Conserving a natural and historical treasure
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.