Yesterday morning, it was with great pleasure that the members of the Coalition pour la Sauvegarde du Territoire Triton [Coalition for the Safeguard of the Triton Territory] learned that the biodiversity reserve project proposed in July 2005 has officially been accepted by the Government of Quebec. We have been waiting for this announcement for several months now and we can finally prepare for the next step: public hearings.
We would like to acknowledge the involvement and support of Indigenous peoples, forest scientists, dedicated politicians, ecologists, public figures, the media and all those who have made this project possible.
We are well versed in the historic value of the Triton territory. La Seigneurie du Triton is a live museum that recalls the past memories of the prestigious pioneers who lived in these old camps. The vacationers and nostalgic lovers of this unique territory have invested and are still investing time and energy to immortalize this piece of history.
Through the hard work of several collaborators, we have succeeded in raising awareness about the huge ecological and scientific value of this territory, a task of utmost importance for the development of the protected area. The Triton territory will henceforth remain a unique place for vacationers and nature lovers. A forest that has remained virtually untouched by human activities! It is an incredible and enriching opportunity for future generations to be able to explore and understand its complex, fragile and constantly evolving ecosystem.
The coalition is proud to have succeeded in raising awareness about this protection project because, to us, the Triton forest is a real treasure. We have two wishes following this intense experience:
The creation of a protected area of 408 km2 on the Triton territory shows that the Government of Quebec recognizes the importance of protecting one of the most beautiful forests in Quebec. This protected area will now become an unparalleled sampling ground for future studies and a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. Today’s announcement is a big step in the right direction, but there is still much work to do to reach the 12% recommended by the Coulombe report.
Coalition pour la Sauvegarde du Territoire Triton [Coalition for the Safeguard of the Triton Territory]
To follow the case and its updates:
Initial Project Summary:
When about twenty forestry companies overtook one of the last virgin forests of the Mauricie region, its occupants, vacationers and users were determined to defend it.
Joé Juneau, a famous hockey player, dedicated time and energy to raising public awareness about the importance of saving the Triton territory so that it can be part of the protected area plan that the Government of Quebec is implementing. This territory is located 30 km northeast of La Tuque.
This 585-km2 territory is located at the source of three watersheds and at the meeting point of the Innu, Atikamekw and Huron-Wendat peoples. It is also at the crossroads of the Mauricie, Capitale-Nationale and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean administrative regions. There are a few roads that lead to this area but none of them venture deep into and throughout the sector. Most of the lakes are accessible only by footpaths, waterways or airways. Today, one can still admire a boreal territory that has remained practically intact since the retreat of the glaciers 8,000 years ago. It is also home to one of North America’s oldest and most prestigious outfitters. It was visited by important figures such as US President Theodore Roosevelt and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, among others.
The Government of Quebec had been studying and considering the application of this territory to its protected area plan since July 2005. The decision of the ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) [Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks] to protect this territory was forwarded to us in March 2006. After evaluating the case, the Ministry retained the provisional application of a 425-km2 territory so that it could eventually become one of the 70 protected areas of ecological zone C. In February 2007, the government announced that only 408 km2 would be part of the protected area plan. It should be noted that this was a big compromise, since almost 45% of the yellow birches present in the area originally chosen by the MDDEP would not be protected!
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORT
This protected area project is supported by the ex-Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation, Ernest Awashish and the Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Max Gros-Louis. It is also supported by UQCN/Nature Québec, the Environment Consultation Table in Portneuf, the Mouvement Vert de la Mauricie, the Association forestière du Québec métropolitain, Action boréale and a large number of businessmen, various international stakeholders of the tourism industry, members of the artistic and sports communities and many other present and future users of this territory.
La Coalition pour la Sauvegarde du Territoire Triton calls upon the population to increase and continue its support in safeguarding this natural heritage.
Thank you to all!