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Public Consultation  

Québec, September 14, 2006 – Mr. Claude Béchard, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, has entrusted the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) with the mandate of holding a public consultation on the Belmont and Magpie lakes massif, Lac aux Sauterelles knolls, Guernesé lake foothills and Brador hills biodiversity reserve projects in the Lower North Shore Plateau natural province, whose territories have been set aside and have been assigned a temporary protection status as biodiversity reserves. This mandate begins today (September 14, 2006) and will end on February 14, 2007 . The commission in charge of examining the project and holding the public consultation will be chaired by Mr. Pierre Béland.

Documentation made available

Starting today (September 14,  2006) , the BAPE is making available the documentation pertaining to these protected areas, including notably the draft conservation plans of the territories in question as well as the protection and management frameworks for the four biodiversity reserve projects in the Lower North Shore Plateau natural province.

This documentation will be put at the public’s disposal at the BAPE office in Québec City, located at 575, rue Saint-Amable, bureau 2.10 and in Montréal, at the central library of Université du Québec à Montréal, Pavillon Hubert-Aquin, 1255, rue Saint-Denis, local A-M100, as well as at the following regional consultation centres:

  • Municipal Library of Havre-Saint-Pierre, 1016, rue de la Dulcinée, Havre-Saint-Pierre;
  • Council of the Innu of Ekuanitshit, 35, rue Manitou, Mingan;
  • Council of the Innu of Ekuanitshit, 35, rue Manitou, Mingan;
  • Municipality of Blanc-Sablon, 1149, boulevard Docteur-Camille-Marcoux, Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon ;
  • Municipality of Rivière-au-Tonnerre, 473, rue Jacques-Cartier, Rivière-au-Tonnerre;
  • Office municipal de la Municipalité de Saint-Augustin.


The documentation may also be consulted at any time on the BAPE’s web site at the following address: www.bape.gouv.qc.ca under the heading “Mandats en cours” .

Work of the BAPE

The BAPE will soon be holding a public hearing in the Côte Nord region with the objective of closely associating the public and community partners in this initiative . The data pertaining to the holding of the hearing will be announced later .

Once the public consultation has ended and the commission’s report has been drafted, the BAPE will submit its report to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, who will make his recommendation to the government concerning the possibility of conferring on the set aside territories a permanent protection status and the applicable conditions, if any. Ultimately, it will be up to the Cabinet to rule on the permanent nature of the proposed biodiversity reserves.

To receive information

To be informed of the BAPE’s activities in the specific matter of the four biodiversity reserve projects in the Lower North Shore Plateau natural province , you can register by e-mail at the following address: reserves_basse_cote_nord@bape.gouv.qc.ca.

However, if you would like to receive information pertaining to each of the protected area projects for which the BAPE will hold a public consultation, you can register at the following address: aires-protegees@bape.gouv.qc.ca.

In both cases, you can also register by calling 418  643-7447 or, toll-free, 1 800 463-4732.

Individuals wishing to obtain more information can get in touch with Ms. Anne-Lyne Boutin, coordinator of the commission’s secretariat, by calling the aforementioned telephone numbers or by e-mail at the following address: reserves_basse_cote_nord@bape.gouv.qc.ca.

 

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SOURCE: Catherine Roberge
Communications advisor
Telephone: 418 643-7447, extension 531
Toll-free: 1 800 463-4732

 

TECHNICAL SHEET

Four biodiversity reserve projects in the Lower North Shore Plateau natural province

Description of the projects

 

The aim of the projects submitted by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs is to create four protected areas in the Côte Nord administrative region, namely the Belmont and Magpie lakes massif and Lac aux Sauterelles knolls biodiversity reserves, as well as the Guernesé lake foothills and the Brador hills biodiversity reserves. These biodiversity reserve projects are located in the Lower North Shore Plateau natural province.

The Belmont and Magpie lakes massif biodiversity reserve project, located some fifty kilometres northwest of the Municipality of Rivière-Saint-Jean , covers a surface area of 1,575 km2. The territory comprised within the limits of this biodiversity reserve project includes, among other things, a large u-shaped glacial valley (Magpie lake valley) as well as a remarkable concentration of mountain and subalpine white spruce stands. The sector targeted by MDDEP would also make it possible to protect Québec’s eastern-most jack pine forest. Moreover, the protection of the Belmont and Magpie lakes massif would help preserve habitats that are conducive to several vulnerable wildlife species of Québec, including the woodland caribou and the wolverine.

The planned Lac aux Sauterelles knolls biodiversity reserve is situated on the border with Labrador approximately 200 km north of Havre-Saint-Pierre and covers a surface area of 481 km 2. This territory comprises the bioclimatic field of spruce-lichen woodland and mossy spruce stands, as well as a series of well-drained mounds (ground moraine, drumlins or eskers).

The planned Guernesé lake foothills biodiversity project is located some thirty kilometres north of the coastal village of Rivière-Saint-Paul and covers a surface area of 2,022 km2. According to MDDEP, the main objectives of the biodiversity reserve would be the protection of representative samples of the Lower North Shore Plateau natural province such as the old softwood forests, salmon rivers and landscapes shaped by the glacial presence. The protection of this territory would also make it possible to protect a portion of the upstream section of three salmon river catchment areas (Coxipi, Napetipi and Saint-Paul) as well as a territory that has historically been frequented by the Saint-Augustin woodland caribou herd.

The Brador hills biodiversity reserve project is located some fifteen kilometres north of the locality of Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon and covers a surface area of 32.3 km2. The protection of this territory would make it possible to preserve the low tabular hills of carbonate rock emerging from the Precambrian basement and the unique flora associated with the presence of calcareous outcrops. It would also make it possible to protect a portion of the waters of the Brador Est salmon river.

These four territories currently have a temporary protection status as proposed biodiversity reserves. Under the Natural Heritage Conservation Act, the main activities prohibited on these territories are, among other things, forest management, mining and the development of hydraulic resources. The uses and rights in effect such as hunting, fishing, hiking, vacationing and traditional activities are maintained.

MDDEP hopes that stakeholders from the community will participate in the conservation and development activities associated with these territories. Moreover, local stakeholders could get involved in the effort to plan these activities, which must be compatible with the biodiversity protection activities identified in the conservation plans and comply with the regulations in force.

 

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SOURCE: Catherine Roberge
Communications advisor
Telephone: 418   643-7447, extension 531
Toll-free: 1 800 463-4732

 
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