MapleCross Melrose Hill Forest (Phases I and II)
Mabou, Nova Scotia
Community Forests International – 2022
This protected area is found atop Melrose Hill on Cape Breton Island. For well over a century, this island has seen the boom and bust of mining industries and intensive commercial forestry. This property has so far evaded these risks, and has continually provided rare intact hardwood-dominated forest for the region’s wildlife and plant diversity. Conserving this property ensures the forest can continue to provide ecological and social benefits, as this special piece of Wabanaki forest is now under the care of Community Forests International (CFI).
Cape Breton provides the only habitat in Nova Scotia for the Canada lynx, listed as a species at risk by the province since 1996. Inland forest found on the Melrose Hill property supports connectivity of Canada lynx habitat, as well as habitat for other large mammals such as moose and American marten. This region is included in the Habitat Conservation Strategy for Cape Breton, and is classified as moderate to very high risk in terms of conservation value.
Climate change and habitat shifting are the greatest threat to this property. This forest joins over 5000 acres as part of CFI’s old forest stewardship and forest restoration programs in the Maritimes. This forest will be closely monitored over time for its climate change adaptability and resilience based on species composition and age class diversity to ensure it can continue to thrive and provide all of its current benefits and retain its intrinsic value in perpetuity.
Content and property pictures courtesy of: Community Forests International at forestsinternational.org