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CPAWS welcomes major announcement today of new protected areas in Quebec


Quebec – The CPAWS-Quebec chapter -- known in French as “SNAP-Quebec” -- welcomes the province’s announcement today of over 18,000 km² of new protected areas, including 1,450 km2 of the Dumoine River watershed and nearly 1,000 km2 in the Vallée des Montagnes Blanches. 

“This announcement is an important step forward for conservation and moving closer to the government’s goal of securing 8% of the province in protected areas by the end of the year. We hope that this target is only the beginning of creating a comprehensive network of protected areas throughout the province,” says Mari-eve Marchand, SNAP-Quebec interim executive director. 

Dumoine River  

After 5 years of active campaigning with local and regional stakeholders, CPAWS-Quebec congratulates the government on protecting the Dumoine River in southern Quebec. “People from Témiscamingue, Outaouais and all of Quebec can be proud to know that the last wild river in Southern Quebec is now protected from all types of commercial exploitation,” said Marchand. CPAWS and other regional stakeholders want to see this magnificent site transformed into a national park, and become a natural heritage icon in southern Quebec. 

Vallée des Montagnes Blanches 

CPAWS-Quebec also welcomes the protection of 959 km2 in the Vallée des Montagnes Blanches, a site which more than 185,000 citizens called for protection during the Sleeping like a log campaign spearheaded by CPAWS-Quebec and its partners in the Aux abres citoyens! initiative. 

“This is a first breath of fresh air for the Vallée des Montagnes Blanches and the hundreds of woodland caribou who call this important ecosystem home,” said Nicolas Mainville, Conservation Director for CPAWS-Quebec. CPAWS hopes to see a substantial enlargement of the site in coming announcements in order to sustain healthy caribou populations, which require large, intact areas of old-growth forest for their survival.

36 000 km² from a minimum target

With this announcement, Quebec Environment Minister Line Beauchamp is putting in place the essential tools to create a genuine protected areas network. Quebec now jumps from 4.9% to 6% in protected areas, but still needs to protect 36 000 km2 to reach its minimal 8% target. “This is a crucial step in shaking the ecological doldrums that certain regions of Quebec have been in,” adds Mr. Mainville. “All eyes are now on the minister to see if we will attain 8% by the end of the year, but mostly to see if the government will follow suit for the post 8% period, as was demanded by all the civil society stakeholders at the Forest Summit in 2007,” concludes Mr. Mainville. 

In order to catalyze the government’s effort, CPAWS-Quebec and its partners have identified several conservation hotspots, including the Assinica Cree heritage park, the jewel of nature Pascagama, and the Chic-Chocs in Gaspésie. More and more, citizens are mobilizing for the protection of their natural heritage. “Quebeckers and Canadians hold nature close to their hearts and, once again, demonstrate it through their involvement in our new social movement for conservation: The Big Wild™” adds Ms. Marchand. 

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About The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)


The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only non-government organization devoted solely to large-landscape wilderness protection. Established in 1963, CPAWS has been instrumental in protecting over 400,000 km2 of Canada’s most treasured wild places. www.cpaws.org

About The Big Wild™

The Big Wild™ is an initiative launched by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) to mobilize Canadians to demonstrate support for the protection of Canada’s publicly-owned wilderness. The vision of the movement is that Canada will protect at least half of our wilderness from industrial development.
www.thebigwild.org

Contact:

Sophie Paradis
Communications manager
CPAWS-Quebec
514 278-7627 ext 221
www.snapqc.org