The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée Nibiischii 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 Nibiischii comprises six areas of land adjacent to the Projet de parc national Nibiischii (formerly called Albanel-Témiscamie-Otish), which will significantly enhance the protection of the sector. It is part of the Témiscamie River drainage basin. Mistissini residents have expressed strong interest in protecting the Monts Otish chain northeast of Lake Mistassini. The proposed protected area also encompasses key habitats for the Témiscamie woodland caribou population, whose protection will maintain a high degree of connectivity and contribute to the long-term maintenance of this population. Furthermore, the territorial reserve for protected area purposes will preserve two area of considerable botanical interest: (1) the Marie-Victorin plateau area, which will protect a large portion of a plateau situated at an altitude of roughly 1 000 m, as proposed during public consultations on the Projet de parc national Nibiischii; and (2) a 285 km2 zone separating Lake Mistassini from the southern half of Lake Albanel, which will protect the Fort Dorval peninsula.
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.