Natural environments on Mont Rougemont protected in perpetuity
Beloeil, November 1st 2023 – Nature-Action Québec (NAQ) is pleased to announce not one, but two new actions to protect Mount Rougemont’s natural environments, namely the acquisition of an area totalling 4.28 hectares and signing a conservation easement for 3.08 hectares. Thanks to collaboration with various partners, including financial assistance from the Quebec government, and more than a dozen landowners, NAQ has increased the surface area of legally protected natural environments on the hill by 7.36 ha, for a grand total of almost 330 ha.
Conservation of Mont Rougemont – a call for efficient cooperation
Mont Rougemont boasts a surface area of approximately 30 sq. km. within three municipalities: Saint-Damase, Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Rougemont, which are within three different MRCs (Maskoutains, La-Vallée-du-Richelieu, and Rouville, respectively). In order to consolidate the hill’s natural environments, NAQ worked with various sectoral stakeholders such as the Association du Mont Rougemont (AMR), which represents the hill’s owners.
Since 2002, NAQ has been active in the sector and supported landowners in increasing the protected area through voluntary conservation measures and legal agreements. During this time, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) acquired properties for protection on Mont Rougemont. NAQ has been increasingly present in the Montérégie region ever since. For example, NAQ supported the Rougemont Cistercian Abbey in 2008 in recognizing their 49.8-hectare private nature reserve. In 2011, NAQ signed its first 8.7-hectare conservation easement with the Dubé family. With the recent purchase of Maxime Forcier’s lot and the signing of a conservation easement with Marie-France Dubé, we are further advancing the protection of Mont Rougemont’s natural environments
These actions were made possible thanks to the involvement of several partners. First, we would like to thank the Nature Conservancy of Canada for its support through the Partenariat pour les milieux naturels project, for which the Quebec government has provided over $53 million in financial assistance. We would also like to thank two organizations for their financial contributions: Fondation de la faune du Québec through the Protecting Wildlife Habitats financial assistance program, and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) through its Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP). We would also like to thank the Association du mont Rougemont (AMR), a key partner in making our conservation projects a reality through its canvassing efforts and proximity to landowners, as well as the municipality of Saint-Damase for their logistics support. We would also like to thank two of our neighbours, Mathieu Parent and Robert Brodeur. Lastly, we’d like to express our gratitude to Maxime Forcier, owner of the land subject to this acquisition, and to Marie-France Dubé for signing the conservation easement.
“Mont Rougemont is a natural environment that is rich in biodiversity, where many at-risk species can find refuge. Thanks to the efforts of a number of stakeholders, we are making steady progress in consolidating protected areas on this Monteregian hill. I would like to highlight the dedication of NAQ’s Conservation team and all the partners who supported us throughout the process of protecting these additional 7.36 hectares. We are also grateful for the tremendous support of the teams behind the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP), and the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN),” says Romy Bazo, Director of Conservation at NAQ.
“I’m very proud that my grandfather’s woodland is now protected in perpetuity by Nature-Action Québec. I encourage other owners to get involved in this mission,” says Maxime Forcier, owner and donor of a 4.3-hectare property
“The increased protection of Mont Rougemont’s natural areas is excellent news for the Montérégie region and for the province of Quebec. Through private land conservation projects like this one, we are helping to boost the representativeness of protected areas in southern Quebec. The Quebec government is very proud to contribute financially to this initiative through the Partenariat pour les milieux naturels project. I would like to thank all the partners involved in preserving our natural environments. When we work together, we can preserve our rich natural heritage,” states Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region.
“Habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, the over-exploitation of wildlife, and human-caused climate change continue to have devastating impacts on species at risk and biodiversity. The protection of Canada’s diverse range of plants and animals and their habitats is critical, especially in regions with a high concentration of species at risk and migratory birds, such as the St. Lawrence Lowlands. To fight biodiversity loss and prepare for the effects of the climate crisis, we must continue to collaborate, pool resources, share knowledge, and learn from one another. Projects such as Nature-Action Québec’s demonstrate the type of co-operation, leadership, and action needed to cultivate a greener future for our environment, communities, and economy.”– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The Nature Conservancy of Canada
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares, including nearly 50,000 hectares in Quebec. NCC is a registered charity. With nature, NCC builds a thriving world. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca
The Projet de partenariat pour les milieu naturels
The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the Government of Quebec to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Québec’s network of protected areas located on private land.
Habitat Stewardship Program
One of the Government of Canada’s conservation mandates is the conservation of nature, including the recovery of species at risk. In this regard, the Habitat Stewardship Program was established in 2000. It provides funding for projects submitted by Canadians that contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of the species at risk that are listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act, or that are designated at risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada administers Habitat Stewardship Program funds that support terrestrial stewardship projects, while Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for administering the Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk.
The mission of the Fondation de la faune du Québec is to promote the conservation and enhancement of wildlife and its habitats. Thanks to the contributions of more than one million Quebec hunters, fishers and trappers, thousands of donors and numerous private companies, the Fondation has supported more than 2,000 organizations throughout Quebec since 1987, creating a true wildlife movement.
For thirty-seven years, the non-profit Nature-Action Québec has had the mission to guide individuals and organizations in applying better environmental practices. The organization works with municipalities, businesses, community organizations and citizens to carry out concrete projects that contribute to improving Quebecers’ environment, health, well-being and quality of life.
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