Protect the Chain Lakes Wilderness Area

The Blomidon Naturalists Society is proposing a new wilderness area for Crown land in southwest Kings County.  Download our info flyer. Why this place?

  • The southwest corner of Kings County is the only major section of Crown land in the County that remains largely forested without human habitation.
  • There are pockets of old growth, forests that are older than 80 years, beautiful lakes, and pristine still waters and wetlands.
  • Numerous endangered species have been identified in the area—the Canada Warbler, olive-sided flycatchers, wisqoq (black ash), and very rare lichens. There are snapping turtle nests, foraging chimneys swifts and nighthawks, and even the elusive rusty blackbird.
  • There is much to celebrate and protect, the pockets need to be linked as a wildlife corridor, and the cut areas can be restored given protection and time. 

Wilderness Areas...

… protect biodiversity for our own survival and the web of life.
… provide opportunities to appreciate nature,
…support physical and mental health
… reduce climate change impact.
… protect endangered and at-risk species and their habitats.
… support wilderness recreation, hunting, sport fishing, trapping
.… support existing snowmobile and ATV trails and usage in the area into the future.
… generate economic benefits for the recreation and tourism sectors.


Why in Kings County?

Currently, Kings County has only about 4.5% of its area protected. Botanist and citizen Alain Belliveau has been calling out this short-coming, and presenting keys ways for Kings County to achieve a 20% target.

  • The Nova Scotia government has recognized the value of protecting wild land to “nourish biodiversity, contribute to sustainable prosperity and provide access to nature — an important determinant of mental and physical health.”
  • The Province has a legislated target of protecting 20% of Nova Scotia by the year 2030. It is to release a strategy on the planning process to get there by the end of 2023.
  • This is an important step as only 13% of our province is currently protected. In Kings County less than 5 of the land is protected.
  • For more detail on protecting 20% of Kings County, biologist Alain Beliveau has given two talks on his work surveying for biodiversity, old-growth habitat and species at risk across the County, and his proposals to achieve 20% protected areas here by 2030. You can view these talks below. Based on his work, the Blomidon Naturalists are proposing to protect the Chain Lakes Wilderness Area.

Alain Beliveau Presentation:
Protected Areas in Kings County (Feb. 2, 2022)

Alain Beliveau Progress Report:
Protected Areas in Kings County (Feb. 22, 2023)

Where is the Area?

It is in the southwest corner of Kings County. The yellow areas include the crown lands proposed for protection based on aerial, forestry mapping and ground and surveys. These are current proposed boundaries but these would be clarified through the planning process for the area


What Does Protection Mean?

  • Commercial resource development (e.g., mining, forestry, aquaculture, dams, pipelines, etc.) is absolutely prohibited, except where there are pre-existing commitments. 
  • Recreation activities with minimal environmental impact are permitted, including walking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, sport fishing, trapping, and cross-country skiing. Trails and facilities for these activities can be developed. 
  • We strongly recommend existing snowmobile and ATV trails and usage in the area  be agreed to by the Province into the future at the outset. The legislation allows for continued motorized vehicle use on existing trails. New trails or usage areas for motorized vehicles are prohibited.
  • Access to private lands across the wilderness area can be assured. Existing land leases can be honoured. 

What Happens Next?

  • The Nova Scotia Department of the Environment and Climate Change needs to start the planning process to designate the Chain Lakes Wilderness Area using the proposal submitted by the Blomidon Naturalists as the foundation.
  • Widespread support is needed in the County to make this happen, both from individuals and groups. The Blomidon Naturalists are approaching local municipalities and politicians for letters of support and launching a public education campaign.
  • The critical step is to obtain a pause/moratorium on new resource extraction in the area, to protect it during the planning process, which will take a number of years. If the clear cutting in the area continues, there will be little left to protect in terms of the most valuable lands for biodiversity.

What You Can Do!

  • You can help by writing to the N.S. Minister of the Environment, Minister of Natural Resources, and your MLA , requesting a pause/moratorium & protection for the area. Use the information above. Short, clear and simple is great. They need to know we care.

    Honourable Timothy Halman,
    Minister of Environment and Climate Change
    Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change
    PO Box 442 Halifax NS B3J 2P8

  • Get involved with the BNS work on this. We have a protected area committee developing strategy for public education including a petition campaign. For more information, contact:
  • Support the Save Our Old Forests campaign, the work of a coalition of groups across the province, led by the Arlington Forest Protection Society, to advocate for protecting old forests and to help the province achieve the 20% protection goal by 2030. Visit the website here.