The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée du Nord-Est-du-Lac-Nichicun 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 du Nord-Est-du-Lac-Nichicun, along with the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée Minahiku-Wachî, protects a representative sample of the territorial zone of the Caniapiscau Depression, an area that until now has been strikingly deficient in terms of ecological representativeness objectives. Its position promotes the connectivity of existing protected areas and it is mainly associated with the community of Mistissini. Several sites of cultural interest are found there, especially travel routes, cultural camps, and hunting areas. Several Cree place names have been listed there. This territorial reserve for protected area purposes is situated in the Caniapiscau woodland caribou population distribution area.
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.