A national conservation group has protected 274 hectares of wetlands, forest and gypsum landscapes in Cape Breton. Preserving these three “extraodinary habitats” is the first step in its long-term plan for central Cape Breton, the Nature Conservancy of Canada said in a news release Wednesday. …The project will also protect 69 hectares of mainly Acadian forest near Marble Mountain at Bras d’Or Lake. Only five per cent of the Martime provinces’ original Acadian forest remains as the result of hundreds of years of harvesting. The wetlands component includes 43 hectares at West Lake Ainslie, near the Black River Bog Nature Reserve, which is managed by the province. This area provided habitat for one of the most significant groups of rare plants in Nova Scotia. The forest and wetlands areas were purchased by the conservancy.