Campsite leases are legally established campsites, with a permanent camp structure, located on small parcels of provincially owned lands. Some sites have been used for decades and are part of the outdoor recreation heritage of Nova Scotia. The lease allows a lease holder to maintain a simple building for use as a hunting or fishing camp, or similar recreational purposes, for personal use.
Approximately 100 campsite leases are located within Wilderness Areas. These sites have a valid, pre-existing campsite lease interest, which predates designation of the Wilderness Area and is recognized by the Wilderness Areas Protection Act. Use of the sites must be conducted in a way that ensures minimal environmental impact on the Wilderness Area. The Act also states that leases may continue until their expiry, lawful termination, or cancellation, and may be renewed according to legislation and policies.
When campsite leases issued by the Department of Natural Resources for sites now in a Wilderness Area are renewed they will be replaced by campsite licences issued by the Department of Environment and Labour.