As part of a nation-wide initiative, New Brunswick stepped up to the plate to double the protected land and waters in our Province. By working with partners, NB established 552 Nature Legacy protected areas to ensure our natural places stay pristine for future generations to enjoy.

Most of the protection happened on Crown land; however, we also worked with conservation organizations in the province to secure strategic private lands for permanent conservation.

Areas selected for conservation had a specific biodiversity focus, such as: old forests, areas of high biodiversity, and unique ecosystem types. We were also interested in areas which may better adapt to or protect from climate change, sites with cultural significance, and areas that connect people with nature.

New protected areas will help ensure New Brunswick's:

  1. Diversity of habitats, ecosystems, and landscapes are healthy and resilient into the future for New Brunswick species.

    • Old forest and other habitats that are key to maintaining healthy populations where they naturally occur.
    • Cliffs, beaches, dunes, and other habitats that are underrepresented in current conservation lands, and potentially are at risk of being developed.
    • Habitats and refuges necessary to support at-risk, sensitive, or uncommon species.
    • Long term ecological integrity of existing Protected Natural Areas achieved through site expansions. 
  2. Landscapes remain resilient to a changing climate.

    • Forests and other ecosystems that contain species anticipated to be well adapted to future climate conditions.
    • Lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, floodplains, and surrounding lands that contribute to maintaining clean freshwater and flood mitigation.
    • Wildlife corridors for species to move across the landscape at the local, regional, and continental scale.  
  3. Culturally important lands and water are preserved so that people can remain strongly connected to nature as a place to enjoy and a place to work.

    • Lands with cultural or spiritual importance, including traditional foods, medicines and materials that support First Nations in exercising Aboriginal and Treaty rights and conserving Indigenous culture.
    • Sites where nature can be experienced and enjoyed, such as waterfalls, vistas, urban forests and waterways, to which outdoor enthusiasts have a strong connection.
    • Areas for research, teaching, or study of wildlife, landscape heritage, or natural history
    • Areas for the sustainable use of certain non-timber natural resources.


"The initiative to increase protected areas on public land is a major step to maintaining what so many New Brunswickers value."

Director of Graduate Studies
Director, NB Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit