The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée Wichishkw-Uubauquushduuk 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 Wichishkw-Uubauquushduuk, situated east of the diversion of the Rupert River, is still used extensively by the community of Wemindji for hunting grounds, which explains the presence of numerous camps. The territory encompasses traditional travel routes, cultural camps, stopovers, navigable waterways, birth places, and a burial site, and displays a wealth of Cree place names. The territorial reserve for protected area purposes comprises two adjacent sectors and is part of the drainage basins of the Rivière Sakami, which flows into La Grande River. A portion of the territory features glaciomarine deposits that mark the boundary of the influence of the post-glacial marine invasion of the Tyrrell Sea. A large portion of the territory is situated in the territorial zone of the Eastmain River undulating plain. The territory is part of the wintering area of the Rivière aux Feuilles migratory woodland caribou herd.
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.