Joanie Belanger

Quebec

Number of projects: During this period, NCC also funded the relinquishment of 82,313 acres (33,311 hectares) of timber rights outside the new Birch River Wildland Park in Alberta. These rights were cancelled by the provincial government and will only be re-issued for ecological purposes. 14

Land value: Land value is the fair market value as determined by independent appraisal. $5,957,120

Acres conserved: 8,008

Stewardship volunteers: 217

Conserving a natural and historical treasure

Kenauk Nature

Granted as a seigniorial domain in 1674 by Louis XIV, King of France, to Monseigneur Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, the Kenauk property is deeply rooted in Canadian history. In fact, from 1801, and for the century that followed, it was owned by the Papineau family. One of its most notable residents was Louis-Joseph Papineau, one of Quebec’s well-known 19th century political figures.

Along with its rich human history, Kenauk is also of unique ecological importance. The site boasts extensive forests and over 60 lakes. Several provincially rare species and habitats are found here, including black maple forests. The large forests provide ideal habitat for large predators, such as American black bear. We are currently researching the presence of the nationally threatened eastern wolf on the property.

On World Environment Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and our partners announced the protection of 15,000 acres (6,000 hectares) on the Kenauk property, conserving a three-kilometre-wide and 20-kilometre-long corridor.

Wetlands and aquatic environments, such as streams, ponds and lakes, cover almost 15 per cent of the property. They provide suitable nesting and staging habitats for American black duck, wood duck and many other species of migratory birds.

This project is a great example of partnership between various public and private funding partners coming together for conservation and for the well-being of communities. The Governments of Canada and the United States (the latter through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act) all contributed, as well as a host of private donors, namely companies, foundations and individuals.

Restoring the Grondines and Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade Swamp

NCC

The Grondines Swamp extends for seven kilometres along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, between Trois-Rivières and Quebec City. This territory shelters several at-risk species and globally rare species that are found nowhere else on Earth.

Last June, 11 Conservation Volunteers and three NCC staff took part in the second annual tree planting event on the property. Approximately 250 native trees were planted to restore wetland habitats adjacent to the Grondines Swamp. By 2017, 2,500 trees had been planted on the property. 

This volunteer event was made possible by the participation of the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Alcoa Foundation for sustainable communities and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Connectivity and adapting to climate change

Mike Dembeck

Climate change is putting increasing pressure on Canada’s wildlife. It is estimated that habitats for many species in Quebec will shift north by about 45 kilometres per decade. By identifying and protecting corridors for wildlife and their habitats, NCC can play an important role in climate change adaptation.

To help wildlife shift in response to climate change we need more connectivity. Connectivity between habitats — based on ecological corridors — is therefore essential to adapt to these changes and to maintain human well-being. In addition to preserving ecological services, corridors allow animals to move and plants to disperse through landscapes that have been fragmented by human developments, such as roads and cities.

In May, NCC received a contribution of nearly $1 million from the Fonds vert, as part of the Action-Climat Québec program of the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, resulting from the Plan d'action 2013-2020 sur les changements climatiques. This amount will fund NCC’s Ecological Corridors: A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Project (2017-2020).

To build a common vision for connectivity in southern Quebec, the project is being deployed in partnership with seven other key organizations in five areas deemed critical for connectivity. NCC is also collaborating with more than 50 experts from various governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutions, national parks, other land managers (including municipal and forestry representatives, among others) and the public.

By 2020, NCC and our partners will encourage communities to take direct action to protect and restore ecological corridors as a climate change adaptation solution.

In 2017, the Nature Conservancy of Canada announced the protection of a new 76-acre (31-hectare) property located in Ham-Sud, about 50 kilometres northeast of Sherbrooke, in the Border Mountains region. Protecting this property is essential to the survival of the globally rare Van Brunt's Jacob's-ladder in Canada.