The Acacia Valley Trails, less than 10 kilometres from Digby, offer a mix of woodland trails with wheelchair access, single track walking paths and an ATV bridge, all connecting to miles and miles of logging roads on Crown lands.
Highlights of the trails include views of streams, meadows and old forests, and the trails offer picnic spots and benches, according to the Municipality of Digby Trails website.
But local residents are concerned that forestry cutting could impact the beauty of the popular trails.
“We had a resident that has land adjacent to Crown land, back by Mill Road and the trail system, who felt that a larger buffer was needed," explains Warden Jimmy MacAlpine.
"The local fish and game society helped develop the trail years ago and the municipality contributed financially. The council discussed it and endorsed writing a letter of support for the buffer.”
The Municipality of Digby is joining with local residents and the Acacia Valley Trails Association to request an expanded buffer to protect the trails from possible clear-cutting or limited forestry cutting where and when cuts of trees are proposed.
Linda Fraser, chief administrative officer of the Municipality of Digby, says the letter to the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry makes three requests:
• 100 metre buffers to maintain the natural aspects of the trails and minimize trail maintenance due to blowdown
• Notification of any cuts to protect the safety of trail users
• Viewscape protection to maintain the beauty of the area
MacAlpine said he is unaware of any plans that include clearcutting in the area at this time.
“My understanding is that it’s not a clearcut, but I know that’s what a lot of people have concerns about," he says. "This will help protect the trails.”
He also noted this only applies to Crown land.'
WRITTEN BY ANITA FLOWERS