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Quebec Shows Leadership on Caribou Recovery and Protected Areas

  • Published on Nov 28 2017 |
  • This article is tagged as: caribou

Quebec Shows Leadership on Caribou Recovery and Protected Areas
Montagnes Blanches to be a large protected area for the boreal woodland caribou

MONTREAL – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Quebec Chapter welcomes the announcement of the Quebec government’s commitment to create the large Manouane-Manicouagan Woodland Caribou protected area, in the Montagnes Blanches region. This long-awaited action follows 10 years of hard work at CPAWS Quebec and will have a positive impact on the recovery of boreal woodland caribou without impacting forestry interests in the region.

“These large protected areas constitute our insurance policy for the restoration of boreal woodland caribou populations in Quebec,” emphasizes Alain Branchaud, Executive Director of CPAWS Quebec. “This announcement shows it is possible to protect caribou without affecting forestry jobs.”

The creation of at least 10,000 km2 of protected areas is one of the priority measures detailed in the Plan de rétablissement du caribou forestier au Québec 2013-2023, a plan CPAWS Quebec helped develop. The government’s proposal includes a large area north of the Manicouagan Reservoir where the population density of the caribou is very high and where the habitat is favourable to the species. However, work must continue in order to enhance and implement this project.

Manouane, the neglected segment
CPAWS Quebec notes that the announcement includes the exclusion of an area considered a priority for the recovery of the caribou and the protection of their habitat. Some 2,000 km2 in size, the excluded area is located north of Lac Manouane, 250 km north of the city of Saguenay, in the heart of the Montagnes Blanches (see the appended interactive map).

“It’s an area located very far from the mills, with questionable socio-economic value but proven scientific importance for the caribou,” affirmed Pier-Olivier Boudreault, Project Manager in forestry and conservation at CPAWS Quebec. “It is essential the government temporarily suspend all plans for logging in this region to examine the area’s role in the caribou’s recovery.”

CPAWS Quebec wishes to emphasize that it will participate in every stage of the process leading to official legal designation to ensure the area protected is consistent with scientific recommendations.

Achieving the 2020 objectives is within reach
The announcement of this new protected area is a step in the right direction towards achieving Quebec’s 2020 objectives. “There are already enough proposals of protected areas to reach the 17% target throughout the province” stresses Alice de Swarte, Project Manager in conservation and political analysis at CPAWS Quebec. “If the different ministries involved in the creation of protected areas better co-operate, achieving 2020 targets is within easy reach.”

* To view CPAWS Quebec’s interactive map of the proposed protected area in the Montagnes Blanches, please visit (In French only)

Screenshot of the interactive map of the Montagnes Blanches protected area realized by CPAWS Quebec (in French only)  (


Charlène Daubenfeld
Communications manager, SNAP Québec 
514-278-7627 ext.221


CPAWS is a non-profit organization that achieves its goals through education and cooperation with environmental groups, First Nations, government, industries and local communities. Our vision is to keep at least half of Canada's public land and water wild forever. We focus on protecting large, connected areas of Canada's wilderness. CPAWS has 13 local chapters throughout the country and a national office in Ottawa. CPAWS Québec was founded in 2001. Our focus is the establishment of a true network of protected areas throughout the province, the protection of the boreal forest and the good management of existing parks and protected areas.