Selected Ecosystem Services provided by forests within the Ingram River Wilderness Area and their values
These estimates place the annual value of air pollution services provided solely by the trees within the area at around $6.4 million. If forests are left to recover and mature, the value of these services will increase.
In 2017, the Nova Scotia government commissioned a study of the commercial benefits of the province’s protected areas. This report, completed by Gardiner Pinfold Consulting Inc., attempted to quantify the commercial, personal, and societal benefits provided by the network of protected areas in Nova Scotia¹. Gardiner Pinfold utilized an earlier study by Global Forest Watch which produced a series of estimates for the value of ecosystem services provided by various land cover types in Nova Scotia (i.e. wetlands, forests, lakes and rivers, and barrens). These estimated values are²:
Wetlands: $5,996 to $6,687/ha/year in water regulation, water filtration, flood control, waste treatment, and wildlife habitat.
Forests: $869 to $5,415/ha/year in water filtration, carbon storage, and wildlife habitat.
Lakes and Rivers: $4,017 to $12,484/ha/year in drainage, water supply, and genetic resource services.
Using these valuations, the researchers considered even more ecosystem services, arriving at the following estimates.
Value of Ecosystem Services Within the Ingram River Wilderness Area by Cover Type
Our team’s calculations indicate that Ingram River Wilderness Area provides Nova Scotians with at least $18 million and potentially over $75 million in services such as water filtration and regulation, waste treatment, carbon storage, and flood control.
1-Gardiner Pinfold Inc. Commercial Benefits of Nova Scotia’s Protected Areas. (2017).
2-Global Forest Watch. NS Protected Area Natural Capital Report. (2013).
Nature provides so much more than simple scenic views or locations for recreation. Ecosystems, like those found within the proposed Ingram River Wilderness Area, provide numerous services that benefit humans and help sustain our quality of life. From carbon sequestration and climate regulation to water purification and flood prevention, natural and recovering ecosystems perform invaluable services that are often ignored or minimized.
Our team of Dalhousie University researchers evaluated some of the ecosystem services provided by the area. You can read their findings and explanation below.
A breath of fresh air
Our team looked at 2,000 randomly generated points within the proposed wilderness area and placed said points into one of three categories: tree, non-tree, or water. Modelling software called iTree Canopy then analyzed these points to estimate total forest canopy cover and associated ecosystem services values.