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Duncans Cove Nature Reserve Ecological Site Designation made under Section 14 of the
Special Places Protection Act
R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 438
O.I.C. 2004-473 (December 3, 2004), N.S. Reg. 239/2004
I hereby designate as an ecological site pursuant to subsections (1), (2), (3), and (4) of Section 14 of Chapter 438 of the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, the Special Places Protection Act, the land described in Appendix "A" and shown on the map attached as Appendix "B", which ecological site shall be managed in accordance with the Duncans Cove Nature Reserve Management Plan dated July 15, 2004, and filed at the office of the Department of Environment and Labour at Halifax, a summary of which is attached as Appendix "C"; all appendices being attached to and forming part of the designation, which shall be known as the Duncans Cove Nature Reserve, effective on the date of publication of the designation in the Royal Gazette.
Sgd: K. Morash
Minister of Environment and Labour
Dated and signed at Halifax, Nova Scotia
October 26, 2004.
Duncans Cove Nature Reserve
All that certain tract of land and land covered by water shown outlined in bold line and identified as Parcel DC-1 and Parcel DC-2 on Compiled Plan Showing Duncans Cove Nature Reserve, filed at the Department of Natural Resources Office at Halifax, under Field Plot P-026/04, said tract of land located at Duncans Cove, Halifax County, Province of Nova Scotia.
Containing an approximate total area of 369 hectares.
[The following image is a scanned copy of the map of the Duncans Cover Nature Reserve as filed with the Registry of Regulations.]
[click map to enlarge]
Summary of Duncans Cove Nature Reserve Management Plan
The management plan for Duncans Cove Nature Reserve describes the outstanding natural features, boundaries, and management prescription for this reserve, which is located approximately 17 km south of Halifax. The management plan gives guidance to those charged with maintaining the ecological integrity of the reserve, emphasizing the most fundamental principle of nature reserve management—that protection must take priority over use.
Duncans Cove Nature Reserve encompasses approximately 369 ha, and includes almost all Crown-owned portions of the coastal headland, barren, and bog complex east of Route 349 between Portuguese Cove and Ketch Harbour in Halifax Regional Municipality.
Duncans Cove Nature Reserve is an excellent example of a representative coastal headland, barren, and bog complex, and is particularly valued because of its proximity to the Halifax metropolitan area and its popularity as a natural area. It is also the only known mainland Nova Scotia locality supporting the provincially rare Arctic Blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum).
As provided for in the Special Places Protection Act, Duncans Cove Nature Reserve is to be managed to a high standard of protection, equivalent to IUCN Class Ia (Strict Nature Reserve), in keeping with the overriding goal of maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity.
Nature-based education and recreation activities will be accommodated to the extent that protection goals are not compromised. Motorized and non-motorized vehicle access (including ATVs, motorcycles, and mountain bikes) will not be permitted. With the exception of forest fires, natural processes will be allowed to take place in the absence of any direct human interference.
There is recognition that unmanaged trail use at Duncans Cove has led to trail conditions becoming degraded and impacts of trail use being spread over unnecessarily large areas. These issues will be addressed through an examination of use patterns, documentation of associated damage, and evaluation of options for reducing trail-use impacts and improving trail conditions. More generally, the need to manage visitation through the provision and maintenance of marked trails, observation areas, parking, and waste receptacles will be evaluated periodically on the basis of inspections by staff and volunteers and inquiries from the public. Protection of Duncan Lake from uses which jeopardize its value as a water source for the village of Duncans Cove will be a priority in any planning to manage recreational use of the area.
Staff will carry out regular (at least annual or more frequently if specifically warranted) and opportunistic inspections to assess compliance with the Act and the management plan.