Protected Natural Areas

Our best hope for conserving New Brunswick’s natural character into the future.

New Brunswick’s protected areas were first created in New Brunswick in May 

2001, following a years-long debate throughout the province. The Protected Natural Areas Act created areas in the province that were protected solely for environmental purposes, and in which there would be no development, new roads, mining or forestry.

At the time, 10 large areas were designated as protected, and since then, other smaller sites have been added to the list. The total amount of land protected under the act is almost 272,000 hectares (4.5{a3162b1395e34f5bc6dd788a255c8e2a209e2a614c3b42176989b624267eff88} of New Brunswick’s 7 million hectare landbase).

The Protected Natural Areas Act allowed for the creation of 2 categories of protected areas, called Class I and Class II. Areas in both categories are protected from all forms of development, including construction, road building, mining, and forestry. Class I areas, of which there are 4 small ones, are areas which are deemed very sensitive and are therefore restricted areas requiring provincial permits to enter. Class II areas remain open to recreational activities, fishing and hunting.

Class I Protected Natural Areas – those lands and water permanently set aside for the conservation of biological diversity. All activities are prohibited except by permit from ERD. They are controlled by ERD under the Protected Areas Act.

Class II Protected Natural Areas – Areas permanently set aside for the conservation of biological diversity, where certain recreational activities having minimal impact will be allowed. They are controlled by ERD under the Protected Natural Areas Act.

There are also, scattered throughout the province, areas under conservation easements held by different agencies like the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Details about individual sites can be found by downloading the mobile app “ExploreEcoNB”.