The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée des Rivières-Cheno-et-Papas 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 des Rivières-Cheno-et-Papas was established to protect the Rivière Pepeshquasati (Papas), the Rivière Chéno, and the Rivière Takwa, the site of spawning grounds that are essential for the survival of brook char and yellow walleye. Consequently, the community of Mistissini wishes to ensure that the waters of the rivers that flow into Lake Mistassini are protected from contamination and pollution. This territory represents the low-lying portion of the territorial zone of the Monts Otish. Mistissini residents have expressed strong interest in protecting the areas situated northwest of Lake Mistassini.
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.
Note 1. Land covered by mining titles is landlocked in this territorial reserve for protected area purposes. The holder of the titles can continue to access the land as was previously the case. The construction or creation of a new road is usually incompatible with the objectives of a territorial reserve for protected area purposes. However, in the case of the mining titles covering landlocked lots, the holders can build a road to access the land that their titles cover. They must inform accordingly beforehand the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, which may then impose mitigation measures on the natural environment and the implementation conditions.