The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée de Waskaganish 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 de Waskaganish abuts the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de Waskaganish. The addition of this territory protects a sampling of feather fens, a remarkable ecosystem not found anywhere in Québec. This territorial reserve for protected area purposes partly protects two occurrences of yellow rails, a threatened species, and one occurrence of the bald eagle, a vulnerable species. The territory is situated in the Nottaway woodland caribou population distribution area. A portion of this territorial reserve for protected area purposes overlaps the proposed and subsequently authorized expansion of the Réserve de biodiversité projetée de Waskaganish under the procedure to assess and review environmental and social impact carried out in 2010.
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.