The Government of Canada is committed to preserving our national parks, protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems and contributing to the recovery of species at risk.
Today, the Government of Canada announced a federal investment of $1.4 million to enhance existing efforts to protect the threatened Eastern Hemlock forests in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. The announcement was made by the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
Eastern Hemlock trees are critical to the park’s ecosystem and provides important habitat for many other species. The trees have lately been under threat from Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an aphid-like insect, unintentionally introduced in Eastern North America from Asia, which has killed thousands of Eastern Hemlock trees over the past three decades in the United States. In 2017, this invasive species was found in southwest Nova Scotia and, a year later, was detected in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. The insect is a significant threat to the park’s forest and up to 80 percent of Kejimkujik’s Eastern Hemlock trees could be lost over the next three to ten years. Although it is not possible to completely eradicate this invasive species, Parks Canada acted early, implementing several measures in the park to control the insect’s population and slow its spread and impact.
As a result of the funding announced today, Parks Canada will continue collaborating with partners to implement new measures to reduce the spread of the invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and increase the resiliency of Eastern Hemlock. Through the Slow the Spread – Ensuring resilience in the forests of Kejimkujik with Hemlock Woolly Adelgid project, control methods for priority old growth forests will be investigated. Parks Canada will also use silviculture and planting as a way to manage the growth, composition and health of priority hemlock forests in the park. Over the next five years, Parks Canada will have implemented critical steps to manage the invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
Parks Canada collaborates with academic and scientific institutions on ecological projects and partners with Indigenous communities and organizations across the country to conserve and restore natural ecosystems and important habitat. By working together, we can protect and conserve Canada’s key ecosystems for future generations.
“Nature is central to Canada’s culture, prosperity and way of life. Protecting it will benefit our environment, our health and our communities across the country. That’s why the Government of Canada is making an important investment to preserve the health of the iconic Eastern Hemlock forest in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. This funding will enable Parks Canada to continue working with key partners and scientific researchers to help improve ecological integrity in this increasingly rare, intact Hemlock forest to protect and conserve it for future generations.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan,
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s
The Government of Canada invests $15 million annually in Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) program to support high priority projects that make a difference on the ground in maintaining or restoring ecological integrity and helping in the recovery of species at risk.
Eastern Hemlock forests form a high percentage of important old-growth forests in Nova Scotia. They can live over 300 years and form stable forests that can persist for thousands of years. Kejimkujik is one of the last remaining landscapes where large areas of this tree can be experienced.
Since Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was first discovered in Nova Scotia, Parks Canada began several measures to reduce its spread in the park, including implementing a firewood importation ban, phytosanitation in Jeremy’s Bay campground (trimming branches to minimize contact with people, pets and vehicles), as well as community and stakeholder engagement and education.