The Town of Amherst’s drinking water supply is now better protected with the designation of watershed lands as a provincial wilderness area. Nine-hundred and seventy hectares of Amherst-owned lands, north-east of the town, make up the new Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area. “We are pleased to work with one of our municipal partners to protect their water supply and biodiversity, through this collaborative effort,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Environment. “Protecting these lands demonstrates continued progress on the government’s commitment to move toward a greener Nova Scotia by protecting 12 per cent of our provincial land base by 2015.” The town requested that the province apply the higher level of protection to the lands which are within the municipal water protection area. Department of Environment and town staff worked closely together to develop terms and conditions of designation acceptable to both parties. “The Town of Amherst is very pleased to have its watershed lands protected as the Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area,” said Robert Small, mayor of Amherst. “The wilderness area designation will provide enhanced protection for our drinking water supply while ensuring that a beautiful natural area is preserved for the benefits of our residents and visitors alike.” The area protects bogs, marshes, coniferous and mixed forest and the endangered mainland moose. Its importance also stems from its location in the narrow, low-lying land bridge which connects Nova Scotia to New Brunswick. The area was already closed to unauthorized use of motorized vehicles by provincial water supply protection regulations. The Department of Natural Resources assisted with the designation. This is the second wilderness area to be established on municipal water supply lands. In 2005, the Town of Antigonish agreed that lands surrounding that town’s municipal water supply would be added to the Eigg Mountain-James River Wilderness Area. The Chignecto Isthmus Wilderness Area is located in northern Cumberland County and is not to be confused with the Chignecto Game Sanctuary which is in the western side of the county and is managed by the department of Natural Resources.