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Nature reserve in N.B. gains a large property that would protect ‘wide-ranging animals’

An area of protected land near the Bay of Fundy is getting bigger.

More than 160 hectares have been entrusted to the Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve by two sisters from Maine.

Janine Blaine and her sister Debbie Christiansen entrusted land in Little Musquash Cove left to them by their father, Philip E. Plante, who passed away ten years ago.

The sisters were joined at the announcement by their husbands, Bill Blaine and Todd Christiansen, respectively, and other members of their family.

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It was a frequent and beloved vacation spot for their family.

“It was his favourite place of land,” Janine Blaine said of her father. “Ours, too.”

Blaine said it would have been important to her father that the land will stay in its natural form as part of more than 2,230 hectares of protected land at the Musquash Estuary.

“(The) sea shore is one of my favourite things…and going into the water and seeing the water,” Janine Blaine said.

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“Where the estuary comes down in, it’s beautiful there. High cliffs. There was everything there,” she added.

Paula Noel, the New Brunswick program director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, said preserving the cove is important because of its ecological diversity. It also includes two kilometres of undeveloped Fundy coastline and features coastal wetlands and older forest.

Noel said the Musquash Estuary is the largest protected area on the Bay of Fundy, bigger than Fundy National Park.

“With that large area, you have protected habitat for wide-ranging animals like moose and bear,” Noel said. “Bobcats were recently spotted down near black beach trail.”

“It’s also a really important site for migratory birds,” she added.

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“I have four children and seven grandchildren,” Debbie Christiansen said. “All of my children have been here. The grandchildren have not yet, but we’d love to bring them down.”

The newly entrusted land will be called the Philip E. Plante property in honour of its former owner.

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