The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has expanded a key nature reserve in southern New Brunswick. The not-for-profit group has purchased another 69.5 hectares (147 acres) of rare and mature Acadian forest near Riverside-Albert. Two thirds of the newly protected forest is made up of trees more than 80 years old. Had it not been conserved, the forest was in danger of being lost to logging due to its high timber value.
In addition to protecting the forest for habitat, NCC acquired the land to help protect drinking water reservoirs for nearby Riverside-Albert. NCC’s nature reserve conserves forest around sections of Arabian Vault Brook, upstream of Riverside-Albert’s reservoirs, protecting the wellfield and both the quality and quantity of the water supply for the community’s 400 residents.
The newly protected forest features large tracts of older sugar maple, red maple, yellow birch and red spruce, some of the more than 40 tree species that make up the original Acadian forest.
This acquisition expands the size of NCC’s existing Caledonia Gorge Nature Reserve, established in 2018, to 191 hectares (473 acres). Due to its proximity to Caledonia Gorge Provincial Natural Area, NCC’s expanded nature reserve creates a wider corridor of connected, conserved wildlife habitat in Albert County. NCC is continuing to work with partners and local landowners to conserve additional old forest within this watershed and the Caledonia Gorge area.
This conservation project was made possible by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund. The project was also supported by the Province of New Brunswick (RDC), New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, Shepody Fish and Game Association, Hewitt Foundation, Lockhart Foundation, American Friends of Canadian Nature, and many private donors.