Located at the mouth of the LaHave River estuary, The Shaubac is an area of historical, cultural, recreational, and environmental significance and one with importance to the local and provincial community. At over 585 acres, it is one of the last large, predominantly undeveloped coastal forests on the South Shore and in Lunenburg County.
In recent decades, The Shaubac has been used as an area for hiking, snowmobiling, ATV trekking, cross-country skiing, hunting, bird watching, and casual walks. Earlier generations had also used it for logging, and logging trails criss-cross its landscape creating natural spaces for hiking and, in winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. It features an extensive shoreline on the LaHave River and from various points offers lovely vistas of the river’s mouth and the small islands that dot the river’s entrance. The estuary is widely used by canoeist and kayakers.
As part of our new partnership with the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MoDL), MoDL and KCC now own these recently acquired lands as tenants-in-common and the joint KCC-MoDL committee is working on a medium and long-term strategy for saving as much land as possible on the Shaubac, as well as exploring appropriate public access to these recently acquired lands.
The cost of acquiring the additional 54.5 acres adjacent to KCC’s existing lands on the Shaubac, including all applicable taxes, misc. expenses and legal fees, was $709,656. This cost was paid jointly by MoDL: 51% ($360K); The Crown Share fund: 27% ($192,400); KCC: $137,000 (reserve fund), and $20,256 (special Shaubac donations from KCC members and supporters), for a total of $157,256, or 22%.
Notably, the cost per conserved acre to KCC and its members for protecting the 54.5 acres was $2,513.76/acre. Member and supporter contributions ranged from a high of $12,500, $10,000 & $5,000, and as little as $20. In this final stage of critical fundraising, every dollar counted. Given our small, volunteer-based resources we should all be extremely proud of our collective effort — a huge thanks to all!
Stay tuned for ongoing updates on future developments…
— The KCC Board of Directors
Long dormant, the Shaubac area has recently been discovered as a source of valuable coastal lands that are priced well below equivalents elsewhere in Nova Scotia. Over the past few months, land sales have been accelerating and property prices have skyrocketed, despite the fact that currently no viable access is available to the 110+ lots situated on the Shaubac.
The surge in interest, and thus also in prices, began in late January. Many of the offers are speculative, and have come in at asking price and above, sight unseen, with no financial, appraisal or survey conditions. Recent properties have been ‘packaged’ so that all lots in the offering have coastal access. 18 offerings belonging to one owner, totalling some 55 acres, sold within four weeks, at an average price of $13,000 per acre. One of these lots, purchased in March at $150,000 has since been listed by the new owner at a price of $250,000. Another 6.6-acre property is currently for sale at $82,000 per acre. Compare this to last Fall, when there was only one lot on the market — a coastal lot that sold for $6,000 per acre.
After many months of focussed effort, KCC has been successful in securing 4 tracts of land adjacent to existing KCC properties, totalling 54.48 acres. Taken together — and added to existing adjacent KCC properties — they form a 116.48-acre, undeveloped, virtually contiguous land mass, encompassing some 850ft of coastal access and sufficient acreage to mitigate any edge disturbance that would be wildlife-threatening, should the old provincial road running through the Shaubac ever be developed.
KCC’s Board has determined that no matter how much development occurs on the remainder of the Shaubac lands, these acquisitions, added to our existing properties, will be more than capable of sustaining a flourishing biodiversity on the Shaubac, as well as providing opportunities for appropriate public enjoyment, access and trails.
Equally as important, they maximize the value of the investment that KCC has already made in the Shaubac over the past years.
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL)-KCC Partnership
KCC’s proactive and persistent effort to protect as much land as possible in face of these serious threats has gained us the generous support of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL). This has resulted in the ratification by MODL’s Council of a Partnership Agreement with KCC to secure the lands in question.
— The KCC Board of Directors
“Over the past few months, MODL has been working with the Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy (KCC) to secure the purchase of approximately 55 acres of land on the Shaubac in support of our shared conservation vision. We know that conservation efforts work best when it occurs in partnerships and MODL is pleased to partner with the KCC in its efforts to conserve and protect lands on the Shaubac.”
The MODL Council has voted to contribute $300K towards the purchase price of these acquisitions by the closing date, with a further request for $60K to be presented to the Council at its September meeting. In partnership with KCC, MODL will likely be contributing ongoing, additional resources to the design and implementation of trails, and other appropriate forms of public access under the guiding principles of KCC’s Mission and stewarding practices.
KCC’s efforts must now turn urgently towards raising the required additional $360,000 before the acquisition closing date of September 30, 2022.
While grant submissions to government agencies and private foundations are already underway, history tells us that a good part of these funds will come from existing supporters and benefactors, either directly or through their connections.
We are appealing to all concerned to contribute what they can through the donate button below, and to point us to those who should also be hearing from us by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to watch the fund chart below for progress!