The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée Chisesaakahikan following the submission in the fall of 2020 of a joint brief from the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. The legally protected status contemplated for this territory is that of a “biodiversity reserve,” which is governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act.
Geographical location, boundaries and dimensions
The Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée Chisesaakahikan was established to enhance the configuration of the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de Chisesaakahikan-et-de-la-Rivière-Broadback by improving its efficiency. The territorial reserve for protected area purposes protects Lake Evans, a significant addition, which will promote the maintenance of water quality in the lake both for the needs of the communities of Nemaska and Waswanipi, and preserve the ecosystem’s ecological integrity. Lake Evans is part of the Broadback River drainage basin. What is more, two sectors of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes, situated southwest of the proposed biodiversity reserve, better protect Lake Dana. The territorial reserve for protected area purposes includes a small sector west of the Billy Diamond Highway. It protects Lake Rodayer (or Lake Pikutameyâsh sâkahikan), which is important to the community of Waskaganish. The sector encompasses numerous registered cultural features, especially burial sites, historic sites, camps, portage and hiking trails, and historic canoeing routes. Lastly, this territorial reserve for protected area purposes fosters connectivity between the Assinica and Nottaway woodland caribou populations.
Protection measures applied in the territory
No natural resource exploration or exploitation activity (mining, energy and forests) is allowed in the territory of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks will ensure the maintenance of the administrative and legal provisions that their prohibition requires.