas. “Nova Scotia’s most important spaces need to be protected from development and potentially harmful human activity,” said Mr. Belliveau. “These lands contain vital wildlife habitats, mature forests, and popular recreational-use areas. Other lands are relatively untouched by human activity and need to remain that way. These purchases will greatly enhance our protected areas system.” The purchases were made using $6.5 million allotted in the 2012-2013 budget to help the province meet its goal to protect 12 per cent of its lands by 2015. The purchases, 2,226.5 acres, are: Sale prices were based on certified appraisals of fair market value. The lands are included in the Parks and Protected Areas Plan, which is open for public comments until May 1. “With these land purchases, the Nova Scotia government continues to build upon its excellent reputation as being a leader in Canada for nature conservation,” said Chris Miller, national conservation biologist for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “These properties are smart choices for conservation, containing old forest, species-at-risk habitat, and frontage on significant lakes and waterways.” More information on the plan and ways to provide feedback are located at www.novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas .